Making decisions about working

When you are diagnosed with cancer and throughout treatment, you may feel overwhelmed by all the decisions you have to make. Weighing up whether to continue working, have a break or retire may be difficult.

In this section we discuss your employment options and the factors you may consider when making a decision. Try to avoid feeling rushed. Although things may seem to be happening quickly, there is usually time to make an informed decision.

If you are having trouble deciding what is important to you, make a list of reasons for and against. If you are overwhelmed, it may help to talk to family, friends or a counsellor to clarify what you want. You may also want to seek input from your doctors.

Pages in this section:


Reasons to work

Some people need to keep working for financial reasons, but work can also:

  • be enjoyable, stimulating and rewarding
  • give you a chance to socialise and decrease your sense of isolation
  • help you maintain a sense of identity
  • develop your skills, creativity and knowledge
  • keep you busy and get you out of the house
  • keep you in contact with friends and colleagues who can offer regular support
  • provide a purpose and feeling of accomplishment
  • provide a routine, which is important to some people.

This information was last reviewed in January 2017
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