Whether you're looking for your first job or changing jobs, there are a few things to keep in mind as you polish your resume:
- Search early and often: The job market is constantly changing. So, keep your eyes open for new and different opportunities. Even a quick email or LinkedIn message to a recruiter can go a long way
- Plan ahead: Before your interview, research the position and try to think of a few questions you might get asked and how you’ll articulate your answers.
You can even ask a friend to help you do a mock interview
- Ask for what you need: There's more to negotiate than salary and vacation days. Maybe you work from home a few times a month or you need to have a lighter workload based on your cystic fibrosis (CF) care schedule. Learn more about accommodations in the workplace
- Benefit from your benefits: From company culture to average commute,
there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing an employer. But don't forget about your benefits package. Make note of insurance plans, dental and vision coverage, paid time off, short-term leave options, and schedule
flexibility, which could include remote working opportunities
I chose to work at a smaller, small-to-medium-sized tech company that was locally-based and didn’t have any travel requirements. And that was a big decision. That was the first time, I think, in my career I kind of favored this, you know, work-life balance, where I would still work—work hard—and earn a living, have my insurance needs met. But [it] also gave me the opportunity to bike to work, and work 40 hours a week, and have my weekends off, and my evenings to myself, and hang out with my now-wife, and do things like hiking. So that was the first time that I really got to like face the decision of, ‘what do I want to optimize for?’ and for me that was work-life balance right out of school and it’s continued to be that way ever since.”
–John, working parent
Amber Dawkins, a photographer with CF, working from home.
The perks of work
Work benefits are all the ways your employer provides compensation beyond your paycheck, and they might factor into what types of companies you apply for or where you choose to take a job. If you have any questions about your current benefits, reach out to your company's human resources (HR) representative. In the meantime, these tips are options that can help you navigate your employer's benefit package:
- Health Savings Account (HSA): You may end up paying out-of-pocket for medical expenses before your deductible is met. So, if you have a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), consider using a Health Savings Account (HSA). With a HSA,
you can deduct money from your paycheck tax-free to cover qualified medical expenses. Check with your doctor to see if certain vitamins and supplements you take are also eligible to be covered through
your HSA with a prescription
- Review time-off policies: Many employers offer sick days or personal days as part of their benefits package. You may
want to use these days when you need to get some extra rest or focus on treatments
- Know your legal rights: Having CF may entitle you to protections under the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Know your insurance options: Insurance is complex, and choosing the best plan takes time and research. Be sure to reach out to your company's representative for help with choosing an option that's right for you. You can also take a look at the Insurance 101 guide
- COBRA*: If you lose your health benefits from your job, you may be eligible for coverage through COBRA, which allows you to continue your current
insurance for up to 18 months. However, because you would have to pay the full cost of your insurance plan, this can be an expensive option
* COBRA stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985.