cancerandcareers.org logo and tagline Be the Boss Over CancerDid you know that more than 300,000 Social Security disability beneficiaries who are eligible for the Ticket to Work program have or have had cancer (Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2013)?

Like many people receiving disability benefits, you may be looking for a new job during or after cancer treatment. Whatever your situation, conducting a job search after cancer can feel overwhelming. Here are some of Cancer and Careers' top tips and free tools to help with your job search after cancer.

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Access to Employment Support Services for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries Who Want to Work
 
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Tips for Looking for Work After Cancer

Jun 5, 2015

cancerandcareers.org logo and tagline Be the Boss Over CancerBy: Cancer and Careers


Did you know that more than 300,000 Social Security disability beneficiaries who are eligible for the Ticket to Work program have or have had cancer (Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2013)? Ticket to Work is a free and voluntary program that assists Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries age 18 through 64 to connect with free services and support to enter or rejoin the workforce. 

Like many people receiving disability benefits, you may be looking for a new job during or after cancer treatment. You may have personal values and work-related goals that have changed because of your cancer diagnosis and you want to switch fields to do something more meaningful or interesting to you. Or perhaps you took too long of a leave of absence for treatment and your employer wasn't obligated to hold your job anymore. Or maybe it just isn't feasible for you to do the work you did before cancer treatment. Whatever your situation, conducting a job search after cancer can feel overwhelming.

At Cancer and Careers, our goal is to eliminate the fear and uncertainty that many people feel around work after cancer. We provide expert advice, interactive tools and educational events through a comprehensive website (cancerandcareers.org), free publications, career coaching, and a series of educational seminars to help survivors feel empowered at work.

Here are some of our top tips and free tools to help with your job search after cancer:

1. Minding the resume gap

Explaining the gap in work history is one of the most common worries of cancer survivors looking for work. It is important to remember that your diagnosis is confidential and you do NOT have to disclose your cancer in an application or interview situation.

At the same time, you do want to be prepared to answer a question about a gap on your resume in an interview. That is totally fair game. We recommend you practice your response and keep the conversation focused on the matter at hand--getting the job!

2. Building & protecting your online image

During cancer treatment and recovery, reaching out for support--via online support groups, Facebook or other social media--is common and healthy. But when your focus returns to work, you may regret the reams of information online detailing your diagnosis, treatment, complications, frustration and recovery.

Before sharing information about your cancer online, make sure that you've considered the implications that may come with public disclosure and feel comfortable with it being out there. And, if you've already shared don't worry, there are some simple and free things you can do to help refocus your digital footprint.

3. Resume Review Service

This service offers free, personalized feedback on your resume from one of our professional career coaches.
 
4. Professional Development Micro-Grants

The Micro-Grant Program offers cancer patients and survivors financial assistance for professional development opportunities that will allow them to enhance or build new skills.

5. Ask a Career Coach

Get answers from Cancer and Careers' professional career coaches by starting a discussion. Or, read posts from your peers on topics like planning, communication strategies and career change.

6. Job Search Toolkit

The toolkit includes advice on improving resumes, cover letters, and Linkedln profiles; tips for interviewing and networking; guidance in exploring more meaningful and alternative career options; and an array of resources and tools to assist you in looking for work after cancer.

The Ticket to Work program is a good fit for people who are interested in making a long-term commitment to achieving financial independence through employment.  For more information about Ticket to Work, visit www.choosework.net or call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY).