I have been writing for Breastcancer.org for almost five years now, and while most of my work has focused on the medical aspects of breast cancer (tests, treatments, etc.), I’ve also written about some of the practical and emotional concerns women face — from sharing their diagnosis with family and friends to staying on track with treatments. Just a quick look at our discussion boards tells us that women are hungry for this kind of information. One issue that frequently comes up is how to handle the impact of a breast cancer diagnosis on your working life. I myself have watched many women I know deal with this issue at various stages of their professional lives: during a job search, after just starting a new job, and many years into a job they truly love.
Breastcancer.org does feature a section on Breast Cancer and Your Job that provides women with a good start — but we’ve always wanted to be able to give our readers a place to turn for even more guidance and resources. That is why we were so excited when we recently met the team behind Cancer and Careers, an organization founded in 2001 by Cosmetic Executive Women, Inc. to help men and women sort through the work-related dilemmas that people with cancer commonly face. I was aware of the site as far back as 2002, but since then it has grown into a truly comprehensive professional resource for anyone affected by cancer. Cancerandcareers.org is a treasure trove of well-organized information about topics ranging from how to tell coworkers about your diagnosis, to managing business travel during treatment, to understanding your legal and financial rights. Especially helpful is an entire section devoted to job-hunting after a cancer diagnosis.
We’re even more impressed by all of the other resources and interactive tools that Cancer and Careers has to offer, including:
- Ask a Career Coach: The site has five professional career coaches who answer work-related questions from readers in an online forum. You can ask a question yourself and get a response, or you can view posts from others with similar concerns and read the advice they received. It’s a great source of guidance about the real issues that people with cancer face in their jobs and throughout their professional lives.
- Job search tools and workbooks: The site offers a number of printable tools, including an interview cheat sheet, networking tracker, sample resumes, and more. There are also free workbooks you can order or download as PDFs (in English or Spanish) on topics that range from working during cancer treatment to managing employees who are living with cancer.
- Access to teleconferences and seminars: Sometimes there is no substitute for hearing directly from experts who have lots of experience helping people with cancer navigate their professional lives. Cancer and Careers has an active calendar of events you can participate in by phone or in person.
Breastcancer.org invites you to check out Cancer and Careers and see what it’s all about. We’re looking forward to partnering with Cancer and Careers to ensure that people with breast cancer have all the information and resources they need to continue their productive work lives or start over in a new career.