Can you have a “career” if you live with chronic illness?
The truth is that illness often leads to some kind of job change. Not that it’s the first thing people think about when they get a diagnosis. But from my work coaching people with chronic illness around their career – it’s more common than you think. And it’s not a topic that gets much attention or press.
Let’s face it. Living with a chronic illness makes looking for a new job scary. You feel that much more vulnerable …
Never risk averse in my own career, I made 8 job moves from ages 21 to 41. In the beginning, it was because I’d outgrown the job or something better came along. The first time that I found myself looking for a job based on someone else’s decision, I was teaching in photography in a high school. Cutbacks meant that first hired was the first to go. Boy, was I demoralized.
But determination won out over fear – and I found an even better job teaching college. Soon after, multiple sclerosis symptoms became a big factor in what I could or couldn’t do. The switchbacks in my career were still frequent but now they were based on my health. It never got easy but I knew how to do it.
I’ve recently come across some resources that are both interesting and useful and thought I’d share it because I sure could have used this along my way:
• Alboher is also the author of the book, One Person/Multiple Careers. She’s coined the term slash careers and even has a slash careerist group on Facebook (that I joined). Of course, the book assumes good health (and is mostly for the younger than 45 set) but she brings joy to the task of reinventing yourself.
• What’s that Job and How the Hell Do I Get It by David Rosen. I haven’t read it – it’s pre-order at Amazon. I pre-ordered it.
• The Right Job, Right Now: The Complete Toolkit for Finding Your Perfect Career , Susan Strayer – It’s hands on -with great ideas for mapping your plan.
• Escape from Cubicle Nation, Pam Slim’s blog, continues to be one of my favorite in tone and content. She’s nailed what’s wrong with working in a corporate environment and ideas for how to do it on your own.
If you’re wondering if you dare:
• My book co author, Joan Friedlander, leads teleseminars in her “Dare to…” series Joan asks, Do you date to make mistakes?
It’s harder to to dare, to take risks when you’re already dealing with an unreliable body. But I don’t see an alternative, do you?