Working when your parent has cancer
- However, it is wise to let your Human Resources manager or supervisor know. That way you won't have to keep making excuses when you have to attend appointments with your parent or are having a bad day.
- Also, you might need to take time off at some stage when your parent is undergoing treatment. Not everyone needs to know everything, but you may be pleasantly surprised at how supportive your workmates can be when you tell them.
If you start to experience challenges at work because of your parent's cancer, promote some changes that will make it easier for you to keep working. It might help to:
- have more flexible working hours
- be able to work from home
- temporarily lessen your workload from full time to part time
If you need help explaining things to your employer, ask the appropriate member of your parent's medical team to call them or contact a cancer support agency for assistance.
You might have access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) where you can phone a trained professional for counselling to help you deal with what's going on at work and in life.
You may also be eligible for carer's leave and other help. Find out what rights you have from your company, a cancer support agency, a lawyer or workplace relations.
Looking down the track
- Your parent's cancer may affect your health and wellbeing, both physically and mentally. If you're interested in an industry that has certain physical or mental requirements (for example entering the armed services) you should find out if there are any implications on that.
- You can get information from a careers advisor or from an industry representative.
- It might not be possible to do exactly what you had in mind, but don't be discouraged. Sometimes career aspirations change out of choice during a cancer journey – because your outlook on life and what's important to you changes.
The world is full of options and possibilities. It's just up to you to explore them.
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