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How my disability changed my perspective on jobseeking

After she was diagnosed with a progressive condition, Rebecca McMurrer feared the time and effort she had put into building a nursing career would go to waste

By Rebecca McMurrer

First published in Careering Fall 2018

Jobseeking can be difficult in the best of circumstances. Browsing through postings, hoping to see a position that will not only meet your financial needs but also allow you to build a long and meaningful career, can be frustrating. When living with a disability, you share the same insecurities as other jobseekers, but you are also flooded with emotion and concerns, wondering if your limitations (perceived or otherwise) will eliminate you from even being considered.

My name is Rebecca McMurrer, and I live with a condition called spastic paraparesis as well as cerebral palsy. I have been trained in and worked as a human services worker, pharmacy technician and most recently became a licensed practical nurse specializing in Alzheimer and dementia care. I live in Saint John, NB, work for a non-profit organization and volunteer with a local nursing home in their Dementia Care unit. I have a passion for caregiving and educating others on various health topics as well as advocating for those who do not have a voice.

I reached out to a friend to talk about my situation. He told me about an organization called the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW), and how they not only assisted him with finding a meaningful and appropriate career, but even more importantly, reminded him of his worth as a productive member of society. I took his advice to reach out and, after only three months, I found a position that suited my needs and accommodations, and also allowed me to support a population of people – often neglected and underserved – living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

To read the entire article, please go to ContactPoint by Ceric

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