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CowTown
02-08-2006, 11:23 PM
Just wondering how other people handle telling employers or potential employers. Typically I don't tell anyone about CF until the opportunity presents itself. In the working world, I don't tell bosses until I have to go into the hospital. That's when I give me speech and say this is a routine thing I do every couple of years, and I'm okay...yada yada. I don't like scaring people I work with or makign them feel like I need sympathy so I never say anything until I need to. Before the time come when I need to explain, I usually tell people I have respiratory problems so I always cough. That usually gets them off back from asking what up with you?!

My question though is about handling employers. I'm starting up the interview process right now, and wanted to know if there's way to handle this better than I usually do. It never seems necessary to mention until I need to.

Also, does anyone out there own/run their own business (from home or otherwise)?

Thanks,
Kelly

CowTown
02-08-2006, 11:23 PM
Just wondering how other people handle telling employers or potential employers. Typically I don't tell anyone about CF until the opportunity presents itself. In the working world, I don't tell bosses until I have to go into the hospital. That's when I give me speech and say this is a routine thing I do every couple of years, and I'm okay...yada yada. I don't like scaring people I work with or makign them feel like I need sympathy so I never say anything until I need to. Before the time come when I need to explain, I usually tell people I have respiratory problems so I always cough. That usually gets them off back from asking what up with you?!

My question though is about handling employers. I'm starting up the interview process right now, and wanted to know if there's way to handle this better than I usually do. It never seems necessary to mention until I need to.

Also, does anyone out there own/run their own business (from home or otherwise)?

Thanks,
Kelly

JennifersHope
02-08-2006, 11:35 PM
Kelly,

I am in the same shoes as you, I am in the process of starting to interveiw, If I stay at my job, but take a new position within my department, I dont' have to worry, everyone knows and is so understanding.....but I am also putting my feelers out in other places that do not know... I have no idea.... I know if I say before I am hired .. it is as good as telling them I am a drug addict.... I won't get the job, but I feel hiring me without knowing, is dishonest and sneaky......and not a good way to start a new job off.

Granted, I will be working as a nurse, so it may be different..But I hope you get a lot of responses because I need to know as well...

Jennifer

JennifersHope
02-08-2006, 11:35 PM
Kelly,

I am in the same shoes as you, I am in the process of starting to interveiw, If I stay at my job, but take a new position within my department, I dont' have to worry, everyone knows and is so understanding.....but I am also putting my feelers out in other places that do not know... I have no idea.... I know if I say before I am hired .. it is as good as telling them I am a drug addict.... I won't get the job, but I feel hiring me without knowing, is dishonest and sneaky......and not a good way to start a new job off.

Granted, I will be working as a nurse, so it may be different..But I hope you get a lot of responses because I need to know as well...

Jennifer

65rosessamurai
02-08-2006, 11:55 PM
Very good question, Kelly.
SeanDavis had "skimmed" this topic, when he mentioned how his job interviews went.
I had done searches on the internet regarding the subject of telling potential employers about personal health conditions, and it states that it is not necessary to tell them, because it could lead to the decision of not being chosen, despite your qualifications may be much better than the person sitting next to you who's applying for the same job!
I also had personal experience with it, but the laws had changed since my experiences. If it happened again with the new laws, I'd probably be rich from at least two lawsuits I could have made!! In other past interviews, when I mentioned CF, and never got the job, I couldn't prove that not being hired was based on that, or some other reason. So, the idea was to not mention it in the future during interviews.
From one internet source (it was related to MSN and jobs, I think), it said that the health situation does not have to be mentioned until after hiring, as long as when the application which states the job requires a particular physical ability, that you are able to do that (No lying on the physical related questions, if you are healthy enough to do the job, then a "Yes" is not lying!).
On the contrary, some countries, such as Japan, do not have such labor laws to protect the handicapped, and such. I still went on my inteviews without any mention of my health issues (Health issues are also personal related, and does not have to be explained, or anything). The previous job I had, I was having health related problems (kept catching colds, getting fevers, etc.) and mentioned very little about my health because I figured any details was none of their business, but things like telling them I went to the doctor to check it out, or having a high fever was all I said, only to explain my reasons for taking the day off.
Now, in similarity, I asked regarding my need to return to the states to visit family, which is a week-long time investment. They were able to comment that pending my work ability for the first year, the time needed would be granted for the second year, and will cooperate with me. I see, in your case, taking a week or two off for the hospital might be like the need for vacation, either way, you are indisposed of during that time and they need your work to be covered somehow while you are gone.
I also would say as little as possible about my health issues, esp. to those who didn't understand why. Some cases, I would have to make up stuff so they wouldn't feel alarmed, so your approach, based on "case by case" sounds appropriate to me.
good luck with your interviews!

