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!