Friday, June 27, 2008

Job or no Job?

So one of things I struggle with is deciding whether or not to work while in school. I'm a full time student and will graduate in May. Not only do i have to consider school work and time that is needed for that, but I also have to consider my health and taking care of myself. Because of post-transplant complications, such as chronic rejection, it is very easy for me to overdo myself. A lot of times my body cannot handle the stress of work and school and I end up getting sick.

But the other side of this is this: I LOVE to work and I like to stay busy. In addition, I do need income for various reasons. Because I'm still in school and because I'm still consider a "dependent" for health reasons, I am still on my parent's insurance until I am 25. Therefore, I do not have to work if I don't want to. But like I said, I love to work, and I want to be independent and earn my own money and be out in the "real world."

I'm a very good student, and balance my work life and school life pretty well in my opinion. I've worked each spring and fall semester since Fall of 2006. I have had the summers off though. I've actually had two different jobs, and they have been temporary ones, so coincidentally, they usually end either in December, or in the Spring. One of them has been with the CF Foundation. I have a HUGE passion and love working for them and actually consider it one of my callings that God has given me. I've had two different jobs there, but both have been temporary. I kind of describe it like being a "substitute teacher" but in the non-profit world. When they are short on staff, I usually step up and get hired to handle a certain event or certain things until they are fully staffed. This past Spring, I was hired to coordinate our local CF Great Strides Walk.

My other job that I started last Fall (temp job from August-December) is at a local stationary design company doing customer service work. I love the business world in addition to health-professions, and have a lot of good business-like qualities.My original major had been MIS: Management Information Systems, so I am also extremely knowledgeable with computers.

So my plan was to take the summer off (which so far it has been) then start a temporary job again at this Stationary company in August and work until December. I have an internship that will start in January or February, so I am not sure if I will be able to work or not. So this was going to work out perfectly.

I have a cousin (who is really like an Aunt, because she is my Mom's age) who is the office manager at this company. She called me today and offered me a job to replace someone who was leaving in the next two weeks. It kind of through me for a loop, because I didn't expect to start working this soon. However, I've thought it over, and have decided to go ahead and take the job. The job will be part-time (but probably still about 30 hours a week, which is a lot). I will still have my school clinical one day a week, so essentially, I will be "working" 5 days a week from here on out until at least December. In the fall, I will have 5 total classes, but the on-campus ones will be at night, with the exception of the clinical. Now this time, this job offer is not temporary, so if it works out, I can continue this job even after December. But I'm going to have to play it by ear and see what happens.

Not everyone agrees or likes the fact that I have "chosen" to work. I am not forced to work and my parents by all means would support me if I didn't work. So don't think that they are making me work or that I have to support myself. This is completely my decision. My transplant team also does not like the idea of me working, because they think it puts too much stress on my body. But I'm going to have to do it eventually when I graduate, right? A lot of CF patients are on disability or Medicare and don't work. However, I'm not and choose not too at the moment and have plans to have a full time job when I graduate and support myself without any government help. Things may change, but right now that is my plan.

I didn't have this transplant for no reason, and I believe that if I want to work, then I should be able to and that my parents and transplant team should help and support me (mentally..not financially). But I do totally understand their opinions, and in my situation, my health should be my first priority. And based on past experiences, I don't have a lot of room to talk.

I haven't posted about pneumonia yet, but last year, I had pneumonia 4 times, which interfered with me working and going to school. So I'm praying that this fall will be a great Fall, and I'll be able to make it through school and work without getting sick.

I know for some people, this may sound like a ridiculous post and a silly thing to worry about it. But for me, it's actually a hard decision and I don't want to jeopardize my health. But then again, I don't want to sit around all day and not even try. So I start working the Monday after the 4th holiday. I'm not sure of the exact hours. At least a family member is my boss, so if I need to take off because I'm sick or not feeling well, then it is easy to do so. In addition, the owners of this company are very Strong Christians, which makes it a wonderful place to work. The work environment is great!

I'll keep you updated on how it goes. I'll also post a link soon with the website for this Stationery Company in case some of you our there have a business and are interested in maybe selling their stationery or are interested in starting your own stationery business. Their products are beautiful! (FYI: the company name is: Sweet Pea Designs and they have over 5,000 dealers around the world).


Anonymous said...

I am pro job! But then I always have been. I have worked since I was in high school, and even though there have been times when I have had to take breaks for school or being sick, it is worth it. I honestly think that having a job is one thing that has kept me from being more sick. It gives me something to do and look forward too everyday. It keeps me busy and not focused on things that seem to make everybody else worry themselves to death. Congrats!!! I am excited for you.

Katelyn said...

I understand what your thinking with the job or no job issue. It is sometimes so difficult for me to decide what to do, especially during those pesky winter months that no one gets on with. I am actually currently looking for insurance carriers because mine will kick me off in May. I'm learning that it is difficult to find insurance companies that will take me because of my CF. We have spoken with my social care worker at my doctor appointments, but would you have any other suggestions? I'm asking everyone CF buddy I know.

Stacy said...


I found your blog just recently, and I just wanted to say that although I don't know anyone personally with CF, your blog has been very informative and interesting. I feel like I've actually learned a thing or 2!

I'm also in school. I'm starting a nursing program in August, and I'm a nervous wreck. I saw that you mentioned clinicals...are you also in school for nursing?

Well, I think you should always follow your heart....if working is what you desire, than that's what you should do. You know your limitations, and I'm sure you'd take a break if you needed it.

I wish you all the very best! You seem like you have a good head on your shoulders, and much luck to you in finishing with school.