Do you think my illness will be a hinderance to getting a job?

I’ve been out of work for almost a year and before that, my work history is not the greatest. I’ve been ill for a long time and the jobs I have had, haven’t been the greatest for the invisible illness I have and I’ve had to quit.

I’ve been signed off as too ill to work but I want to work. I felt so happy discovering coding because it really makes me think and I want to work in this field, it’s just that it’s so competitive and my work history is so bad.

I’ve been volunteering since I was out of work, the good thing with that is if I have a bad day, I can continue another day. I manage a team, and they really love me. I’ve stuck with it, is that enough to make me a considered candidate?

So many things are targeted at people changing careers, not restarting all over again. I just want a fresh start.

Has anyone been through this? Do you have any advice?

I have a auto immune disease, and I was able to get a job as a software developer. I am not sure where you line, but here its illegal for them not to consider you because of your illness (although we all know it still happens). The biggest question really isnt about your illness, but its going to be can you do the job? I have my bad days, and they are understanding because I still get the work done. There are remote roles, and with an illness that might be your best bet so you are at home and able to do what is necessary to keep everything under control.

Illness should not be a factor, but nobody here can guarantee you that some will hire you even if they know you are ill. So, dont tell them, its none of their business and all they need to know is again can you do the job?

You are right in saying its competitive. So, before thinking of “can I get a job doing this if I am sick” I think you need to consider “Is this something I enjoy even when I am sick” Coding is not easy, it does not come quick, and it takes time to be proficient. I dont know how much experience you have, or if you have started yet but you should make sure coding is something you enjoy because working a job you dont like + being sick is just going to make you miserable

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I’ve been coding for about 8 months and I take short breaks from it for a couple of days because I get a little obsessed with it. Never burnt out though. I took the time to consider if this was something I wanted to do for 40 hours a week and I think yes. You’re right, about considering if this is something I can do though. I think so, but then again, a couple of years ago, I thought I could do it all.
Thank you for that. I’m glad your job values you! I hope you’re enjoying it!

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I would keep working through the challenges, your projects, and whatever else you have in the works. As the time goes by I would keep these questions in mind even when your illness is giving you a harder time than usual. I know for me my flare ups can last a day or a week so I have to be able to fight through and still work. Its good you “think” this is something you want and can do, but before actually applying that “I think” needs to be “I know”

Its been around a year and a half since I started, and I honestly cant imagine myself anywhere else

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Having an illness that affects your ability to work is a type of disability. Don’t be afraid to use that word. There are most likely laws in place to protect people with disabilities from being discriminated against in the work force, but they are going to depend on where you live, where the company you work for is located, and the nature of the employment contract between you and the company. If you don’t feel like you have enough information about what laws protect you then I would seek legal assistance. As @Cody_Biggs said, companies shouldn’t be able to discriminate if it is against the law, but they often do, so you need to know your legal rights in order to make sure they are not violated.

I would agree, number one rule, DO NOT disclose your disability. Let me add, you may at some point have to disclose that you have a disability. For example, if you live in the US then you can get covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act, but you would have to disclose in order to take advantage of that.

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I have much better treatment now and this is part of a greater project of starting fresh. But this is something for me to consider objectively, ‘can I do the job’.

I’m so glad to hear that! Enjoying your work is so rewarding.

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Thank you, I live in the UK and we’re pretty strict with discrimination laws but I have been forced to disclose my disability before and then had the most disgusting comments from my manager about it, I won’t make that mistake again.
I’m on much better treatment now and I’m hoping to get to a good place.
I do worry what my gap will look like though, I don’t want to tell them that I’ve been on disability for a year.

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If you aren’t legally required to tell them why you weren’t working, then don’t. There are a lot of euphemisms you can use to explain away that gap. It really is none of their business. But I understand that some employers think if you aren’t working every single day of your life for “the man” then something must be wrong with you. You might try to find a “career coach” to help you deal with these issues, look for one that specifically deals with people re-entering the workforce. Yes, it will cost you a little money up front, but it will pay off in the end.

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In my experience they don’t really care about previous non-software work history. I don’t even list jobs prior to software on my cv. Just a footnote… “prior to this I worked in sales”.

Getting the first job is always difficult but it is possible.

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Thank you, I didn’t even think to do this

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For better or worse, we can’t help you much in figuring out whether your disability will allow you to work full-time without harming your well-being. That’s something that you’ll have to introspect on, and it’s something that might change with time and circumstances. The only advice I feel qualified to give there is to please take care of yourself and protect your health as much as you can, even if that means withdrawing from the career rat race.

If you feel comfortable managing your illness while working, then we might be able to offer some advice or emotional support during your job hunt. Personally, I would recommend against disclosing your illness during applications and interviews. After you’ve accepted a job offer, you can disclose strictly as needed to request reasonable accomodations. For explaining the employment gap, keep it vague. Focus on the fact that even though you “had to deal with a personal issue” or “were sick for a while”, you have remained active and engaged as much as you were able. Focus on the volunteering or continuous learning that youv’e been doing.

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Thank you for that. I do need to realise that even as I’ve been signed off as sick, I still haven’t stopped “working”, I’ve just not been paid and decided to do it all in a time that suites me best and maybe that’s something to think about.
Thank you

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If it helps: I became ill when I was 9. Dropped out of high school at the beginning of my second year there to go to hospital, and was never able to go back. Spent 18 years profoundly ill and disabled.
I am not stupid though, so got into a bachelor of IT at university a year ago even though my highest level of formal education is year 7 by sitting an academic aptitude and qualitative/quantitative reasoning test.
I have never been in paid employment. I have been doing some volunteer work recently. I am getting a degree so I have a better chance of getting my foot in the door and not being overlooked. There is always hope. I have no proof that I can work, so it’s a risk. But living on disability is not only hard financially, it is bad for your self esteem. Go for it. If you fail, what have you really lost? If you’re not going to be able to work, then it won’t damage your career prospects by losing a job.

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Hey, are you from the UK too? I wish you the best of luck, I just signed up for a beginner friendly hackathon, and it’s really lifted my spirits. Its on the 12th, it’s online. How are you finding the degree?

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No, I’m in Australia.
The degree is a little frustrating, the lecturers vary in their teaching ability. Luckily I already knew enough to fill in the gaps, and how to find out what I didn’t know. But I know some other students are really struggling with the poor explanations. It’s a crying shame.

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