Several emails asked me to post a picture from my trip to Argentina. This was Iguazu Falls. Impressed that a sign indicated wheelchair accessibility — but disappointed no rating for “people with bad balance that gets worse in intense heat!” But we know that chronic illness symptoms are difficult to rate, don’t we?
Which leads me to this question: Do chronic illness symptoms make you afraid that you won’t be able to work at some point? Are you wondering/ worrying about that next job? Are you asking how to look for and get a job you can do when you can’t predict how you’ll feel tomorrow, let alone next month?
The current tight job market is scary — even for healthy people. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t find better work if what you’re doing isn’t “working” for you.
I got this email from a reader in response to my blog post, When It’s Time to take Charge of Your Body and Your Schedule,
Dear Rosalind, Thank you for this. I am dealing with this issue right now. I am not going to be able to continue at my current job much longer for this reason. I have always been the over-achiever type as well, but I don’t need to keep trying to prove myself. I would rather find another job that I enjoy and can do at a slower pace, even though the pay will be less. I am putting together an exit strategy to get out of my job. It would be different if I loved my job and wanted to keep doing it. But I am only doing it for the money and it isn’t worth the stress. I feel much better now that I’ve made that decision.”
Typical career search starts with a clear eyed assessment of your “strengths” (skills and competencies) and your “personal agenda” (needs, wants and values). Chronic illness means including (even if it hurts) your “limitations” (physical, mental and personal responsibilities). Rate your personal agenda (scale 1-5) so you can play with relative importance when weighing the options.
This is one tool to think differently about your options – and evaluate jobs for “best” fit. Sound too simple? It’s not simple — but it’s not as hard as you might think. Let’s face it, chronic illness increases those self limiting thoughts! And where does that get you?
I just ordered this book: How to Find Work in the 21st century. The workplace has changed dramatically in the last 10 years – most of it not for the better in my opinion – but one improvement for chronic illnesser’s is increasing flexibility, virtual work and an acceptance of “reinventing” yourself.
And here’s an interesting online article, A Handy View of the Future of the Workplace, which describes business writer, Charles Handy’s, idea that in the future there will be “..no offices, not even cubicles. The work that can be done alone will be done at home.”
That would suit many of the folks I work with – how about you?
Finally, you might notice that I mentioned several times emails from readers. Why not comments on the website posts? Feedback from my online survey on my website (if you haven’t done it – do it now and get the Free Report) indicates that an ONLINE FORUM is one of the responders top 3 needs. That’s what a blog is -an online forum. If you receive these posts as an email subscriber, click on the headline, it takes you to the web – scroll to the bottom of the post to comments and click on that. It’s easy — and you’re creating a community -more than just one voice, MINE!
Share your story – what works/ doesn’t work for you in looking for new jobs — or careers?
Rosalind aka cicoach.com