Having just graduated college, I’m among thousands of my peers battling it out in the job hunt. Job application after job application. Interview (hopefully) after interview. It’s a tasking process, but we gotta make that cash somehow right? I know for me, some days I wake up and know that it will be difficult to just sit in a chair and put a smile on because of my head pain. It’s a tough situation to handle because people with chronic illness (and no money coming out of school with lots of student loans) have few options. We could either: A) Face the pain head on (punny?) and go to the interview and do the best we can all while putting on a smile for show. B)Call and postpone the interview, hoping that on the next date scheduled, we won’t feel so crappy or C)Take a hiatus in life and stop going to interviews because it’s painful enough just moving around…but yet be stuck with no money to pay the bills.
Lately I’ve been trying my best to do A but at times have had to falter to B. It’s OK to sometimes have to call and postpone with an interviewer. I struggled at first agreeing with that fact, but it’s life–things happen. For the most part, people understand that migraines are debilitating. And I tell them it’s a migraine because I don’t want them to have to listen to my 10 minute monologue on the background and nature of my life with chronic pain.
That’s one thing that I’m having trouble with facing being an entry-level candidate. Do employers need to know about my chronic pain beforehand, or even at all? Do I need to explain to them that while some days I feel pretty OK and will be able to go through the workday just fine, but some days I feel like someone is squeezing my brain to the point where I think it might actually defy all logic and burst from within my skull? How do employers see this issue? Is it something that will cause them to think twice about hiring me? Are people with chronic illnesses seen as liabilities?
It’s an answer I can only find from people who have experienced it before. That’s why I’m hoping this blog helps me find a community to help me face the questions that don’t always seem to have answers.
We all hope, that one day we can go to work and feel pain-free like the co-workers around us. We hope that we won’t have to take sick days for migraines when we could be using those days out on a lake or dipping our toes in the ocean water on vacation with family or friends. But we know for now, that it’s not the case. Hopefully we can find a happy medium and hopefully our employer (or future employers) can help us do that.