Returning to work after being treated for a brain tumour is challenging and can be very difficult from an emotional perspective. I personally found that the hardest thing for me was learning to accept that I no longer had the abilities I once had. Thanks to radiotherapy I went from being someone with a fairly high IQ and excellent memory, a strong ability to absorb data efficiently and effectively, with the capacity to process information quickly, to someone who was easily confused, had a terrible short term memory and was much slower at understanding new tasks. Whilst this improved to a degree, as I began to use my brain more, I have never recovered my former ability. This for me was, and still is, incredibly frustrating and I would often work myself up and get stressed out over the fact that I no longer had all my prior capabilities. Stressing about it of course doesn’t help and I would advise anyone in the same situation to avoid getting at yourself about something that is out of your control. This, of course, I realise is sometimes easier said than done. I eventually decided that continuing on the career path I had once followed with ease was no longer a healthy option and, further to being signed off with stress, resigned my position.
After torturing myself by trying to go for positions that I formerly would have found a walk in the park, I eventually realised that I needed to take a different route and got in touch with the Disability adviser at my local job centre, who referred me to Remploy, a recruitment company who assist those with disabilities to find work with sympathetic employers. This I found was by far the best way to find employment. It meant that I was able to find an employer that was understanding and aware of my abilities and also my weaknesses.
My advice to anyone in a similar position: speak to your local job centre and ask to be assigned to a Disability adviser. They can then refer you to a local disability recruitment service that will be able to help and advise you through the recruiting process. You will find this far less painful than trying to apply by the usual methods.
Advice and Support
You will find further support and employment advice at the following links:
Headway – Returning to Work
Macmillan – Your Rights