Don’t Let Psoriasis Hold You Back
I have been working for over 40 years of my life. The single biggest obstacle in achieving my professional aspirations has been stress.
It’s almost as if all decisions surrounding my career have been diverted at the mention of something big or I've been too afraid to push my body beyond what it can manage. These unwelcome feelings eventually trigger an unwelcome flare-up.
Can psoriasis influence your career?
My first job was in the finance industry. I had experiences from working as a back-end bank teller, a director’s assistant, and a project manager. Whether it was having to endure daily overtime work or an unhealthy corporate environment, my psoriasis would be sure to let me know you are stressed and flake all over the place.
Black office chairs were my absolute nightmare. I hated getting up off my seat and finding a pile of unsightly flakes there. This was my “norm”.
Yet, I had places in my career that I wanted to go to. How can we, as psoriasis warriors, balance looking after our health and breaking these psychological barriers that hold us back?
Don't let psoriasis determine your career
While most jobs operate on a 9 to 5 schedule. There are jobs that require employees to work during the weekend and do overtime. This is something I’m careful about when looking for a suitable job.
Being able to rest on Saturdays and Sundays is essential to me. There shouldn't be any shame in politely saying no to a manager who demands unnecessary overtime or rejecting damaging thoughts that you’re weaker than your colleagues.
I had to learn to take ownership of my health and emotional well being.
Setting career goals
Every job will come with some form of success measure to determine how you’ve been contributing value to your organization. From experience, I’ve found this to be an important conversation to have with my supervisor to manage certain expectations.
Are the goals something you can commit to? Are you comfortable sharing with them how psoriasis may be a cause for concern? Is there support available to you?
I had to work a little differently than my co-workers. Planning my time and setting milestones towards my big goal has also been very helpful in reducing the need for late nights in the office. I kept my eyes on the prize.
I spoke with a friend recently about her day-to-day duties at her job. She shared that while working hard should be expected anywhere you go.
She is frustrated at the unspoken pressure to remain in the office well beyond working hours. This is how her company measures value and something which she has been trying to break out of. I used to work with a team that made it a point to go to happy hour every Friday. This was their norm.
I found it hard to excuse myself from this. It was a great opportunity to suck up and get to know my co-workers better as friends and my supervisor. I eventually had to say no. I would flare so bad after these outings. It wasn’t worth it to me.
Find confidence despite psoriasis
You can be anything you desire to be with or without psoriasis. Work hard and continue to remain responsible for your health and body. There are many psoriasis warriors all over the world who have great careers.
We kick butt at work every day and live our lives to the fullest. I have been a supervisor for over 25 years and will be retiring soon.
I have the best career you could ever ask for. If I can do it being covered in psoriasis most of my life, so can you.
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