Finding work after diagnosis.


I'm Simba, I'm looking to return to work after my diagnosis and being labelled vulnerable during Covid-19.

I've applied to trainee jobs in Photography, graphic design, Artworker and digital marketing but got nothing so far.

It was during treatment that made me realise how much I want to pursue a job in the creative industry/sector. I know thatll be a job I'll love to be in. Not just go to a job for the sake of a paycheck.

I do have a background in retail, as fun as it was. I want to move from that industry and into the creative sector. I have a degree in photography,be nice to actually use it and not waste it? 

I'd appreciate any help or tips.


Take care 


  • Hello

    Thank you so much for contacting us.  My name is Rachel and I am a Work Support Adviser on Macmillan’s National Support Line.  It is great to hear that you are now in a position to start looking for a new job and it sounds like you have identified the sector in which you would like to now pursue a career.

    It would be useful for you to explore the support that the following organisations can offer you, depending on where you live:

    These organisations provide free and impartial careers advice, information and guidance to help you in searching for the right role, including information on how to develop your existing skills and well as learning new ones.

    Simba, I also wanted to make you aware of your protection from disability discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 or the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (if you live in Northern Ireland) following your cancer diagnosis. These Acts define a cancer diagnosis as a disability and apply both in the workplace and during the recruitment process.   Under these Acts you should not be discriminated against for any reason related to your cancer and the Acts also allow you to ask for reasonable adjustments to be made to help you overcome any substantial difficulties you may face due to it.

    It is important to remember that when recruiting, employers should be looking for the best candidate based on their personal qualities, skills and qualifications based on the requirements of the job specification.  Applicants should not be asked questions about their health unless it is a qualification for the role or for monitoring purposes.

    In Northern Ireland, an employer can ask job applicants about their health but the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 states that they cannot discriminate against the because of their disability.

    Under the Data Protection Act 2018 you have the right to medical confidentiality. Whilst it is important not to lie to a potential employer, it might also be useful to know that when you do start applying for jobs, you do not have to reveal your cancer diagnosis unless you wish to do so.

    Some employers actively try and recruit disabled people. If an employer is Disability Confident, they commit to being inclusive and offering disabled people an interview if they meet the minimum job criteria, so it can be advantageous in this instance to disclose your diagnosis. It may be useful to see if any prospective employers are part of the scheme when you are ready to start your new career.

    Once you have been offered a job, an employer can ask about your health and it is advisable to be honest. If the employer has a knowledge of your disability and withdraws the offer for this reason it may be discriminatory. The employer will also need to establish if you will need any support or reasonable adjustments in the future. Remember that under the Equality Act 2010 and Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (if you live in Northern Ireland) an employer has a duty to provide reasonable adjustments to help a disabled person at work to enable them to carry out the job and to ensure they are not at a disadvantage in the workplace.  An employer would only have a lawful duty to provide reasonable adjustments if they have a knowledge of your disability.

    I have attached a link to our booklet “Your Rights at Work’”, which explains more about your protection in the workplace.

    I hope the above information is helpful to you and I wish you every success in your search for a new job.

    Kind regards

    Rachel, Work Support Advisor 

    Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email.