How I Explain That Gap In My Resume

How I Explain That Gap In My Resume

Anusuya
Author
Anusuya
Author

Anusuya Mukherjee

9 months ago at 7:28 AM

Anusuya Mukherjee reflects on her experience as a cancer caregiver and the difficulties she encountered when explaining gaps in her resume due to her caregiving responsibilities. She expresses frustration with employers who lacked understanding and provides examples of the challenges she faced while balancing work and caregiving. Mukherjee encourages individuals in similar situations to embrace their experiences and not let them undermine their abilities, emphasizing the importance of finding supportive managers.

As I have become more active on professional platforms, I have come to realize that it is a much different world when you are someone who has taken care of cancer or has dealt with cancer firsthand. It seems as though you need a navigator, someone who seems not to know what cancer is (fortunately!).

It has been a tough time for me when I got to experience cancer by looking after my father, people don't hand you a map or navigation tools as to how you have to deal with all of this information, but at the same time, it feels unfair, as we all have this concept of a “path” and somehow, it feels like I got robbed of that.

Explaining to a recruiter how there are multiple job changes because your previous employer didn't understand that taking care of a cancer patient is a full-time job, but that doesn't mean that you are able to handle both. I have short “stints” in my resume, I put “stints” in quotation marks because that's what recruiters call it. These “stints” are times when employers gave me excuses.

“You are required to attend meetings from home”, I’m sorry if I attended my meetings from the hospital because my mom was unable to understand the paperwork.

“You don't seem so focused on the meetings” I’m sorry, I have taken the notes and have given the said task, it's just that I kept an ear for when my father went to the bathroom as his head would get dizzy from the chemo he was taking at the time so that my mom can cook lunch.

A lot of people would tell me not to mention the fact that I was a cancer caregiver as that would make recruiters “anxious”, but after getting a good earful from some previous employers, I made it a regime to explain that yes, I had a father who was battling stage 4 prostate cancer. 

I am not ashamed anymore to explain my short “stints”, I was there and I did what I had to. Nor am I embarrassed about my “stints” today as there are people who understand this position.

I had a manager, who told me that as soon as my tasks were complete that I shouldn't stick around and that I should be with my parents. She understood why there were days that I was flustered or lost, but still encouraged me to work. Lastly, she was the person who explained that I was capable and that my battle was more important.

Remember, you are in a different path than most people and you are still the same capable person you were before you had cancer. Don’t let anyone sway you.

2 comments

Last activity by Dr. Soumik Banerjee

Anonymous

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Dr. Soumik Banerjee

I hope your parents are well now. Read your article after a long long time. Keep up the good work.

0 Replies
L
Lindsay Smith

Thanks for posting this, it's a topic we need to talk more about!

2 Replies

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