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Writing a CV


Thursday July 31 2014 11:00 AM

Three years ago, my computer died a sudden, premature and grizzly death. No warning! Just gave up the ghost during a Google search. I lost EVERYTHING! Apart from teaching me the hard way to make regular backups, I had to embark on a treasure hunt to recover any paper copies of important documents I had lying about.

This Tuesday, somebody asked me for a copy of my C.V. Holy Smoke!!!! That hadn’t happened in a long, long time. I racked my brains to think where on earth I could find a recent-ish copy of my working life’s achievements. I cursed the dearly departed laptop and eventually remembered a memory stick I used to always keep with me back in the days when I worked In I.T.

I dusted off the memory stick- located in the pocket of an old business suit (shoulder pads were in then!). The green light flashed when I stuck into the USB port of my new laptop. Bingo!! There was my resume in all its glory. All three pages of it. I scanned through my life’s achievements - all the feathers I had in my cap. “Hang on a minute! This document is over five years old….. I haven’t added a single thing to it since I got diagnosed with MS”.  

My Career took a complete nosedive - cartoon style when I got ill. Picture the scene: “Wile E. Coyote (aka my career) is running, a thousand miles an hour. He looks down - realises he is in fact running on thin air. Perplexed, he gazes at the camera and then plummets to a grizzly death. A puff of dust confirms his fate as he disappears into the abyss.” 

Ouch! It made me feel sad to read all about my pre-MS life. The statement of my worth. What I used to be capable of. MS had taken so much: my confidence, my career, my financial stability and my hopes.

I had blamed the untimely demise of my computer for my ancient CV but truth be told; I hadn’t touched it in half a decade. I couldn’t bear to think about how hard I had worked on my career and how it had been taken away from me - without warning! I had committed that I was going to update my resume though - so I decided to bite the bullet. Sooooooooooo, what HAD I achieved since I was diagnosed with a chronic illness?

In 2012, I didn’t leave the house for 6 months. That must show persistence and determination. I have travelled extensively - visiting the many hospitals Ireland has to offer. That must demonstrate a will to travel. I get by on half of what I used to. How is that for excellent budgeting skills? I manage difficult flu-like symptoms with a can-do attitude and I am a whizz with a syringe. It’s still me. Overachiever and proud of it! I need to dust off the CV (and me) and get back to chasing that pesky Roadrunner.

I’m not capable of doing the things I used to but I’m sure that there is something useful I can do - with a little support. I don’t want to hide the fact that I have a chronic illness - even though I have been warned that I won’t make it past the interview stage if I don’t. I am optimistic that I will find the right employment to suit my disability. I believe that the right employer is out there. But then again - I also believe in “True loves kiss”. We will see! Simon Harris gives me hope in his Irish Times Article when he says that “we cannot continue to sideline people with disabilities. Instead, we must enable them to fulfil their potential and make their contribution to society by putting structures in place to help them access the workforce and pursue the careers of their choice.”

Wish me luck! I will let you know how it goes!

Author: Joan Jordan

Tags: work, life, ms, curriculumvitae, cv, achievements



Thursday July 31 2014 11:43

Good luck Joan, break a leg! (on second thought, be careful you don't break a leg when you have mushy knees!)

It's a great article, and so recognisable. I recently updated my CV even after retiring at the end of 2009. Life skills change, even people skills change because you learn to deal with real-life events and with people who can be a bit crass. Learning to be patient is a great one!

What you achieved since your diagnosis? A lot! You raise a family and you are married. You go through your kids' illnesses and your husband's overtime. You deal with your MS in a fantastic way, and you are proactive in your branch and in wanting to help others. You smile, joke and enjoy your life, despite having MS. You care about your friends and your community. All that to me is a great deal.

No bachelor or masters degree can teach you how to live a good life with MS, yet you did, and still do!


Thursday July 31 2014 11:47

Great read Joan. Well done and GOOD LUCK in the future.


Thursday July 31 2014 11:50

Great post, Joan. I was compelled to respond as I was in your position.... but I started my new job last week! I gave up work (as if I had a choice!) when I had a giant relapse and was diagnosed nearly four years ago. I had many interviews, some I had disclosed the MS, some I hadn't but no jobs! Then on my application form for this current role, I disclosed it. Nothing was mentioned, then last week, I realised my manager didn't know! I told her privately yesterday, and she was so accepting. It was daunting and scary but I did it! I gave up hope a few times, and stopped job seeking for a few months at a time to give myself a breather, but it happened! Please keep trying x


Thursday July 31 2014 14:44

Another excellent blog piece, Joan... and another example of all you achieve on a daily basis.

It will be a very lucky employer who eventually hires you. And meanwhile, keep the blog entries coming.



Thursday July 31 2014 19:01

great blog, see you tomorrow for a boomerang competition :) ....not

Karen O Shea

Thursday July 31 2014 19:14

Love it JJ! I have no doubt the perfect job is waiting for you. Let me know when you get it. I will send you a celebratory Curly Wurly!!!

Joan Jordan

Saturday August 02 2014 17:16

Thanks for the kind comments! Lydia- thanks for sharing your wonderful news. Hope it is the BEST JOB EVER! Now I have the prospect of a Curly Wurly- I am more determined than ever.....

Anne McGahon

Sunday August 03 2014 19:58

another great article as ever joan!- never underestimate your worth as a wife, mother, friend, confidante, problem solver, multi-tasker, agony aunt- and most importantly brilliant blogger/ writer- and advocate / spokesperson for ms and disabilities - you're doing a fantastic job already!!-


Wednesday September 24 2014 06:34

Great article Joan. I've recently find out that a very good friend of mine was diagnosed with MS. I was shocked and couldn't believe her when she told me. She is only 25. The MS changed her life completely and I really admire the way she copes with her disease. She is full of life and you would never belive she has MS.
But getting to point why I decided to write this. There are employers out there who care about people with disabilities. And my friend is a living proof of it. She got a new job recently. She is working as an Accountant and she loves it. She always enjoyed working with numbers, bills and stuff we usually try to avoid. She didn't want to hide her disease. At each and every job interview she went to, she mentioned about her MS, only to find out later employers were afraid (in some unusual way) to employ disabled person. Why? Maybe they are afraid because they don't know anything about diseases such as MS, or maybe it is just a general approach to disabled people we have these days. She approached a Recruitment agency (http://www.wallacemyers.ie/) but for my friend it was the best she could do. I didn't want to mention the agency name here, but I think they do deserve to be mentioned, because they really helped my friend to get the job she likes and helped her carry on with her career. This recruiter is very professional and they really care about you.

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