Employment/Career advice - post treatment

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Employment/Career advice - post treatment

Hi, I was just wondering if the CC provides help/career advice for those who have recently finished treatment? I'm heaps keen to get busy again but it's really hard trying to start off in the legal industry - how do you explain treatment as the cause for poor (not too bad) grades to an employer, when it's the only thing that will get your foot in the door? maybe it's a sign to do something else? hmmmmmmmmm, but what?
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Re: Employment/Career advice - post treatment

Hey Al, Not sure if the CC provides career advice, but all theres been a bit of discussion on this subject on planetcancer (check out myplanet.planetcancer.org if you haven't already). My opinion is that it could go either way with employers. I've only been for one job since I was diagnosed and I didn't tell them. I kept meaning too but the right moment never came up... I ended up getting the job, but turning the job down to stay where I am. Having just been through treatment was a big issure for me and the fact I didn't know how the new employer would react was part of my decision to stay. You never can tell if people have some sort of preconceived ideas, but I guess they'll end up finding out at some point. So being up front about it might make it easier.
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Re: Employment/Career advice - post treatment

Hey Al, My first job post treatment was in a tile store as a design consultant, prior to it I was an interior designer. I was worried that my previous job was to serious and required so much of me that I was not able to go there at the time. I was completely forth coming with the information about being post treatment and it worked to my advantage, well that and I had lots of great references from the industry. It was how ever bought to my attention that lots of companies would see this as a setback to big to overlook...which of course p****ed me off but they were right others couldn't see past it. I think Steve's approach is good if you see an appropriate moment to mention it great, if not its not really any of there business anyway. Its sad but us YAC face an unspoken discrimination in the workplace, are we going to be around to do the job? will we require to much time off for our illness? will we suddenly take off to India to find ourselves? you know all the usual pre-conceived notions. In saying that why not pitch yourself to the cancer council as a legal advisor, surely its a position that would come up! if not surely they need one :) Best of luck with the job search.
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Re: Employment/Career advice - post treatment

Hi Al, You might also be interested in a website that has some more information about this - it's at http://www.chronicillness.org.au/workwelfarewills/ It's probably worth noting that it's a Victorian site, and that things might be different in your state, but might be helpful to have a browse in any case. Regards, Kate
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Re: Employment/Career advice - post treatment

Hi Al, I hope you are feeling ok. Have you completely finished your treatment? Are there ongoing side effects? The reason I ask, is most employers want to know that you are fit to carry out your duties and any previous experience. Or the other way around, might ask you if there are any limitations - epilepsy, heart conditions etc? You don't have to state you have/had cancer, just be confident that you can do what is required just like anyone else applying for the job. I did the Living Well After Cancer Workshop (by NSW Cancer Council) and got some of tips offered to work out the new lifestyle/work balance. On this forum, the CC are looking at tailoring a workshop for younger adults. Last year, I started a new permanent part-time role as a legal/paralegal in-house for a utility company. It was within a month after completing adjuvant therapy. With a number 1 hair cut all round and only just started to have eyelashes back. I'm sure people thought it was strange my hair was so short especially during winter. I've had lots of experience and worked in top tier firms which helped. During both interviews, I said that I had been taking care of my ill mother (which was true) on my return from holidays - also true and which is why there was a gap the prev year experience. I got the job based on prev experience, good references and personality. I didn't say anything about my breast cancer until after my probation period 3-6 months. By this time people got to know me and my work. Now my hair has grown back, they still can't believe that I was diagnosed or they hadn't personally known anyone with cancer before. It really depends on the culture of the company and the relationship of the people you work with directly. The main thing is to have confidence in yourself and know what to look for.
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Re: Employment/Career advice - post treatment

Jules - its a gutsy move starting a new job when your still visibly affected by chemo, and saying nothing about it. Good on you! Its good to hear the company your with has a decent culture. I used to work for a major utility and a young guy there had just been through a series of treatments for bowel cancer when I started. It was a very young workplace and some people made fun of him behind his back (about being depressed etc.), it wasn't very nice. I'm still with the same employer I was with before getting sick (environmental consultancy). I came back to work when I was still very bald and weak from chemo and its definately been different... apart from receiving a few career demerit points a lot of my co-workers have been awkward with me. Things haven't really changed over time (its been over a year now). It probably doens't help that I've been messed up, but the culture there certainally isn't supportive of people like us.
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Re: Employment/Career advice - post treatment

Hey, thans for all the promp replies...Amanda, I love your comment about going off to India to find ourselves! hahah JulesJP, to answer your Question, yes, I have finished treatment and although have lost heaps of my fitness, am otherwise feeling 100%. I only bring up this topic because I went for an interview the other day and they wanted me to do a medical as the person I was to replace had become sick and did not tell anyone in the company. Otherwise no, I would probably never mention having previously been sick. It's a shame because I was so so keen on the job!!! but hey - things happen!
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Re: Employment/Career advice - post treatment

I'm starting a new job today. I've been temporary for nearly two years during which time I was asked 'when are you going to get yourself another job?' by people higher up the food chain, including the rehab officer whom I thought was on my side. So, I'm really glad you started this discussion Al. I've just realised I held a lot in for so, so long. I have been offered a new posiiton (part time, which is what decided I wanted post-treatment) so I am in a relatively good position. But it is extremely hurtful to have to try and gain confidence again when they just want you to bugger off somewhere else because they don't want to consider a part-time role. ...not until I said "Why is finding the solution to this all left up to me?" That seemed to hit home. I was offered something permanent and part-time shortly afterwards.
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Re: Employment/Career advice - post treatment

surely this must be classified discrimination a job is supposed to be offered based in merit. Your treatment is over how far down the track do us YAC have to be before people will hire us...sorry just makes me mad that you missed out just because your a suvivor.
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Re: Employment/Career advice - post treatment

Hi Al, I am helping to oversee this YAC site and help where I can with YAC issues and concerns. Your post has thrown into the limelight a very important topic for YACs - 'Workplace issues'. (one which i think should go straight to the advocacy agenda for YACs!) I will follow up with some info for you and our fellow YACs after I find out the best contact from CC staff to provide some information around this issue. Thanks for sharing your experience and thanks to stevec, AmandaC, Jules JP, Kate and harker for your speedy advice through sharing your similar situations. Nikki
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