Chronic diseases impacts people of all ages, in all careers, across all walks of life, but one commonality is that chronic conditions can make it hard to hold down a job, never mind maintain work-life balance. It can make you wonder if balance should even be the goal. Rather than thinking about managing your chronic disease and your job in terms of “balance,” it may be better to focus on finding the accommodations and care options that help you thrive. Chronic diseases shouldn’t force you to abandon your goals, but it may force you to advocate for yourself in new ways.
Deciding whether or not to disclose your health status to your employer is a big decision, but one advantage to explaining your situation is that it allows you to collaborate on modifications and encourage your employer to provide support. Most employers know that disability-friendly work environments are important, but few stop to implement such practices until an employee requests them. Yes, it’s an added responsibility but when you act as an advocate for yourself, you also pave the way for other disabled employees to have their needs met more easily.
Being Your Best Self – With Chronic Disease
When it comes to chronic conditions, forget balance. What every person with chronic health issues learns is that, when your body demands something, you change course – you act. But that also means you quickly learn to prioritize and that skill translates to your professional life. Though it may not seem like a strength at first, chronic diseases can make you a better employee.
Though chronic illness can present a number of different problems when it comes to remaining in the workforce, there are numerous supports available to you. So, don’t let yourself be discouraged if your health sidetracks your career. This isn’t the end – it’s just a chance to change how you approach your professional life.
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