65rosessamurai
02-08-2006, 11:55 PM
Very good question, Kelly.
SeanDavis had "skimmed" this topic, when he mentioned how his job interviews went.
I had done searches on the internet regarding the subject of telling potential employers about personal health conditions, and it states that it is not necessary to tell them, because it could lead to the decision of not being chosen, despite your qualifications may be much better than the person sitting next to you who's applying for the same job!
I also had personal experience with it, but the laws had changed since my experiences. If it happened again with the new laws, I'd probably be rich from at least two lawsuits I could have made!! In other past interviews, when I mentioned CF, and never got the job, I couldn't prove that not being hired was based on that, or some other reason. So, the idea was to not mention it in the future during interviews.
From one internet source (it was related to MSN and jobs, I think), it said that the health situation does not have to be mentioned until after hiring, as long as when the application which states the job requires a particular physical ability, that you are able to do that (No lying on the physical related questions, if you are healthy enough to do the job, then a "Yes" is not lying!).
On the contrary, some countries, such as Japan, do not have such labor laws to protect the handicapped, and such. I still went on my inteviews without any mention of my health issues (Health issues are also personal related, and does not have to be explained, or anything). The previous job I had, I was having health related problems (kept catching colds, getting fevers, etc.) and mentioned very little about my health because I figured any details was none of their business, but things like telling them I went to the doctor to check it out, or having a high fever was all I said, only to explain my reasons for taking the day off.
Now, in similarity, I asked regarding my need to return to the states to visit family, which is a week-long time investment. They were able to comment that pending my work ability for the first year, the time needed would be granted for the second year, and will cooperate with me. I see, in your case, taking a week or two off for the hospital might be like the need for vacation, either way, you are indisposed of during that time and they need your work to be covered somehow while you are gone.
I also would say as little as possible about my health issues, esp. to those who didn't understand why. Some cases, I would have to make up stuff so they wouldn't feel alarmed, so your approach, based on "case by case" sounds appropriate to me.
good luck with your interviews!

RoyalPrince
02-09-2006, 12:29 AM
i feel it is a case by case basis but you have to feel the employer out first to see how they handle different things ie vacation days, sick leave, personal days, etc. i am not fond of letting people know about cf more because i don't want any extra attention, and its hard to explain to a stranger... usually they just ask if i have a cold or something and i say "sort of" or something similar... i was let go from a job i landed about a year ago for cf i believe..they didn't say that for obvious reasons but i'm pretty sure thats what it was... on the other hand 2 years ago i was offered a job with royal caribbean international and had to share the information at the point i was offered the position because i would be on a cruise ship working with the youth onboard... they told me as long as i passed the physical that everyone had to take i was fine... did that and everything worked out well... now here i am again on the job hunt and going through all of this stuff as well as you all... same issues, though i won't tell them up front but after i get offered a position i'll probably just ask about the personal days and sick leave and tell them why i'm asking is i sometimes have to go into the hospital for a few days but can work with the iv antibiotic once i'm out... i've found that most people are pretty understanding if approached in the right way and at a good time (not; "oh, by the way i'm going to be in the hospital tomorrow so i won't be here for a few days... sorry" and walk out leaving them short handed)...

well anyway i'm pretty vocal about this subject obviously.
good luck with everything, hope all goes well for you all...

