It may seem scary to get back to work once your cancer treatment is complete or nearly complete, but if you return to work with the mindset that it will be a positive step in your recovery, that will impact your attitude in a positive way as well!
When you return to work, it’s important to stay true to yourself. If you were an outgoing, talkative individual before your diagnosis, you might want to tell your coworkers about your recovery; but if you were more private to begin with, then it’s up to you to how much you want to talk about it.
Do you feel ready, internally, to be back at work? This is where support groups and one-on-one counseling can be very helpful! Look at what can improve your working situation, such as: When do you work better (morning or afternoon)? What workshops or seminars are available to you? What company events need to added to your calendar? It’s always nice to have support and help from those who have been in your same position.
Once you have decided these things, create a list of reasonable requests for your boss. These can vary from working at home to asking for a new work space to reassigning job responsibilities. Another important thing to remember is that you may be entitled to the benefits of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). If you work for a company that has 50 or more employees that includes 12 weeks of unpaid, but protected leave.
If you would like more information on returning to work post-cancer diagnosis, we encourage going to Cancer and Careers! They provide tools for managing treatment side effects, writing your resume, and knowing your legal rights in the workplace.
It’s time to get back out there!