"Dealing with a cancer diagnosis and treatment can turn your life upside down"
- Maggie Newton
You might feel:
- No longer in control
- Low in confidence, overwhelmed and lonely
- Uncertain about the future
- Like you’ve lost your identity
- Uncomfortable about your appearance
Coaching can help you:
- Develop practical and mental skills to help you rebuild your confidence
- Recognise and act upon your strengths
- Take action to achieve your goals
- Tackle your fears so that you can embrace life with a positive outlook
- Find your “new normal”
I went through my own cancer journey in 2014. For the first time in my life I felt very vulnerable and my confidence took a big knock. I used coaching as part of my support structure and have been able to move forward and do something I’d been thinking about for a long time – starting my own coaching business. Cancer has been described as “the gift in ugly wrapping paper”! It certainly made me realise that the small things didn’t matter anymore and gave me the opportunity to give my life the onceover and start doing the things I really wanted to do, rather than the things I felt I ought to be doing.
Coaching can help you reflect on your cancer experience and develop practical and mental skills to help you regain your confidence and move forwards. I’ll work with you to establish some short term and long term goals. For example, going back to work, improving your health and wellbeing, planning a trip, getting fit again or even undertaking the challenge you’ve always wanted to do! Then, through a structured process and using a range of questioning techniques, I’ll help you explore ways to achieve those goals and tackle your post cancer fears.
Post Cancer Workplace Mentoring
For anyone finishing their cancer treatment, going back to work is a big milestone. It indicates they are getting back on track, restoring some normality, routine and social contact, and can help in the overall recovery process.
However, going back to work can also cause feelings of nervousness and anxiety. Cancer often takes away a person’s confidence and they’ll be unsure how they will cope, how colleagues will react, what’s changed since they’ve been away and whether or not they can still do the job.
Every person has a different cancer experience, so physical and emotional reactions will vary from employee to employee. It’s therefore important to understand individual needs and jointly develop a return to work plan which takes account of these, for example, a phased return, reduced working hours, flexible hours or altered duties.
Employers or line managers may not always feel confident about how best to support employees returning to work after cancer and will have their own concerns. They want to be seen as caring and compassionate, yet at the same time need to consider the needs of other individuals within the workplace and the organisation as a whole.
How can an external mentor help?
As an external mentor, with experience of cancer treatment, I can help facilitate the sensitive return to work process by acting as a link between employer/line manager and employee. I can aid communication, support open discussion and provide a confidential space in which the employee can share their concerns until they have settled back in fully. I can also ensure that the return to work plan is flexible and regularly reviewed to allow for any changes, as recovery isn’t always straightforward.
Supporting employees returning to work in this way makes good business sense:
- Efficiency – valuable skills, knowledge and experience are retained to maintain productivity
- Saves time and money – recruitment and replacement costs are avoided and there is less potential for staff going off sick again
- Increased employee engagement – fosters a greater sense of loyalty from them and colleagues, with a positive impact on morale
- Enhanced image and reputation as a caring employer – more attractive to job applicants and customers
Employees also benefit from: less stress; reduced anxiety; feeling valued and supported; improved productivity; clear focus; and improved confidence.