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Thread: Advice on seeking a job, post-cancer treatment

  1. #1
    Regular User
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Advice on seeking a job, post-cancer treatment

    I am 26 and finished cancer treatment and searching for a job has been an unbelievable struggle. Been looking to relocate to a major city like DC.

    I have tried various avenues:

    -All the resume websites like monster, career.gov, career builder, idealist, indeed, craigslist, local job boards. Been sending out my resume like crazy. I make follow up phone calls when I can but a lot of employers say "Please no phone calls" or don't respond to emails.
    -Tried calling organizations like cancer and careers, etc. with not too much success.
    -Had professionals in the social work, entertainment field, journalism fields, etc. look at my resume and said it was pretty good, and used their advice to improve it. I know my resume is not that bad, I have had career people look at it. My sister looks at resumes for her job for cripes sake.
    -Called career services at my University, they were not too much help. They did look at my resume however and offered advice on that. Also called department in which I majored without any real response.
    -Asked social work oncologist at my hospital. Gave me cancer and careers and other similar websites I have tried.
    -And all the expected actions similar to the above

    I mean, what can I do? DC is a pretty big city .... I am young passionate and educated. Why is this a struggle for so long? It is not like potential employers know of my cancer or extended time off. I want to work for a non profit. Or education. Maybe hospice or special edu or Probation/parole, some kind of career.

    I send my resume and it seems I jump through hoops personalizing cover letters, filling out questionnaires even, only to hear nothing back.

    I mean, yah, "keep hope alive", etc. etc. I have heard that a trillion times from my mom alone but it means little right now, no offense. Yah it is a poor economy, but you know what? I have a degree in sociology, I am young and with lots of unique exp., it shouldn't be THIS difficult to the point where I hear almost nothing back in 8 weeks of trying.

    If anyone has any practical advice I would love to hear it. Solid Networking possibilities? Things like that. Sites like monster just give me spam or pointless phone calls looking for young naive college grads to do commission work selling life insurance.

  2. #2
    Administrator Top User Kermica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Hi IndieFan and I am sorry to hear that your employment struggle is continuing. One of the things I read recently is that a lot of employers are not even considering resumes from people who are not employed when the apply, which does not help you, its just a point of information.

    I think another issue is the field you are trying to enter. I have worked for 20 years with government agencies (not for but with) and I can tell you that the budget pressures on them are unlike anything I have ever seen. That is resulting in huge cuts in government funding for NGOs, Social Service agencies, non-profits and the government agencies themselves. So, when they are all cutting costs and staff it is a bad time to be trying to get in the door.

    A couple of thoughts come to mind - is working is more important than working in your field, perhaps it makes sense to do what the artists and actors do and look for work in a restaurant or other service industry. Those jobs are always out there, especially if you have any experience waiting tables, bartending, etc... Another possibility is retail, construction, nursing homes, you get the idea.

    I know full well that it is not what you want to do but it does give you the freedom to get to DC and start living where you want to be living (I think you said in a previous post that your GF is in that area, my assumption is that she or a friend would be willing to give you housing while you get established). Then, you have the advantage of working toward your ideal job from the local market, this makes a lot of difference to a lot of HR managers as the whole relocation hassle is gone for them.

    I wish I could be of more help, Indie, but this is the best I have for you at this moment, I hope it is of some small help.

    Good health,

    When the world says, "Give up," Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."
    ~Author Unknown

