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How To Identify Your Ideal Job

What Job Is Best For Me?

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When considering any job, think about the following:

  • Does it have the health benefits you need?
  • If you are in treatment, how will it affect:
    • Your ability to work? 
    • Your work schedule?
  • What are the mental and physical demands of the job?
  • What parts of a job for which you are fit can you not do? 
    • Would you be able to do them if you received an accommodation that would not place an undue hardship on the employer? For more about accommodations, see the document in "To Learn More".
    • Is the employer known to be flexible? Ask around to find someone who has worked for the employer.
  • What you would really earn per hour, something we call True Net Pay. (See the document in "To Learn More").
  • Does it fit with your self identity? (A job can be an important reason to get up in the morning).
  • Have your priorities changed now that you see the world through diagnosed eyes? 
    • If you haven't thought about this before, this is a good time to think about it. 
    • The nonprofit organization, Cancer and Careers offsite link has coaches who will help you figure out what you want to do, and how to get there. They work for you for free.


If you know exactly what you would like to do and what type of position you are looking for, and it's not affected by your health condition, then go to it!

If, on the other hand, you are not quite sure what you would enjoy doing, there are a number of resources that can be of assistance.

What Color Is Your Parachute? And Other Books

The classic text on the subject is What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles. It's well worth your time to read through it. At the very least consider the author's suggestion that you take as much time as necessary writing an article entitled "Before I Die, I want to…." Don't be surprised when non-work goals creep in to your thought process -- allow it to happen. According to career change experts, the more your dreams come to the surface, the more likely you are to find the right job.

In Do What You Love,The Money Will Follow, Marsha Sinetar suggests that you focus on what you enjoy doing. If you enjoy doing something, the odds are you do it well -- an excellent combination for excelling at a job.

Internet Sites

You may also find guidance at the following three web sites which were developed by the U.S. Department of Labor. The sites provide information and resources for educational opportunities, career exploration and job hunting. They also contain numerous other resources, often listed by state:

You can find free surveys and tools as well as fee based surveys and tools at The Riley Guide: offsite link

State-sponsored career centers

State-sponsored career centers offer free testing and career counseling. You can find a center near you through: offsite link

Career Coaches And Counselors

Career coaches will help you identify your marketable skills, define your life and career goals, and then create a game plan to help you reach them. Personal coaches act as a combination of job advisors and lifestyle therapists. They address all aspects of your life. Be cautious in selecting one. No degree or license or professional certification is required. One place to start your search is to obtain referrals from the International Coach Federation, offsite link or call 888.236.9262.

You can also find coaches at:

As an alternative, consider undergoing aptitude and skills tests with a professional counselor. Look in your local yellow pages under "Career and vocational counseling."

Non-profit Organizations

Consider contacting a local disease specific non-profit organization for information on any back-to-work programs they may offer -- including career exploration seminars.

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