RoyalPrince
02-09-2006, 12:29 AM
i feel it is a case by case basis but you have to feel the employer out first to see how they handle different things ie vacation days, sick leave, personal days, etc. i am not fond of letting people know about cf more because i don't want any extra attention, and its hard to explain to a stranger... usually they just ask if i have a cold or something and i say "sort of" or something similar... i was let go from a job i landed about a year ago for cf i believe..they didn't say that for obvious reasons but i'm pretty sure thats what it was... on the other hand 2 years ago i was offered a job with royal caribbean international and had to share the information at the point i was offered the position because i would be on a cruise ship working with the youth onboard... they told me as long as i passed the physical that everyone had to take i was fine... did that and everything worked out well... now here i am again on the job hunt and going through all of this stuff as well as you all... same issues, though i won't tell them up front but after i get offered a position i'll probably just ask about the personal days and sick leave and tell them why i'm asking is i sometimes have to go into the hospital for a few days but can work with the iv antibiotic once i'm out... i've found that most people are pretty understanding if approached in the right way and at a good time (not; "oh, by the way i'm going to be in the hospital tomorrow so i won't be here for a few days... sorry" and walk out leaving them short handed)...

well anyway i'm pretty vocal about this subject obviously.
good luck with everything, hope all goes well for you all...

thelizardqueen
02-09-2006, 12:38 AM
I don't tell employers that I have CF until I get the job. I found that the few times I told them about CF before the hiring process, I was not hired. After I've been employed for a few weeks I will tell them, and they are usually fine with it. I mean they can't fire me for no reason at all. That being said - once I've been sick too often, I find my employers are less accepting. I once had an employer who would call me at home once I called in sick, and demand me to come in even though I was sick. He said if he could make it to work sick, so could I. I told him otherwise.

thelizardqueen
02-09-2006, 12:38 AM
I don't tell employers that I have CF until I get the job. I found that the few times I told them about CF before the hiring process, I was not hired. After I've been employed for a few weeks I will tell them, and they are usually fine with it. I mean they can't fire me for no reason at all. That being said - once I've been sick too often, I find my employers are less accepting. I once had an employer who would call me at home once I called in sick, and demand me to come in even though I was sick. He said if he could make it to work sick, so could I. I told him otherwise.

Noam
02-09-2006, 03:33 AM
I have been working at the same (private, 2 owner company) place for 5-6 years now. Only this year did the owners know about my condition and it was only because I felt comfortable with them... They are basically like family to me and we talk about everything. Prior to this I never mentioned it to anyone and the owners know it is a confidential topic and do not share it with anyone else. I do lead a pretty normal life so it is easy to make sure other employees do not know. I run the place for the owners and so it is better that the others do not know about my condition unless they absolutely need to.

I would NEVER tell anyone about my condition in an interview unless it effected my ability to perform at the job. If CF does not limit you at your job, it doesn't need to be discussed.

at least that is my 2cents

Noam
02-09-2006, 03:33 AM
I have been working at the same (private, 2 owner company) place for 5-6 years now. Only this year did the owners know about my condition and it was only because I felt comfortable with them... They are basically like family to me and we talk about everything. Prior to this I never mentioned it to anyone and the owners know it is a confidential topic and do not share it with anyone else. I do lead a pretty normal life so it is easy to make sure other employees do not know. I run the place for the owners and so it is better that the others do not know about my condition unless they absolutely need to.

I would NEVER tell anyone about my condition in an interview unless it effected my ability to perform at the job. If CF does not limit you at your job, it doesn't need to be discussed.

at least that is my 2cents

littledebbie
02-09-2006, 03:34 AM
I only mention it after I have been hired. I usually try to be good on my health beofre starting a new job in case there's a probationary period I need to pass, usually 6 months. Once probation is over, then we have "the chat" usually by then co-workers have noticed my cough etc. and it seems fair to let them know they're not being exposed to some deadly new crazy strain of westpigeon virus.

littledebbie
02-09-2006, 03:34 AM
I only mention it after I have been hired. I usually try to be good on my health beofre starting a new job in case there's a probationary period I need to pass, usually 6 months. Once probation is over, then we have "the chat" usually by then co-workers have noticed my cough etc. and it seems fair to let them know they're not being exposed to some deadly new crazy strain of westpigeon virus.

luke
02-09-2006, 08:56 AM
Kelly,

I would advise not to tell your prospective employer that you have CF. I do think there is a time when they may "need" to know. Maybe if your sick and need to fill out FMLA paperwork or if the "sick policy" requires doctors excuses. I have always felt that once I prove myself as a good employee they can't terminate me legally. I still keep performance records just in case they ever try to "discriminate" against me I have proof that is isn't my performance but their bias.