    Age 67
    Follicular lymphoma diagnosed August 08, Stage 1
    2 cycles (20 treatments each) localized radiation to tumor sites. Remission confirmed July 09
    Restaged to Stage 3 May 2010
    Recurrence confirmed May 2010 - Watch and Wait commenced - multiple scans with minimal progression.
    Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma diagnosed September 2012. Mohs surgical excision 09/2012. Successful, clean edges all around.
    Significant progression detected in PET scan - December 2012
    Biopsy to check for transformation 1/18/2013 - negative for that but full of lymphoma, of course.
    July 2013 - Rescan due to progression shows one tumor (among many) very suspect for transformation, another biopsy 8/12/13.
    August 2013 - No evidence of transformation, 6 courses of B+R commence 8/29 due to "extensive, systemic disease".
    February 2014 - Diagnostic PET scan states: Negative PET scan. Previous noted hypermetabolic cervical, axillary, iliac and inguinal lymphadenopathy has resolved. Doctor confirms full remission.
    June 2014 - started 2 year maintenance Rituxan, 1 infusion every 3 months. Doctor confirms lump under right arm are "suspicious" for recurrent disease, deferring scans for now.
    February 2015 - Doc and I agreed to stop R maintenance as it is depressing my immune system too much.
    June 2015 - Confirm that the beast is back by physical exam, will scan in August after esophageal issues settle down so we can get a clear view.
    August 2015 - physical exam in error, PET/CT shows no evidence of disease. Remission continues well into second year!
    December 2015 - Cardiologist tells me I have plaque buildup growing at an alarming rate. Stent or bypass down the road but not yet...
    March 2016 - new tumor below the jaw so remission is over. Back to active surveillance until treatment is needed.
    June 2016 - C/T scan indicates presence of multiple lesions in iliac chain.
    August 2016 - PET/CT shows multiple areas of lymphoma as expected plus new areas of concern in bowel.
    January 2017 - C/T scan shows significant progression in cervical and inguinal lymph chains, largest tumor is impacting hearing, measures 2.1x4.6 cm. 4 to 8 cycles of R-CVP, 1x3weeks to commence 2/6/17.
    April 2017 - Mid treatment scan shows about 1/3 reduction in multiple tumors. Also shows abdominal aortic aneurysm with peripheral thrombus. Cardiologist changed meds, spoke of need for surgical repair down the road.
    September 2017 - finished 10 rounds of R-CP, V was stopped due to neuropathy in feet. No further treatment planned at this time, at least 10 tumors can be felt which seem to be growing again.
    December 2017 - Biopsy of external iliac node with SUV of 13.1 shows no transformation! However, the FL grade is now 3A instead of Gr 1-2. Will start indefinite protocol using Copanlisib, one of the new targeted therapies. I remain hopeful.
    March 2018 - Copanlisib failed, treatment stopped 3/28. New plan is to go to Dana Farber on 4/16 for case review and treatment recommendation.

    May 2018 - did not qualify for clinical trials at Dana Farber. Tumors need to get larger to be considered. On consultation w/Dr. Armand at DF and my onc, have decided to take a break from cancer treatments. Will have a biopsy of the mass in my sinus discovered in scan at DF and to get the aneurysm repaired as it has developed a potentially catastrophic penetrating ulcer. Surgery scheduled for 7/12.

    September 2018 - biopsy of mass in nose shows transformed DLBCL throughout. Assessing options for this negative development.

    October 2018 - started 6 to 8 cycles of R-CHOP. Goal is to get to full remission to open up other options.

    February/March 2019 - PET shows four hot spots following R-CHOP. referred to Dana Farber for stem cell transplant. Pre testing all good, accepted for Auto Transplant. Will begin inpatient process about April 1.

  3. #3
    Top User pbj11's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    One thing I partially remember is one of my brothers saying that there is a ratio of responses you get for how many resumes you send out. He'd send out something like 900 and would only get a few responses. He has an MBA from the University of Chicago. He is overqualified, so companies shy away from him as they figure he'll jump ship if a better offer comes along. He took sales jobs to keep working, while looking.

    Your Mom is right, whether you want to hear her or not. This is a tough economy and there are cuts impacting every entity - private or public. A degree in Sociology is tough to market. If you look to education, you need to get the education coursework and certification, unless you are looking at a counseling position. My daughter is going back for her Master's in Education and frankly, I'm not sure it's worth the investment right now. This seems to be the trend during this bad recession -- going back to school while waiting it out. We're going to have a lot of post-grad people swamping the job market in a few years IF this recession ever goes away.

    Keep plugging away and increase the volume. That's my best advice based on what I know my brother did. You can't get a job, but I know so many who are losing theirs, small businesses going under, and 1099 contractors who sit idle. It's not you, it's the economy.

    Good luck.
    Husband diagnosed with NSCLC Stage IV in 3/2005. Fought & lived over 2 1/2 years with multiple lines of treatment.

    Post describing our journey: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.ph...er=asc&start=0

    Left my embrace to live with our Heavenly Father in October of 2007 and now breathes with ease forever. I will miss this gentle, giving soul with the easy smile for the rest of my days, but have faith we will be together again. He's just getting a little break from me!

  4. #4
    I'm sorry to hear that you've had such a difficult time. When I was looking for a job, I had similar results, but when I actually relocated and could put a local address on my resume, I found that I got a lot more responses. I think some employers tend to think prospective employees are just fishing if they are applying from a distant location. If you show that you are committed to a location, it may help. Also, do some research on what types of jobs you can get with your degree. My school provided me with this LINK REMOVED
    Another thing you should also consider is going back to school. I know of a lot of people struggling in their job search, and many of them decide to get their master's instead. Check out my website, LINK REMOVED AS PER FORUM POLICY. PLEASE READ THE RULES FOR NEW POSTERS AND COMPLY. should help you get started with finding the right program for you. Hope this helps. Good Luck!
    Last edited by Didee; 04-06-2012 at 03:04 AM. Reason: POLICY VIOLATION. PLEASE PM THIS POSTER IF INTERESTED


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