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To be angry that no one will give me a chance, once I mention the C word....

(30 Posts)
thinkivegottheplague Tue 02-Dec-14 21:51:10

I have just spent the last 18months beating Cancer. During that time, I worked through Chemo and Radiotherapy. I was determined the Cancer was not going to take over my life.

BUT I am now looking for a new job, as I feel it is time to move on. I have good references and am very well qualified. I never fail to get as far as an interview. But even when prospective employers have been super interested in me. As soon as I mention the health issues I had last year, they suddenly don't find me as appealing.

I am more than capable of doing my job, and let's face it none of us know what lies around the corner. So why won't people give me a chance. I know the only way round it is to not mention the Cancer, but in the job I do honesty is really important. But right now I just feel like I am being punished for having Cancer.

Suefla62 Tue 02-Dec-14 21:56:24

If they ask you about your health then answer honestly. It's not being dishonest not to bring it up. I'm sure there are all kinds of thing happening in your life that you don't bring up.

Littleturkish Tue 02-Dec-14 21:58:10

Is it because you are being asked to disclose medical info as part of the interview process? Or being asked directly in interview?

I agree, don't bring it up unless you are asked directly.

Snaveanator Tue 02-Dec-14 21:58:58

I had cancer and noticed this when I went for interviews too, the ones where I mentioned what I had had, were the ones that I were turned down from. I decided to not mention it in an interview and I got the job. Just don't mention it, it's not relevant!

makapakasdirtysponge Tue 02-Dec-14 22:00:04

Firstly congratulations on beating cancer.

I'm sorry you're having a tough time finding a job - perhaps its not the cancer itself but people feel intimidated, uncomfortable or overwhelmed by you bringing such an important and personal topic into the interview room? Obviously that's their problem not yours but unless there's a business reason I wouldn't mention it until after job offer.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 02-Dec-14 22:00:18

Definitely don't mention it. It's nothing to do with honesty honestly grin

thinkivegottheplague Tue 02-Dec-14 22:14:45

I'm a nanny! So sadly questions about health/time off do get asked. I feel being totally open is the right thing to do, but I'm starting to think that if I carry on like this I'll have no confidence left! I worked hard to beat this, and now I'm finding the bigger fight is yet to come. sad

WheresMrMonkey Wed 03-Dec-14 06:11:50

That's so bloody unfair!!! Massive congratulations for beating it

BathshebaDarkstone Wed 03-Dec-14 06:20:31

How does your having had cancer affect your ability to look after children? People are very strange. confused

adsy Wed 03-Dec-14 07:11:40

How does your having had cancer affect your ability to look after children?
because people will worry that the cancer may return so she'll need lots of time off for treatment.
Unfair but pretty obvious I would have thought.

Eastpoint Wed 03-Dec-14 07:17:28

Also because people can be very precious about their children & worry about how they would feel if OP became ill again. Also people can be scared thinking it might be contagious - people are very odd!

SanityClause Wed 03-Dec-14 07:19:53

Could you look at working in a nursery for a while, to get back into work? Or do some temping for an agency? Maybe some maternity cover, as his will get you back known in a circle of nannies and parents, and you might get a job that way?

Having employed nannies, and had a year of hell when we couldn't get a nanny to stay, for one reason or another, I understand where the potential employers are coming from, unfair as their attitude actually is. But a year of working with a good sickness record will help to dispel their worries.

OwlCapone Wed 03-Dec-14 07:27:32

Do people who employ nannies have to pay sick pay?

I think it is the potential issue with long term or regular sickness that is the main worry - they will have no fall back as you are their only employee.

BathshebaDarkstone Wed 03-Dec-14 07:34:11

adsy, I know, but it's discrimination. It's as bad as an employer not employing a 20-year-old woman because she might want to have children in the future. How do we know what's going to happen years down the line? Should we prepare for every eventuality? hmm

Bulbasaur Wed 03-Dec-14 07:35:26

Isn't it illegal to inquire about health, religion, or any sort of disability? Those sort of questions leave you wide open to a discrimination suit.

You're either qualified for the job or you aren't.

Honestly, I'd fudge it a little and say you were taking some personal time off if they ask about the gap in work. If they ask about your health, you beat cancer, you're healthy now leave it at that. No need to go into a long history. I'd really find a way to dance around it if it's costing you a job.

Your health isn't their business in the first place, nanny or not.

