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Old 04-03-2009, 05:24 PM #1
AaHaA AaHaA is offline
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Default MS and employment...

Hi all!

I was diagnosed with MS a bit over a year ago. I graduated from grad school this past December, and I'm deep in the job hunt...

My question is, have any of you used "diversity" to get a leg up in the hiring process? I know the Feds have hiring programs (Schedule A), but I'm hesitant to use them for fear of being "labeled" or approached with pre-conceived notions about my condition, or, even worse yet...my qualifications and professional abilities.

My neuro says to stay away from disclosure and that I'm not disabled. But, I need a job, and I'm beginning to consider these options as a way to help get a gig. Does anyone have experience (pro or con) they could share that might help me with this decision?

Thanks!

All best,

Me
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Old 04-03-2009, 05:53 PM #2
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AaHaA, welcome to NT. I don't have any work related answers since I am a carepartner, but I am sure others will come along with their experiences.
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:37 PM #3
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In terms of getting hired, my take would be that you have nothing to gain and everything to lose by disclosing your MS. Considering that managers know what our condition would do to their health plan costs, it's a good way to assure that you won't get the job. In fact, I wouldn't even consider it until you have the job and you're off probation. Even then, as long as you're high functioning, I still can't see what would be the perk of mentioning it.

It's possible if you're applying for a federal or state job, the diversity angle might help you but in all honesty, I think with most smaller and or private sector agencies, the best way to not get the job would be to mention your MS.


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Originally Posted by AaHaA View Post
Hi all!

I was diagnosed with MS a bit over a year ago. I graduated from grad school this past December, and I'm deep in the job hunt...

My question is, have any of you used "diversity" to get a leg up in the hiring process? I know the Feds have hiring programs (Schedule A), but I'm hesitant to use them for fear of being "labeled" or approached with pre-conceived notions about my condition, or, even worse yet...my qualifications and professional abilities.

My neuro says to stay away from disclosure and that I'm not disabled. But, I need a job, and I'm beginning to consider these options as a way to help get a gig. Does anyone have experience (pro or con) they could share that might help me with this decision?

Thanks!

All best,

Me
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Old 04-03-2009, 07:22 PM #4
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It never occured to me to mention my MS to an employer, but then I was in remission a good part of my young life. didn't even disclose it when it was obvious that I could no long hold a full time job.

My advise would be the same to you unless you don't think you can handle the stress of full time work....then I would take advantage of all the perks you can get.

Good Luck to You..
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:26 PM #5
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I think it's a very personal choice but one that should be considered very, very carefully. I do not disclose because I know that in my situation it would adversely affect the chances of me being employed. There are a lot of misconceptions associated with this disease -- I really don't think most people understand it unless/until they get it themselves or know someone with it.

IMHO, if you choose to mention it, you are acknowledging that it is an issue. So if you are capable of working and do not need any special accommodation because of your illness, why mention it?

Good luck to you on your job search!
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:43 PM #6
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It's not about MS but I was not even considered for an assistant head nurse job because I was pregnant. They said that they couldn't be sure I would be coming back to work after the delivery. I know I could have appealed but I figured if I was going to be part of the management team on a unit and I was only given the job because I appealed for it that I just didn't want the job.
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Old 04-04-2009, 01:43 PM #7
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Unfortunately even once you are hired it can become a sticky situation if you need accomodations down the line. Of course no one is going to say you weren't hired or were fired because of MS but imvho it still happens. The other thing is that as someone pointed out we aren't disabled unless we are disabled so to the best of my knowledge just having MS doesn't equal disability.

I only disclosed during my employment physical, after getting the job offer in writing because I was going on their health insurance plan. If they followed HIPAA no one other than HR and the employee health office should know. I have no plans to tell anyone else on my job unless it becomes an issue.
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Old 04-04-2009, 03:44 PM #8
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Best of luck with your job search, AaHaA.

I can only tell you what I did. My last job, I worked there for an entire year. Then, during my job performance review, I told my supervisor about my MS. I didn't want the higher-ups to know about my MS until I knew that my position was safe in the company.

Everything was fine after my disclosure and I ended up working there for nine years, until my MS made it impossible for me to perform my job.
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Old 04-04-2009, 09:55 PM #9
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i had been working in a local hospital for 18 yrs. i showed sx's and people knew i had been dx'd with MS. it became more difficult for me to work and i had to resign my position.

BUT, i know in hindsight that i was targeted and documentation was being written up about my work. they were trying to get me out.

i wouldn't recommend disclosing. especially when you're trying to get hired.
and especially if you're not showing overt sx's. IF you have problems after you're hired you have time to evaluate IF you should tell. and, it's against the law to discriminate. but, that won't stop and employer. they know how to get around it.

my feeling is that once you tell anything you can't take it back. so think carefully.
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:24 PM #10
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What a tough call.

But first congratulations on your studies!

I know here in NC an employer can't legally ask you about your health issues and ailments. (It may be in every state?) And as far as being 'labeled'... HA!

Sure I know what you mean but if it helps you get a job, career, support yourself and family, pay bills and make it so you don't have to eat out of a dumpster, I say use it to your advantage.

Employers only need to know so much. I'm not saying be devious or a liar, but once you're in the door your work ethic and job performance will speak for you.

But that's just me.

I am the MonSter that MS fears.
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