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 firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m ready when you are! 🙂