Shonajay Wed 03-Dec-14 07:45:50

I'm in the same position as you, a friend at my previous job gave me a tip off of the perfect job for me, but she had told the manager I'd had cancer. I went along fully expecting the same, but it's actually illegal to ask about health questions, and you're NOT required to,disclose you've had cancer.

You've got a very positive attitude regarding beating it, so why tell them and give them the opportunity to say no? I found out the day after I got the job, and I sign contracts today. There's honesty and there's over sharing, IMO. Also, I didn't particularly want to,discuss cervical cancer, ovary removal and premature menopause with the male manager there, but either way I'd have said nothing.

I left my last job voluntarily as I knew I'd be off for ages and felt it was unfair to them, and I'd do the same again, so they're not losing out.

BathshebaDarkstone Wed 03-Dec-14 08:11:19

Exactly. smile

SomeSortOfDeliciousBiscuit Wed 03-Dec-14 09:23:21

This happened to me too. I ended up not talking about it on application forms or at interview. When I had to explain why I left my last job on forms, I said I wanted a career break and at interview, if they even asked, I said it was due to my DS needing me at home for a while (he has ASD and sometimes I told them that, sometimes I didn't as I found it almost as bad for putting employers off as my cancer).

I got a temporary job without mentioning it and then disclosed it to occupational health, who were completely satisfied I had no current health problems. Now I have another reference for my CV after cancer, so when I move on, it shouldn't be an issue again.

thinkivegottheplague Wed 03-Dec-14 09:31:34

Thanks for the replies. I am starting to think that not mentioning it may be the best option.

I am still currently employed and have been with them throughout my Cancer treatment. I worked throughout, just reducing to a four day week so I could fit Chemo in on that day. I also made sure appointments were while my charges were at school. So I don't think my current employers would have anything negative to say about me.

I do totally understand that parents might worry about me getting sick again.....but then none of us know what's round the corner. Any one of us could be diagnosed tomorrow.

I'm just angry and sad that the 20+ years that I have been a nanny seems to count for nothing when the C word is mentioned.

But I take on board your advice and I will try the not mentioning approach. Fingers crossed something will come up.

Thanks x

confusedandemployed Wed 03-Dec-14 09:37:50

It IS illegal to ask about health during an interview. Do not mention it. If anyone asks you about it, look shocked and say "oh, I thought it was no longer legal to ask about that". You may as well - if they ask and you do tell it sounds like you're out of the running anyway, so you may was well let them know they're breaking the law.
Good luck, I hope you find sething soon.

confusedandemployed Wed 03-Dec-14 09:38:05

Something soon. Grr.

hackmum Wed 03-Dec-14 09:41:12

Definitely don't mention it, OP. I'm interested that you worked throughout your illness, as I assumed that prospective employers were asking you to account for gaps in your CV. So if that's not the case, definitely no need to mention it.

I realise you've already decided this, but just wanted to show support that it's the right thing to do! I know so many people who had cancer in their 20s and 30s and have made a full recovery to the extent that you would never know they'd been ill.

FrancesNiadova Wed 03-Dec-14 10:33:32

Hi op, I have always spoken about my cancer & not got the job. I'm going to stop mentioning it at interviews unless asked. I'm NED & don't feel that it's relevant any more. Good Luck flowers

Toooldtobearsed Wed 03-Dec-14 11:59:49

Oh God, that is so sad, bloody unbelievable. Well done you for working throughout. I had the same, worked all the way through but had to leave when travelling throughout Europe on a regular basis was just too much during radiotherapy.
When I was ready to return i disclosed and had no problem, BUT I work in the world of ethics, so hard for them to be discrimanotory.

If I was you, I would just not mentioned it. General questions at interview about how many episodes of sickness you have had can be honestly answered - none by the sound of it!

I think it is a problem associated with your profession, the people employing are not professional employers, and lack the back up of an HR department. Good luck!

thinkivegottheplague Wed 03-Dec-14 12:23:43

It's just the sad world we live in. Frances sorry to hear you are having your own struggles. flowers I, like you have NED and quite frankly nobody knows what the future holds. People could hire someone with a great health record and then they could be diagnosed next week with Cancer!

I just hope that things improve as I'm starting to feel a bit useless, I didn't let Cancer rule my life while I was having treatment, and I don't intend to start now.

Wishing good luck to everyone who is finding themselves in the same situation. Let's hope we all find something soon. Xxxx

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