Blogging with Parkinson's

A personal perspective on Young Onset Parkinson's

Working with Parkinson’s

9 Comments

Well… not quite yet. But, come Monday, I shall once again be gainfully employed – and, more pertinently, earning a wage. Full time.

I haven’t worked since well before my diagnosis with Parkinson’s, but my lack of paid employment has nothing to do with that condition. Instead, it has to do with having had a family and not wanting to work full time while they were young. But they’re both at school now, and I have managed to secure myself a suitable job. I would have preferred part time – but, again, that has more to do with the children than with the Parkinson’s.

In these times, anybody might find it difficult to get that elusive job offer. Returning to work after a family-oriented career break may not be unusual, but it certainly doesn’t ease the passage to employment. But it is right there on your CV – if you get to interview, there is no need to dither about mentioning it.

Parkinson’s, on the other hand, is trickier. Your symptoms may be under control. You may be certain that – at the moment – all will be well for you in the working environment. But you also know that that won’t last. You know that – eventually – you will struggle. Do you tell the potential employer at interview?

My innate sense of honesty insisted that I should. Common sense, knowledge of the law (I am under no legal obligation to mention it), nervousness, lack of an appropriate opening in the conversation and general absent-mindedness all said I shouldn’t. And… I didn’t. Not at interview. But I had a medical for this job (a novelty for me), and so that’s when I declared it. I was deemed fit for work (it’s a desk job; it might take a lot not to be fit for it), and I was in…

All of this means that I’m likely to be posting less, but I do intend to report back on how the job is going. At some point…

Incidentally, I wonder if any of my readers happened to see the issue of The Parkinson (Parkinson’s UK’s quarterly membership magazine) with  the article about work in it? (I think it came out in October 2011.) I was interviewed for that piece and, although I was sent the article’s text, I wasn’t actually a member at that time and so never saw the print issue!

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9 thoughts on “Working with Parkinson’s

  1. Best of luck with the new job tomorrow, hope you have a good day.

  2. I recently had to get a new job. I mentioned the Parky right up front and said in the same sentence that it didn’t currently affect my ability to do the job. I also waived any rights to benefits in the event of having to discontinue (or be “let go”) on health grounds – it seemed unreasonable to expect them to take that sort of thing on. They were fine with all of that.
    Good luck!

    • You have my respect, Paul. I admit to being on the verge of wimping out before the interview and, um, clean forgetting about it during the interview itself (where I got a bit passionate about cerain aspects of the job – maybe that’s why they hired me). I generally dislike interviews and usually get incredibly nervous, which excacerbates any tremor – and so increases the chance of being reminded and feeling the need to explain.

      My current problem is that my line manager (probably) doesn’t know. I’m not sure he needs to, but that isn’t all of the issue.

  3. Will miss the regular blogs!

  4. Great to hear about the new job – best of luck with it, I hope the first day goes well. Please email me on publications@parkinsons.org.uk so I can send you a copy of the article you appeared in.

  5. Good luck…you’ll be great! I’ll still look forward to your blog posts, even if they’re less frequent!

  6. Thank you, everyone. I’m still settling in (it’s a large company and there’s a lot to get used to). As far as the Parkinson’s goes, I’m mostly concerned about the relative lack of exercise. Of course, it doesn’t help when I wear smart new shoes that aren’t 100% comfortable…

  7. Hope your job is going well. It is hard to balance work and home. I fell and seriously injured my hamstring and haven’t been able to work much. I am older, self-employed, struggling to find the right work/home balance to manage my needs and my needs having Parkinson’s . I look forward to your blogs and appreciate them. Jeanie

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