JOB SEARCH / NOV. 28, 2014
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How to Find Work While Dealing With a Long Term Medical Condition

If you suffer from a chronic or long-term medical condition, you may worry that it will be very hard to find a job. After all, who would want to hire someone who is chronically ill or unable to work as hard as the other professionals around, right?

Don’t let your medical condition shake your confidence or stop you from getting a job! You may need to tailor your job search to your health, but you’ll find that it is possible to find good employment even with a medical condition.

Tailor Your Job Search

When you are on the job hunt, think about your medical condition:

  • Does it stop you from working full time? If so, you may want to consider looking for a part-time job.
  • Does it require that you spend hours away from the office every week? If so, you may want to consider a job that offers flexible hours or a shift schedule.
  • Is it recommended that you stay at home thanks to your medical condition? Consider freelance work or any work that you can do on a telecommute basis.

Just because you are getting a job, that doesn’t mean you need to get the type of job that everyone else has. You can still earn money without getting full-time employment and working at an office for 8 hours a day.

Tailor your job search to find jobs that will give you more flexibility. You may never need to disclose your medical condition to your boss simply because it won’t affect them at all. If you can find flexible jobs that won’t be affected by your health, it’s worth it!

Do You Need to Inform Your Employer?

If you suffer from a long-term medical condition, there may be no need to disclose this information to your employer. They are not permitted to ask about the medical condition thanks to the "Americans with Disabilities Act", and you are under no obligation to inform them UNLESS it will affect your job performance.

Two instances when you would need to disclose this information would be:

  1. If you asked your employer to grant you reasonable accommodation. According to the "Americans with Disabilities Act", you can ask your employer for reasonable accommodation, which includes things like wheelchair ramps or a handicapped stall in the bathroom. If you ask for these accommodations, you will need to give them a reason why.
  2. If you need leave from work due to health concerns. If you need to undergo special treatment or have a surgery, your employer has the right to know why they are giving you leave from work. According to the "Family and Medical Leave Act", you will need to inform your employer if you will be absent for more than the legally allowed "sick days".

Ask a lawyer for help if you’re not certain how to proceed in the situation. He may advise against disclosing your disability to the potential employers, or may actually recommend it. Many companies need to fill quotas of people with disabilities, and it could actually increase your chances of getting the job!


Image Source: Healthnetpulse

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