Working With MS: A Life Upheaved
Being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) is a very tumultuous event for a person to endure. Life becomes upheaved and decisions must be made for future life planning in order to continue to live a prosperous and happy life.
Having a job, for most people, is an essential tool for ensuring a stable and thriving life. Many people with MS feel an enormous amount of stress and insecurity when they think about their career futures.
Will I still be able to work and contribute in an unfettered way? How will I remain financially secure if I cannot handle being out of my home for 40 hours a week? What happens when I have an MS flare up?
The questions and uncertainties add up quickly. As a result, many people can get too caught up in trying to maintain a status quo and end up leaving the job market prematurely.
There are significant things to think deeply about and decide upon. Fortunately, progressive employment laws, technology, and job flexibility have really helped many people remain in the workforce for many, many years.
Yes, you can have a career to be proud of after you are diagnosed with MS!
Protecting Your Interests and Mitigating Possible Future Losses
Firstly, it is important you understand the law is on your side. The Americans with Disabilities Act is multifaceted and helps you to stay gainfully employed!
Secondly, and I am pulling from my own personal experience now, it is important to try to mitigate your losses by imagining your worst-case physical scenario and then reverse engineering a career that might fit into that circumstance.
Is it necessary to upheave the status quo in the best interest of preserving some kind of future apocalyptic personal scenario? No, not necessarily. I just like to approach my MS with the school of thought that luck favors the prepared.
Personally, I believe that the medical strides that are being made in regards to MS are coming mind-bogglingly fast. I also believe that technology is changing our working world so quickly that our opportunities and happiness with MS is completely different than it was in the nine years since I have been diagnosed.
The changes are going to continue to arrive and I welcome them all. I am just not capable of seeing what changes will be coming when, so I plan.
What Are Your Options?
The first and most comprehensive employment path I see for people with MS is any job that is part of the ‘thinking economy.’ Many tech jobs, including computer programming, data analysis, quality analysis, project management, and program management, are a part of this.
These are great jobs that pay great salaries and can be worked either in the office or via telecommute.
Technology has brought many jobs out of the traditional office setting and into the comfort of your own home office. Many employers with traditional office positions are happily willing to consider telecommute as an option.
This is a powerful and progressive benefit that many companies are recognizing for viable employee recruitment and retention. Do not overlook this as a route to happy employment.
Other great careers to consider would be those that enable you to be self-employed. Being a lawyer, insurance or real estate agent, for example, would enable you to create a flexible schedule for yourself and while maintaining your edge in the marketplace.