Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Off to Work...

Here is today's Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge: What advice would you give to those on the job search? How do you juggle your job and a chronic illness? Any tips for the interview?

This one is a little bit difficult for me because I'm on disability so I'm not in the workforce or pursing work at the moment. But I did at one point work with a chronic illness and I'm hoping to eventually go back to the working world at least part time.

I think the advice I would give people with chronic illnesses who are on the job search is to seriously consider their limitations on their worst day to see if the job they are applying for could be done on that day. Employers don't look kindly to hiring someone and then immediately having the employee take a whole bunch of sick days. So if you can only do a job sitting down when you are in a flare, don't pick a factory assembly line type job where you will be standing up for 12 hour shifts.

I think the key to balancing your job and chronic illness is about the same as the situation I am in now and that is balancing school with a chronic illness. And that is organization, to do lists, and goals galore. I bargain with myself daily. If I can just get this many pages written of my paper written I can take a nap. If I just get this one assignment done then I can take a mental break and watch my favorite TV show. With work you may not be able to take a nap or watch your favorite show, but you can take 5 minutes to rest your head on your desk, or get a cool drink of water, or stretch your legs by walking around the office for a minute. Bargaining with yourself seriously is a self-motivator and helps get a lot of work accomplished, usually.

With the interview you need to be open and honest if you are asked a question that could lead to disclosing your condition but not to offer too much information. Just answer the question as concisely and with as little information as possible. The interview is not the place to let them know all of your stuff.  This could lead to discrimination (even though it's illegal, we all know it happens). I would be honest and just answer the questions to the best of your ability. Sometimes there might be things you need to do to make sure you look presentable and don't fumble through your interview like make sure you are hydrated enough, have had enough salt, are wearing compression gear, have taken all your meds for energy, etc.

I guess that's all the advice I have for getting a job with a chronic illness for now. Hopefully some of it was helpful to you.


  1. Great advice :)
    I bargain with myself a lot too. Some days its just to get out of the house X/
    I don't know why I've never thought to wear compression clothing under my interview clothing! **aahg..** Go go executive dis-function! X)
    I'll try that next time!
    Hope you have a good day :)

  2. Thanks for the positive feedback ladies :)