Job Seekers Looking to Enter/Re-Enter the Workforce Anticipate Challenges to Finding Jobs, Face Unique Circumstances
Cancer and Careers’ 4th Annual National Conference on Work & Cancer to Help Address Concerns
NEW YORK, June 10, 2014 – Half of unemployed cancer survivors looking for work worry that prospective employers would treat them differently if they knew about their cancer, according to new national survey results from Cancer and Careers, the only U.S. organization solely dedicated to serving the growing population of people working during and after cancer treatment.
The online survey, conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Cancer and Careers, was designed to better understand the needs and attitudes of unemployed U.S. cancer survivors who are currently looking for work. The study interviewed 201 job-seeking patients and survivors (aged 18+) from November, 2013 through February, 2014. Results showed that while survivors overwhelmingly feel that work could actually aid in their recovery, more than half (61%) said they were at least somewhat concerned potential employers would find out about their cancer diagnosis and therefore not hire them.
“Cancer survivors, particularly those who took time off to focus on their treatment and recovery, may have a harder time re-entering the workplace with their unique circumstances,” said Julie Jansen, career and executive coach, and Cancer and Careers consulting career coach. “However, with the right preparation and motivation, I believe cancer survivors can not only find the job or career they’re looking for, but they can thrive in and out of the workplace.”
While the survey found that financial necessity is the driving factor behind most cancer survivors’ desire to return to work, about four in ten said they feel well enough to work (39%); more than a third want to maintain a sense of normalcy in their lives (36%); and roughly three in ten want to feel productive (31%) and desire a continuation of their career path (30%).
On June 13, Cancer and Careers will host the 4th Annual National Conference on Work & Cancer in New York City to address many of the challenges uncovered in the survey. The day-long conference explores the complexities people face—job search, health insurance, legal issues, working through treatment, job re-entry and more—as they try to balance their cancer treatment and recovery with employment.
According to the survey, job-seeking patients and survivors agreed that securing a job in a good work environment is essential to their ultimate wellbeing:
• More than 80 percent (83%) agree that cancer survivors who receive support from employers are more likely to thrive in the workplace.
• More than three-quarters (77%) agree that work provides a routine that aids recovery and treatment, and two-thirds (66%) agree that working provides a sense of purpose and identity.
• Seven in ten (71%) agree that addressing the more practical issues of balancing cancer and work is essential, and two-thirds (66%) said that people surviving cancer need more information, tools and support on how to balance their health and work life.
“For people going through or recovering from cancer treatment, the prospect of searching for a job can be daunting,” said Kate Sweeney, executive director, Cancer and Careers. “The Cancer and Careers national conference is a great opportunity for survivors to learn how to help make the process easier, as well as learn about our free resources and services like resume review, career coaching, and educational events to help tackle work-related challenges.”
The 4th Annual National Conference on Work & Cancer is free to attend. Registration is available at http://www.cancerandcareers.org/en/community/events/conference.
About the Survey
Cancer and Careers commissioned Harris Poll to conduct this survey to better understand the attitudes and behaviors of unemployed people with cancer. A total of 201 respondents participated in the research. Respondents were Americans 18 years of age or older, diagnosed with cancer and unemployed but looking for work. The interviews were conducted online, between November 11, 2013 and February 25, 2014. The data were weighted as needed for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region household income, as well as based on status of diagnosis and if respondents were able to find an organization or website that is dedicated to providing information on how to look for work after a cancer diagnosis.
About Cancer and Careers
Cancer and Careers empowers and educates people with cancer to thrive in their workplaces by providing expert advice, interactive tools and educational events. Cancer and Careers’ websites in English and Spanish inform nearly 300,000 visitors per year. Cancer and Careers has trained more than 1,600 oncology health care professionals, and its services are used by 86 percent of the top cancer centers in the United States. For more information, please visit www.cancerandcareers.org.
About Nielsen & The Harris Poll
On February 3, 2014, Nielsen acquired Harris Interactive and The Harris Poll. Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.