Returning To Work After Cancer Treatment
Scheduling the work :
Survivors can talk to their employers and let them know that you are planning to resume work. Discuss your job role, your availability, flexible timings, extra breaks, time off for hospital appointments, job sharing, etc., that might help in dealing with the challenges of the job. Survivors can request their employers to assign them specific duties that do not tax their energies. This is essential because a cancer survivor requires time and effort to resume work responsibilities. In line with this, an employer may be requested to restructure a job profile, grant permission to a survivor to work from home, implement re-training and refresher courses for a returning survivor, adjust workplace policies to accommodate a survivor, and so on. Besides, the employer may consider employing rehabilitation counselors who can help cancer survivors to re-adjust psychologically to the demands of a professional working environment.
Dealing with discrimination at the workplace :
Workers and support staff may face discrimination, and that might impact the reintegration of a cancer survivor in the workplace. This may hurt the sentiments of the cancer survivors. Therefore, survivors can contact human resources professionals to ward off any perceived or real discrimination at work. They can document any incidents that point to discrimination by noting the time and place of certain interactions and sharing the same with the human resources department. Further, survivors could take the initiative to retain paper copies of their work evaluations and comments from supervisors or work managers. Such a stance enables cancer survivors to defend their actions if
any situation arises in the future.
Equality at the workplace :
Survivors are entitled to equal opportunities and balanced performance evaluations at the professional workplace. Such individuals should discover and engage with relevant laws and expert advice in a bid to safeguard their rights and entitlements. Survivors should also aim to fulfill their responsibilities at work and discharge all duties expected of their position. Additionally, they must remain aware of their rights and defend these in the face of any unfair challenges.
Coping with stress :
Stress is common in the workplace, and one must learn to cope up with it. The returning employee should take maximum efforts to re-adjust at the workplace. This can be accomplished by seeking permission to work fewer hours, taking breaks from the rhythms of work, sitting on comfortable chairs, carrying medication in designated containers, creating a small support group at the workplace, etc. Also, cancer survivors must remind themselves to take deep breaths, avoid anxiety in any form, re-schedule work patterns with permission from their mentors and supervisors, delegate tasks, etc. Such actions enable faster recovery and empower survivors to re-integrate better into the
Accepting help from co-workers :
Being An open mind and a positive attitude can empower the cancer survivor to handle their role better. In line with this, survivors should accept help and assistance from co-workers, engage in conversations, apply themselves to bring about useful solutions to work problems, engage with managers and supervisors, speak to counselors, etc. Further, they must plan before conversing with people about their medical condition; such planning should help safeguard confidential information about a survivor's state of physical and mental health. Essentially, higher levels of interaction can contribute positively to a complete reintegration; this is necessary to ensure a long-term
professional career after cancer treatment.
These ideas and suggestions must be considered when cancer survivors seek to pursue meaningful employment in the aftermath of medical treatment. Members of the immediate family, friends, colleagues, and co-workers can form an informal network to support survivors' return to the workplace. Such support can assist survivors gain strength in their minds and participate in the regular flow of events at the modern workplace. Returning to work after cancer treatment is not always easy. But, with careful planning and openness, work can be a source of pride and socialization again.
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