Job Hunting, Worth It or Not?
Finding a job is never easy. Finding one in today’s economy is even worse. And finding a job with a progressive neurological disease like Multiple Sclerosis is like adding insult to injury. I have had a lot of different types of jobs since I began working, what seems like many moons ago. In reality I’ve only been working about 10 years (some of which was part time during high school). I have worked in offices, sitting at a desk for eight plus hours a day. I have also worked in retail, which is a very physical job more often than not. I have even owned my own business that was both a physically and mentally daunting career path. As I have worked each job and learned from each situation that I have been in, something that has occurred to me more recently is that while living with MS we must be somewhat more conscientious of our career choices.
Anybody looking for work has to make considerations as to what type of job would work best for him or her, and what they would do well. Then of course there is the application process, which varies greatly depending on the type of employment. If you have mobility issues related to your MS, just applying to jobs may be daunting. If you have to apply door-to-door you may not be able to get around as easily or even apply for a job where you must do physical tasks regularly. Another consideration during the application process is what to tell potential employers (if anything) about your MS. For certain jobs, they may need to know, due to limitations in your abilities to do some of the work. By law, no employer can discriminate against you due to your disease, which means they legally cannot keep from hiring you just because you tell them you have MS. However, my personal experience has taught me that even though it is illegal, and unfair, many individuals will still find a way to keep from hiring you as they see a potential liability.
I have recently been in the job market myself. I have been having a pretty hard time deciding what the best type of employment would be for me. Since I have been out of college I have worked full-time jobs, sometimes even more than one job at a time. Now, being married, I have more choices. My husband works full-time and we can pay all of our bills on his salary alone. Which means, while I could still work a 40+ hour a week job, I have the option to work part-time and do some other things with my time if I’d like. We decided together that due to some health obstacles that have popped up, now would be a good time for me to go back to school. I was accepted into a fantastic business program at a local university and have decided to take my courses all online. That option means that I can work on my own time, and not stress about making it to class if I’m not feeling good. Initially I had this incredibly ambitious goal of working a management job while in school, meaning I would be going, going, going all of the time! After the first job fell through, I was upset to have to start looking again. As a family, we discussed what we should do and it was decided that I should only look for something part-time to bring in a little extra spending money for now. Both my husband and myself determined that school was more important and a better use of my time and energy right now.
It can be really difficult to decide what option is best for you and your family. My question is, when do you decide whether working is worth it or not anymore?
Does anyone else in your family have MS?