In my situation I use a need to know basis....my employees know because I work with I.V.'s, but my boss and owner don't officailly know. I am sure someone has told my boss but she can't ask and I won't tell unless she does.

Luke

luke
02-09-2006, 08:56 AM
Kelly,

I would advise not to tell your prospective employer that you have CF. I do think there is a time when they may "need" to know. Maybe if your sick and need to fill out FMLA paperwork or if the "sick policy" requires doctors excuses. I have always felt that once I prove myself as a good employee they can't terminate me legally. I still keep performance records just in case they ever try to "discriminate" against me I have proof that is isn't my performance but their bias.

In my situation I use a need to know basis....my employees know because I work with I.V.'s, but my boss and owner don't officailly know. I am sure someone has told my boss but she can't ask and I won't tell unless she does.

Luke

Joanne
02-09-2006, 08:57 AM
I work for a career counseling agency and pre and post transplant they have been a terrific source of information.
I also have a web site, and chats and often the topic is "Work gaps, what do you have to tell etc" Below is an excerpt from a survey and discussion... you might find it interesting. The information was directed to those who had a lung transplant, but the same can be applied to CF.

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT:
RETURNING TO WORK AFTER LUNG TRANSPLANT

The recent week long series, held at Second Wind Chat Hour in March provided an opportunity for post lung transplant patients to talk about their experience with returning to work. For the pre transplant patient, it answered the question that most have on their mind: ?Can I return to work after lung transplant?? At Chat Hour, the overwhelming response was that you can return to work and many do. It also provided for many of us the chance to ask questions and attain ideas as to how to handle work situations.

In this article, I have put together the questions that were asked and some of the answers that were offered by a career counselor. In addition Beryl Callaghan, a career counselor, who lives in Canada, who is also the mom of CF children, provided me with some ?situational examples? that will help those looking for jobs.

A suggestion for further help is to visit your local library, inquire if they have a career department with job listings and reference material. Or check your local phone book under career counseling, and vocational services.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:

1) How do I explain a gap on my resume of 2-3 years, in an interview, due to transplant? Be prepared before your interview, as to how you will answer this question. Surprise, and coming up with an answer on the spot, is one of the most difficult aspects of an interview. If asked, do not give more information than what you?re asked for. A good explanation, and one that is truthful: is to tell them that you did have some surgery, but you are now able to return to work, with your doctors okay, and you are looking forward to the challenge of working and how you would find this particular company of great interest. In other words, emphasize your enthusiasm for returning to work. You do not have to reveal the type of surgery you had.
2) How do I handle fellow employees that are ill? If at all possible, avoid anyone that you may feel is infectious. Be aware of the signs of illness, running nose, sniffling, coughing, sneezing, or someone that says they have a headache or are sore all over. You may want to consider taking the day off if numerous employees are complaining or obviously sick. If you can, wear a mask and be sure to wash hands frequently and when touching any public area, be sure to wash your hands. Another suggestion is to have alcohol pads with you at all times and wipe phones, pens, pencils that may have a number of people using them. Computer keyboards, mouse, mouse pad and copier are other sources of finger touches. The best of all worlds is when you are able to talk about your immune suppression. Make others aware that if they are ill, to let you know, so that you can take the necessary precautions. Let them know you will prefer to avoid them until they are feeling better. Amazingly, once you make germs an open topic, and the knowledge of how important it is that germs not be passed to you, you will notice employees all using extra care to avoid sickness for themselves. You will also notice the use of alcohol pads by more and more people.
3) What questions are lawful in an interview, and what are unlawful questions? Disability: Lawful to ask: ?Do you have any impairments (physical, mental or medical) that would prevent you from performing in a reasonable manner in the activities involved in the job or occupation for which you applied?? Disability: Unlawful to ask: ?Do you have a disability? Have you been treated for any of the following diseases?? Follow up to those questions: If the job you are applying for requires you to lift items over a certain weight, and you are asked if you can lift that much ? it is a lawful question.
4) What should I do if I am asked a question I feel is not proper, or prying into my health, or they do ask an unlawful question? How do I still answer so that I may be in contention for that job? Many employers do not know what is lawful or not to ask. So it is possible they may ask the above questions. It may not mean that they would be a terrible company to work for but just that the interviewer is still old fashioned enough not to know what is politically correct. If you are really interested in the job, then you have to answer the question as best you can and make light of your illness so the employer can see you have a sense of humor. You can even say, ?I was hoping not to be asked a question like this?, laugh and say, ?but I do -----------!? After the interview, if you feel you would not like to work for this employer, this is your choice. If you do not answer the question, you will not be offered the job and if you walk out, you may also ruin your chances for another job, if this gets out to any other employer. It may mark you as being difficult, rude or not informed. Many employers ask questions that are not lawful to ask. Most likely they just do not know the difference of what is correct and incorrect to ask and many find interviewing a chore and like to get it over with as quickly as possible, so cut right to the chase. When this happens one has to be prepared to answer most questions. If you are asked something personal or sexist, then that is a different situation, and you may choose to walk out. You be the judge. As long as the question is not directed at something the potential employee feels is intolerable then it is best to answer. Even if you don?t get the job, at least you have the experience of a difficult interview and learn how to field these questions better for the next one. One never knows if you tell the truth with humor, you just might get hired.

SOME WORDS OF ADVICE FROM BERYL CALLAGHAN:

First, give as little information as possible on a job interview about personal things. How do you explain a 2-3 year gap in a resume? If you are not asked, don?t mention it. If asked, you can mention you had some health problems, but now you are doing great. A pregnant woman does not have to say she is pregnant when applying for a job. This is against the law to ask. So if you are ready to return to work, I am assuming at this point you are feeling well enough to work so just say you are fine, which you are. You do not have to say anything about what might be down the road, just as a woman does not have to say she will be missing work in 6 months to have a baby.

Do not tell your employer that you have Cystic Fibrosis (or other lung illness), or that you had a lung transplant, etc. as it not mandatory that you say that. My daughter never told any employers that she had any problems at all and when she had to go to the hospital, she would just say she would be missing a couple of days and would be back as soon as possible. It always worked for her and she never had any problem getting a job or keeping one when she did miss time. Everyone is allowed sick time in any job. Sometimes it has to do with ego as there are people, not many, who feel they have to tell everyone that they have Cystic Fibrosis (or other lung illness), and what they have gone through and expect a pat on the back that they are so brave to go back to work. Unfortunately most of these people do not get hired. This is the way employers protect themselves from people who will have absences from their job or waste the employer?s time teaching them the job and then find they will not be there to do it, much of the time. This may be the employers opinion as most do not know much about Cystic Fibrosis (or other lung illness), but as soon as they hear it is a possible fatal illness, then forget it, as far as employment is concerned.

So the main thing to remember is that no one has to tell the employer anything about their health problems, unless they are allergic to the environment, which they should know in advance and therefore would not be applying to work for that firm. Usually during a job interview the questions that are asked are ?What do you think are your best qualities for this job?? You tell them that you have always been interested in this type of work and you heard they are a great company to work for. If you had previous experience you say the same thing, that you love this type of work and have worked in the field before and hear they area great company to work with. Next they usually ask what qualities you have that you consider being detrimental (something to that effect). You always answer that you cannot think of any qualities you have that would prevent you from doing this job. Notice you say ?qualities?, which does not refer to health. So you do not lie, but you just leave out what you do not want them to know. This question is usually asked to find out how much self-confidence people have. If you tell them any qualities that are not good then they feel they have low self-esteem.

