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Showing posts from July, 2018

Resume Writing Tips for Cancer Survivors

The best way to find a job, of course, is by networking in person or through LinkedIn but no matter how great you are at relationship skills and self promotion for your career after cancer, you will still be asked for your resume. A resume is an interesting piece of paper - but it is JUST a piece of paper. We are very attached to these pieces of paper but oftentimes they are out of date or unprofessional looking and that does not best highlight the jobseeker.

If your resume is not on point, it will be hard for you to move forward to the interviewing/job offer stage unless you are brought in based on the LinkedIn profile alone (which does sometimes happen) – even still, during the interview, people like to hold and read your resume. So all of these tactics do not matter if your resume is not as good as it could be. And this is all subjective but there are certain rules that apply to ALL resumes and especially for us working on our careers after cancer. Your resume has to reflect your…

Using Social Media to Find Work for Cancer Survivors

For those of us who have been told, "You have cancer." we look for support and help everywhere and at times, despite statistics showing that more and more people are receiving cancer diagnoses, we find our "tribe" our "cancer" network through social media. We share things and receive love, support and make friendships and connections via our phones and social media.  This is all great and so important - especially for me - so I imagine it is for you, too. The only drawback to sharing openly and connecting with others is that our "digital footprint" now shows that we have / had cancer. We should be open and not feel ashamed BUT hiring managers might not agree or be willing to take a chance on us because of our illness(es) - which is totally illegal, mind you, BUT how do you prove it?  Before any interview or job offer, every hiring team across all industries googles their potential new employee. Think about googling yourself to see what comes up.…

LinkedIn for Cancer Survivors

You can use LinkedIn to get noticed for your career. The networking service is loaded with folks you may have worked with who know people you may want to work with and so on and so forth. You can leverage this tool to start laying the groundwork for your career after cancer beginning today. 

Here are some of my best "rules" to use to get noticed on LinkedIn. 

1) Use LinkedIn to share industry related content - do not be "spammy" but do share occasional interesting to you news articles about the industry you want to join. When you are ready to do so, you can and should include a brief description about the article and why you are sharing it but be very careful to make sure your sentence structure is great and all spelling and grammar is perfect, too.  Try to do this at least once a month. Beware you do not post the same article twice.

2) Your summary on LinkedIn should be on point - it should boil down to your Elevator Value Pitch which I shared here already and that t…

What Are Your Skills?

Identify and leverage your skills for your career as a cancer survivor. 

Everyone is good at something (we happen to be good at surviving cancer - knock on wood - and knowing every day is a gift). Most people are too modest to promote and leverage what they are good at OR they are too full of self doubt to admit they have a skill at all.

Consider your skills as the things that come “easy” to you or what have you worked hard at to be able to do it “easily”. I understand if you doubt these skills given the trauma your body and mind has gone through - I get that so much. Have some faith in your abilities and think about 6 months after treatment or 2 years after treatment or if you are going to be in treatment for the duration of your life then just think about what you LOVE to do and see if those skills tie in to some work-related items. (Remember to always get your medical team's approval about working.) 

List at least 3-5 skills that you have – this is not the skills section…

Can You Volunteer To Find A Job?

Anyone who has been through a life changing diagnosis and found themselves out of work or looking for work should consider volunteering as a way to 

1- To fill in blank spaces on the resume: When you take time off (or are unceremoniously let go from a job during cancer and its treatments) you will have some blank spaces on your chronological timeline of jobs. Volunteering at an organization on a part time bases (if you are cleared to do so by your medical team) could be a good way to showcase you have work experiences in the midst of not working. 
2- To enrich you skills: Volunteering can allow you to stretch and practice new skills in a safe environment. There is not a lot of pressure involved with a volunteer role meaning that if you fail at a task, you cannot be fired - this is a good way to get acclimated back to thinking on your feet and talking about things other than blood counts and pet scans. 
3- Meeting new people: You will be out and about and building relationships with the f…

Quick - What's Your Elevator Pitch?

The elevator pitch has often been defined as what you would say to the CEO of your company if you were in the elevator together to prove yourself and leverage that time into getting on the radar of upper management. For us, though, in our quest for our career after cancer, the purpose of an elevator pitch is in identifying what our "best" skills are (besides being cancer superheroes and slightly radioactive) for people near and dear to us as well as people we meet at networking events can know what we bring to the table. I call this the Elevator Value Pitch (or an EVP, if you will for Elevator Value Pitch).

This means your old "elevator pitch" (if you had one) needs a makeover to highlight your VALUE of what you bring to any company, client or coworkers. Having this statement be ready and focused is, in my opinion, a  magic formula to ensuring people know who you are and what you can do. Yes, magic. If done right this is a quick 2 minute overview of who you are and …

Bouncing Back After Cancer

Plan B's
One big lesson we learn as cancer patients is to always have a Plan B and to try not to sweat the small stuff. "Small stuff" includes managing our career however, we also like to eat and need to have health insurance and be busy to not think too much about mortality and so on and so forth. Whether we lose our jobs or take time off or realize our careers are not fulfilling or cause us too much stress to continue, we do need to think about how we can "bounce back" in our careers. Some ways to bounce back include: Learning a new skill or expanding on a current skill: Keeping our minds active in any way shape or form is important during and after a cancer diagnosis. Be kind to yourself and do not expect yourself to be exactly what you were before - know that your brain and body has been through a lot and adjust your expectations accordingly.Get help from friends and family to review your resume and let you if you can improve it; ask them to submit your resume …

You Got Cancer & Now You Are Laid Off...

Many cancer patients and survivors are laid off (or fired). This post is not about the legality of said employer decision but instead about how to manage being laid off and how to consider getting back to work, if and when you are able to do so. Always check with your doctor regarding whether you are fit for work.

One of the main differences between being fired and laid off is just the wording and in what it means for you to look for a new role. No matter what, though, it results in the loss of your job and for us who have already lost so much during this life changing diagnosis, this is just what can be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

You go from being employed and for most of us that means having a purpose and a routine to losing that footing in the world which makes recovery and our sense of selves suffer. It is a challenge to "bounce back" from cancer and now you need to find a job. To deal with a layoff and cancer treatment, it is important to be flexible.

Now …

Working After a Cancer Diagnosis - On Treatments, Follow Ups and Finding Meaningful Work Again

Getting back to work after dealing with a cancer diagnosis and all that entails presents two issues:1-and most important is being well enough to work and mentally able to focus on the tasks at hand - the last thing we feel ready to do during cancer is to find a new job but unfortunately, for many of us, it is just what we have to do full stop. Despite needing to take a year or more to get through treatment (hopefully as some of us are in treatment for the rest of our lives) we also need to get ourselves out there to do the things EVERYONE dreads to do regardless of their health status - INTERVIEWING and NETWORKING and all of the things that used to make our hearts go bump in the night but now we know are just means to an end. We need to eat, so we need to work We need to stop thinking about cancer, so we need to work… and herein lies issue number... 2 - we now are trying to put cancer behind us (if we are lucky enough to not be stage 4) yet now we have these pesky follow up appointmen…