Exceptional Qualities

Chronic illnesses usually are viewed negatively, particularly in relation to employment. Society makes a sharp distinction between being sick and not being sick. The general image of health and sickness has resulted in sick people being negatively labelled. It’s important for employers to realise that people with chronic health problems have unique qualities and additional talents to offer. This inner strength can be a great asset to society if only it could be properly recognised.

I recently came across a report on the exceptional qualities of people with chronic illnesses produced by a patient’s organisation in the Netherlands. It describes people with chronic illness as:

* being good at crisis intervention

* having stamina and persistence

* being good organisers

* being good at personal energy policy and setting priorities

* being good at time management

* having the strength and willingness to shift boundaries

* being more patient and tolerant

* having a strong sense of responsibility toward society.

Most employers would jump at the chance to recruit someone with the above qualities, however they may be worried that people with chronic conditions will always be “off sick”. The reverse is often the case. Chronically ill people know their responsibilities and can set clear boundaries for themselves. People who face adversity on an on-going basis become remarkably adept at finding solutions. They have the potential to become valuable employees whereby the advantages outweigh, if not surpass, the disadvantages. The biggest difficulty faced by many people however is finding a way to convince potential employers to consider employing someone who represents a risk.

Are you an employer who’s willing to take risks? If so, I can be contacted at biopsyreport@gmail.com

I’m ready when you are! πŸ™‚

15 Responses to Exceptional Qualities

  1. Grannymar says:

    I think the determination to triumph over illness and a sense of humour stand us in good stead for any situation.

  2. Bendygirl says:

    That sounds like an excellent report, and about time too! Good luck with the job hunting, you deserve it BG x

  3. Baino says:

    Steph I think you’ll find employers more reluctant to put on GenXers who have an abyssmal attendance record generally. I had an IT guy who took 30 days off in one year for petty illnesses, Interestingly, he never took more than 3 days at a time! Drove me crazy but he did his job, I’ve never had so many problems as now that we chose not to replace him. Chin up and don’t tell too much at interviews. Good luck!

  4. Steph says:

    Thanks folks!

    Do you think they’ll accept references from my blogging mates? πŸ˜‰

  5. Grannymar says:

    I’ll give you a reference anytime!

  6. Steph says:

    Thank you, Grannymar, for your vote of confidence.

    If I’m lucky enough to get to interview, I’ll tell ’em “Grannymar says!”

  7. Nick says:

    I’m sure that’s true, Steph, that people with chronic illnesses develop all those exceptional qualities to accommodate their illness. I work for a medical charity and I see evidence of that all the time. As you say, they’re qualities employers ought to leap on but then employers can be remarkably rigid and short-sighted. (Goodness the typeface in this comments box is tiny – good job my eyesight’s okay)

  8. Steph says:

    Thank you, Nick and welcome!

    You’re right – the typeface is a bit on the small side but at least the smilies work πŸ˜€

  9. Yeah! Brilliant post – you are sooooo right – well said, Steph!

  10. Steph says:

    Thanks! AV

    It’s good to know I’m not alone in my thoughts on this. People with all types of disability and disadvantage through illness, have unique talents to offer society.

    In recent weeks, the airwaves in Ireland have been awash with the scandal over the poor facilities for adult cystic fibrosis care. CF patients came out in force and proved everything that’s been said here. It was humbling to witness their grit and determination to live as normal lives as possible, against all the odds.

  11. Grannymar says:

    Well done Missus! You are shortlisted!!! Wahoo! πŸ˜€

  12. Feebee says:

    What a great report! Congrats on your shortlist nomination!

  13. Steph says:

    Grannymar – thanks for breaking it to me gently and Wahoo! to you too, Missus, twice over!

    Feebee – Welcome! and thank-you also for the congrats. I notice you’ve got two more reasons to celebrate yourself – and that’s not counting your precious cargo!

  14. baliwhat says:

    What great, resume-worthy qualities! It’s too bad you can’t chalk them up to job experience or something else attractive to an employer. But really, it seems like it shouldn’t matter how you achieved certain strengths, just that you have them!

    I just started job-hunting so I feel for you. Good luck!!

  15. Steph says:

    Thanks! BaliWhat

    I reckon you’ve got all of those qualities, and more. And you’re right, I need to learn to stick my chest out more and be proud of the strengths I can offer πŸ˜€

    The very best of luck with your own job hunting!

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