I was interviewed for an article about strategies for continuing to work with a chronic illness(Staying on the Job). Although the reporter didn’t spell my name right – and referred to me as an executive coach - he got my quotes right.
No surprise, my contributions focused on looking for how to approach the issue of working when you get a ci diagnosis.
The comments to that article were all from people who had stopped working.
On the other hand, as a chronic illness career coach, I often hear from people who can work but their jobs are either so unappealing, their supervisor so difficult or they can’t do that specific job any longer. Because they’ve had one bad experience, they’re afraid that’s always going to be the case. But what strikes me is that usually the problem had to do with that job or the way that person responded to the situation - not the symptoms.
Separate the issues. Ask yourself: 1. Do you mostly enjoy what you do?
2. Do you mostly feel good about your manager, your co workers, the organizational culture?
3. Can you do your job even when your symptoms flare? And if not, what can you do about it?
If you’re not saying yes to all 3, then focus on the “no” and figure out how you can change that. I know this sounds obvious, but it’s not when you live with chronic illness. Symptoms can leave you vulnerable and confused — and you also misdirect your frustration and anger. You can also want to just dump everything — and that’s usually not the best move.
Have you faced a difficult boss who didn’t think you really needed “special treatment” or a manager who made everyone’s lives miserable? Did you find that things in time, it improved?
Have you been bored or unhappy in your job but stuck it out and found that things improved?