The interviewer will ask questions pertaining to the type of work you are applying for. So some research before going to an interview is worthwhile. It also helps to practice the interview with a friend in advance and have them ask questions and have your responses memorized so well that they seem natural. If you have access to a video camera, it is good to do it on camera so you can look at it and watch your body language and listen to your answers. This is great in helping improve your interview chances. You can call any company, which you think you may like to work for and ask if there are any jobs available as you hear they are a great company to work for and you very interested in working with them. Always give the company or employer a compliment. Usually they will say there are no jobs available at this time. You then say, ?would you mind if I came in and dropped off a resume and had a look at your operation in case there might be a job coming up in the future?? This is called interviewing the employer. Many employers like to have a chance to talk about their job or their company and will take ages to tell you about it. When you ask if you can have a few minutes of their time to see their operation and talk about their job, make sure you keep it no more than 20 minutes, even though most people will keep talking much longer than that, as it is human nature for people to talk about themselves and their work. If you stay too long then you have not lived up to your word of a few minutes and after you go they then realize they have spent too much time and are behind in their work. As long as you ask each time, before you call, if they mind, then keep on calling as then the employers feel you are interested in them, and if a job does come up, you will be the first person they will think of, as you showed so much interest.



STARTING A NEW JOB
To maximize your first days in your new position, consider the following recommendations.

Expect a period of adjustment. Be prepared for a period of transition that may or may not be all that comfortable for you. Whatever change you may encounter, recognizing that this transition may be at times a low rather than the high you expected is an important insight. Remember that it generally takes 3-6 months, sometimes longer, before you are up to full productivity.

Leave your baggage at the door. Regardless of your feelings about your former employer, your new co-workers really do not want to hear about any raw deal you believe you got, nor do they want to hear how much better things were there.

Get along with everybody. ?Chemistry,? ?interpersonal skills,? ?office politics,? ? call it whatever you like ? the ability to just plain get along with others at all levels of the organization will be prime indicator of job success in your new position. Start by understanding that, like yourself, your co-workers are going through a transition as well.

Joanne Schum
[email protected]

Joanne
02-09-2006, 08:57 AM
I work for a career counseling agency and pre and post transplant they have been a terrific source of information.
I also have a web site, and chats and often the topic is "Work gaps, what do you have to tell etc" Below is an excerpt from a survey and discussion... you might find it interesting. The information was directed to those who had a lung transplant, but the same can be applied to CF.

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT:
RETURNING TO WORK AFTER LUNG TRANSPLANT

The recent week long series, held at Second Wind Chat Hour in March provided an opportunity for post lung transplant patients to talk about their experience with returning to work. For the pre transplant patient, it answered the question that most have on their mind: ?Can I return to work after lung transplant?? At Chat Hour, the overwhelming response was that you can return to work and many do. It also provided for many of us the chance to ask questions and attain ideas as to how to handle work situations.

In this article, I have put together the questions that were asked and some of the answers that were offered by a career counselor. In addition Beryl Callaghan, a career counselor, who lives in Canada, who is also the mom of CF children, provided me with some ?situational examples? that will help those looking for jobs.

A suggestion for further help is to visit your local library, inquire if they have a career department with job listings and reference material. Or check your local phone book under career counseling, and vocational services.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:

