Getting into or back to work
For a variety of reasons, it can be hard to get into work after cancer treatment, perhaps because qualifications are unfinished or you have changed your mind about what you want to do.
Employers may notice a gap in your employment history due to your treatment. While you do not have to disclose the fact you had cancer, we have found that it is often better to explain the gap than not mention why it exists.
We encourage you to use your cover letter as an opportunity to discuss this gap and try to look at how your experience has made you stronger. The Equality Act (October 2010) makes it illegal to discriminate against someone who has had cancer when employment is concerned, whether it be recruitment, training or promotions. If you experience any discrimination then check if the company/organisation has the 2 ticks Disability Symbol and speak to Jobcentre Plus.
Employers might be concerned that you will need more time off work than other employees as a result of your illness or for appointments. A letter from your consultant stating your appointments might be useful to show how often these appointments will need to occur.
When writing your CV ask for advice from Connexions or the Jobcentre Plus advisors and ensure that you show any work experience or volunteering you have done since finishing treatment, as this will show a willingness to increase your skills and return to work.
Feeling discriminated in job interviews?
Employers should not be discriminating on the grounds of your cancer experience (Equal Opps Laws). However if you really believe you're being discriminated against then there are bodies you can talk to.
The Children’s Legal Centre or free helpline number 08088 020 008.
Equalities and Human Rights Commission - the main body which oversees discrimination. They also have an advice line.
Young people we've worked with have found that the best approach is to be honest about when you've had cancer and the impact it had on your work. Talk about the positive impact it had on your resilience, direction, aspirations, etc and don't shy away from it - show how it helped you stand out from the crowd!
Celebrity Photography Workshop
Six young people from the Royal Marsden Hospital in Surrey and Guys and St Thomas' in London, recently took part in a photography workshop run by celebrity photographers Amit and Naroop, where they got the chance to learn the tricks of the trade and to photograph one another.
The workshop ran all day and gave the young people an opportunity to see how professional photographers operate. Amit and Naroop gave the young people advice on what to think about when shooting other people and how to get the best out of your subject.
The young people then spent the rest of the day shooting one another to build up a portfolio for themselves. The day was finished off by each young person getting a professional photo shot by Amit and Naroop and a final group shot taken.
If you would like any further support, please contact the Education and Advocacy team.
Tel: 020 7612 0370
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