Medical Conditions can add a layer of complexity to job search

Home » Medical Conditions can add a layer of complexity to job search

Medical Conditions can add a layer of complexity to job search

Times are tough enough in the current employment and unemployment market without adding a layer of complexity from a medical condition.

Whether the medical conditions are temporary or permanent, visible or hidden depends how you address it so it doesn’t present a barrier to re-employment.

Temporary conditions may include pregnancy, post operative recovery from surgery, or a broken leg or arm. In terms of pregnancy, if the female job seeker is into her second or third trimester it will be increasingly more difficult to secure employment. Though employers cannot discriminate based on pregnancy in the hiring process, there are a lot of unanswered questions for that prospective employer in terms of availability. Start date becomes fuzzy and time away from the job after birth is often unclear, all assuming there aren’t any pre-delivery complications. I often recommend that pregnant women, whenever possible, delay job search until after the baby is born, and child care is established.

In terms of the other temporary medical conditions job search activities may need to be postponed during recovery because often there are 3 main things that present barriers. One is time in general. Follow up doctors appointments and therapy are time consuming and take time away from job search. Mobility may also be impaired, so people may not be able to drive to interviews or networking meetings. And lastly if the job seeker is experiencing any pain, concentration may be affected, making it difficult to spend much quality time researching job openings or applying online. I often recommend people take the time they need to heal, and gradually re-engage in job search activities. Too much, too fast is counterproductive to both healing and job search.

Permanent medical conditions are a whole other story. Hidden conditions may include but of course are not limited to, heart disease, chronic pain, migraines, or mental illness. 1 in 4 Americans over the age of 18 suffer from a mental disorder: anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorder, ADD. Many of these conditions are well managed with medication and therapy however there are certain considerations during job search. People with mental health issues need to tune into when they have the best energy during the day so they can do key job search activities during that time. They need to understand the triggers. It may be early mornings, long days, lots of workplace distractions. Fit is essential both in terms of right culture and targeting jobs within their capabilities. Disclosing a hidden medical condition is not necessary during the interview process but being realistic about capabilities and limitations is essential.

There is no hiding a visible medical condition whether that is a hearing impairment, visual impairment or mobility impairment. The key for these job seekers is that during an interview is to talk about how in their work history they were successful whether it is with or without requested accommodations.

It is a highly competitive job market right now, understanding how to address a medical condition during job search will prevent it from standing in the way of re-employment.


About the Author:

Cultivating Careers was founded by Karen Kodzik, a Career Consultant who has worked with individuals in transition for over 13 years. Karen meets professionals at various points on their career path and works with them to gain a clearer sense of where they want to take their careers. Karen Kodzik holds a Masters Degree in Counseling with an emphasis in Career Development. Karen couples seasoned counseling skills with a solid business acumen. She has coached and consulted various levels of professionals across industries to successfully reaching that next point in their career.