1) How do I explain a gap on my resume of 2-3 years, in an interview, due to transplant? Be prepared before your interview, as to how you will answer this question. Surprise, and coming up with an answer on the spot, is one of the most difficult aspects of an interview. If asked, do not give more information than what you?re asked for. A good explanation, and one that is truthful: is to tell them that you did have some surgery, but you are now able to return to work, with your doctors okay, and you are looking forward to the challenge of working and how you would find this particular company of great interest. In other words, emphasize your enthusiasm for returning to work. You do not have to reveal the type of surgery you had.
2) How do I handle fellow employees that are ill? If at all possible, avoid anyone that you may feel is infectious. Be aware of the signs of illness, running nose, sniffling, coughing, sneezing, or someone that says they have a headache or are sore all over. You may want to consider taking the day off if numerous employees are complaining or obviously sick. If you can, wear a mask and be sure to wash hands frequently and when touching any public area, be sure to wash your hands. Another suggestion is to have alcohol pads with you at all times and wipe phones, pens, pencils that may have a number of people using them. Computer keyboards, mouse, mouse pad and copier are other sources of finger touches. The best of all worlds is when you are able to talk about your immune suppression. Make others aware that if they are ill, to let you know, so that you can take the necessary precautions. Let them know you will prefer to avoid them until they are feeling better. Amazingly, once you make germs an open topic, and the knowledge of how important it is that germs not be passed to you, you will notice employees all using extra care to avoid sickness for themselves. You will also notice the use of alcohol pads by more and more people.
3) What questions are lawful in an interview, and what are unlawful questions? Disability: Lawful to ask: ?Do you have any impairments (physical, mental or medical) that would prevent you from performing in a reasonable manner in the activities involved in the job or occupation for which you applied?? Disability: Unlawful to ask: ?Do you have a disability? Have you been treated for any of the following diseases?? Follow up to those questions: If the job you are applying for requires you to lift items over a certain weight, and you are asked if you can lift that much ? it is a lawful question.
4) What should I do if I am asked a question I feel is not proper, or prying into my health, or they do ask an unlawful question? How do I still answer so that I may be in contention for that job? Many employers do not know what is lawful or not to ask. So it is possible they may ask the above questions. It may not mean that they would be a terrible company to work for but just that the interviewer is still old fashioned enough not to know what is politically correct. If you are really interested in the job, then you have to answer the question as best you can and make light of your illness so the employer can see you have a sense of humor. You can even say, ?I was hoping not to be asked a question like this?, laugh and say, ?but I do -----------!? After the interview, if you feel you would not like to work for this employer, this is your choice. If you do not answer the question, you will not be offered the job and if you walk out, you may also ruin your chances for another job, if this gets out to any other employer. It may mark you as being difficult, rude or not informed. Many employers ask questions that are not lawful to ask. Most likely they just do not know the difference of what is correct and incorrect to ask and many find interviewing a chore and like to get it over with as quickly as possible, so cut right to the chase. When this happens one has to be prepared to answer most questions. If you are asked something personal or sexist, then that is a different situation, and you may choose to walk out. You be the judge. As long as the question is not directed at something the potential employee feels is intolerable then it is best to answer. Even if you don?t get the job, at least you have the experience of a difficult interview and learn how to field these questions better for the next one. One never knows if you tell the truth with humor, you just might get hired.

SOME WORDS OF ADVICE FROM BERYL CALLAGHAN:

First, give as little information as possible on a job interview about personal things. How do you explain a 2-3 year gap in a resume? If you are not asked, don?t mention it. If asked, you can mention you had some health problems, but now you are doing great. A pregnant woman does not have to say she is pregnant when applying for a job. This is against the law to ask. So if you are ready to return to work, I am assuming at this point you are feeling well enough to work so just say you are fine, which you are. You do not have to say anything about what might be down the road, just as a woman does not have to say she will be missing work in 6 months to have a baby.

Do not tell your employer that you have Cystic Fibrosis (or other lung illness), or that you had a lung transplant, etc. as it not mandatory that you say that. My daughter never told any employers that she had any problems at all and when she had to go to the hospital, she would just say she would be missing a couple of days and would be back as soon as possible. It always worked for her and she never had any problem getting a job or keeping one when she did miss time. Everyone is allowed sick time in any job. Sometimes it has to do with ego as there are people, not many, who feel they have to tell everyone that they have Cystic Fibrosis (or other lung illness), and what they have gone through and expect a pat on the back that they are so brave to go back to work. Unfortunately most of these people do not get hired. This is the way employers protect themselves from people who will have absences from their job or waste the employer?s time teaching them the job and then find they will not be there to do it, much of the time. This may be the employers opinion as most do not know much about Cystic Fibrosis (or other lung illness), but as soon as they hear it is a possible fatal illness, then forget it, as far as employment is concerned.

