Work Work Work Work Work….
Working full time with a chronic illness is rough and if you cant then that’s okay. I also think whether your employer is supportive enough to make the necessary reasonable adjustments or indeed if those adjustments are reasonable. (I’m just about to read about that actually as despite being out of law school I’m still a law student at heart and law is power. Especially knowledge of employment law if you ever end up with a shitty employer.)
But anyway this blog post is going to give you some tips as to how to manage it if you’re at all in a position where you can. But firstly I’m going to say that if you’ve been in one place if employment for a while you are likely to be treated with more respect and given more leeway. Office politics. They are your best friend when in your favour and worst friend otherwise. If you see inequalities in those ways then unfortunately you’ll just have to deal with it if your coming back into the workforce.
On to the tips:
- Be honest with your employer/line manager but not too honest – this is an interesting balance to strike but essentially if your not honest they’re not going to know if you need extra support and if you’re too honest they’ll start thinking your not up to the job, not trusting you, being completely and utterly irritating and just cause major anxiety.
- Only apply for jobs you have a reasonable chance of being able to do successfully. I.e if you can’t stand up all day don’t apply for a job that requires that.
- Ask for the adjustments you need and if they don’t give them to you take it up to the employment tribunal (Not straight away cause that shit costs money. Understand why not and if you can’t go to citizens advice for advice as they will know more of the nitty grittys of the Equality Act 2010.)
- Work in a way that works for you as much as you are able to.
- Appreciate that your going to have good days, bad days, average days and everything in-between. This is okay and it doesn’t mean your failing.
- If you can help it, don’t work for an agency – I don’t know if it’s real or imagined but I definitely feel a disparity between me an agency worker and so called “real people” (the not agency workers). Also although agency workers are gaining more legal rights they’re not 100% on par yet.
- Health first – by this I mean please take a day if you need to. I am useless at this myself but I help others are less so. You need that time to rest and recuperate and you shouldn’t feel guilty for it.
- Meal prep, meal prep, meal prep. Otherwise you’ll be ordering a hell of a lot of take out.
- Believe in yourself, god, the universe etc. – I feel like people with chronic illnesses are often overly hard on themselves and overly critical. Try not to be, you can do this, you are enough. I believe in you.
- Final tip is to prioritise. You won’t be able to do all the things. Working full time is exhausting and so to successfully balance that with your other responsibilities, family, friends, hobbies, volunteering will be near impossible and will require successful prioritising and allowing time to rest.
I hope some of these were useful and helped if you’re in the position where you are currently working full time or looking to work full time whilst dealing with a chronic illness or two.