So the main thing to remember is that no one has to tell the employer anything about their health problems, unless they are allergic to the environment, which they should know in advance and therefore would not be applying to work for that firm. Usually during a job interview the questions that are asked are ?What do you think are your best qualities for this job?? You tell them that you have always been interested in this type of work and you heard they are a great company to work for. If you had previous experience you say the same thing, that you love this type of work and have worked in the field before and hear they area great company to work with. Next they usually ask what qualities you have that you consider being detrimental (something to that effect). You always answer that you cannot think of any qualities you have that would prevent you from doing this job. Notice you say ?qualities?, which does not refer to health. So you do not lie, but you just leave out what you do not want them to know. This question is usually asked to find out how much self-confidence people have. If you tell them any qualities that are not good then they feel they have low self-esteem.

The interviewer will ask questions pertaining to the type of work you are applying for. So some research before going to an interview is worthwhile. It also helps to practice the interview with a friend in advance and have them ask questions and have your responses memorized so well that they seem natural. If you have access to a video camera, it is good to do it on camera so you can look at it and watch your body language and listen to your answers. This is great in helping improve your interview chances. You can call any company, which you think you may like to work for and ask if there are any jobs available as you hear they are a great company to work for and you very interested in working with them. Always give the company or employer a compliment. Usually they will say there are no jobs available at this time. You then say, ?would you mind if I came in and dropped off a resume and had a look at your operation in case there might be a job coming up in the future?? This is called interviewing the employer. Many employers like to have a chance to talk about their job or their company and will take ages to tell you about it. When you ask if you can have a few minutes of their time to see their operation and talk about their job, make sure you keep it no more than 20 minutes, even though most people will keep talking much longer than that, as it is human nature for people to talk about themselves and their work. If you stay too long then you have not lived up to your word of a few minutes and after you go they then realize they have spent too much time and are behind in their work. As long as you ask each time, before you call, if they mind, then keep on calling as then the employers feel you are interested in them, and if a job does come up, you will be the first person they will think of, as you showed so much interest.



STARTING A NEW JOB
To maximize your first days in your new position, consider the following recommendations.

Expect a period of adjustment. Be prepared for a period of transition that may or may not be all that comfortable for you. Whatever change you may encounter, recognizing that this transition may be at times a low rather than the high you expected is an important insight. Remember that it generally takes 3-6 months, sometimes longer, before you are up to full productivity.

Leave your baggage at the door. Regardless of your feelings about your former employer, your new co-workers really do not want to hear about any raw deal you believe you got, nor do they want to hear how much better things were there.

Get along with everybody. ?Chemistry,? ?interpersonal skills,? ?office politics,? ? call it whatever you like ? the ability to just plain get along with others at all levels of the organization will be prime indicator of job success in your new position. Start by understanding that, like yourself, your co-workers are going through a transition as well.

Joanne Schum
[email protected]

CowTown
02-09-2006, 02:27 PM
Thanks everyone for your input! This really helps to hear. I hadn't even thought about the legalities of discussing health issues. I think I will keep on how I've been doing it, which is feel the situation out and explain when I think I need to. I work for myself as a graphic designer which is a much easier road for dealing with days off, but I also work occasionally for other design studios which is who I'm starting to interview with right now. I always make a point to prove myself and my work so that when I do have to leave for 2 weeks, they know I'm not trying to ditch or be lazy. I also bring my laptop to the hospital and work a little from there. It helps keep me entertained. Hopefully I get this new job and all goes well with the health sitch. Thanks everyone.

CowTown
02-09-2006, 02:27 PM
Thanks everyone for your input! This really helps to hear. I hadn't even thought about the legalities of discussing health issues. I think I will keep on how I've been doing it, which is feel the situation out and explain when I think I need to. I work for myself as a graphic designer which is a much easier road for dealing with days off, but I also work occasionally for other design studios which is who I'm starting to interview with right now. I always make a point to prove myself and my work so that when I do have to leave for 2 weeks, they know I'm not trying to ditch or be lazy. I also bring my laptop to the hospital and work a little from there. It helps keep me entertained. Hopefully I get this new job and all goes well with the health sitch. Thanks everyone.