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Disability Employment Policy Resources by Topic

Employment and Living with HIV/AIDS Toolkit

Individuals Living with HIV/AIDS

Resolution: Adjusting to a New Job or Other Non-Job-Related Life Changes

The key message at this stage is that resolution for people living with HIV/AIDS who are considering work means one of two things: either starting and adjusting to a job change, or relieving pressure to change by adjusting another aspect of life. As with all four stages of considering work (in addition to contemplation, these stages include contemplation, preparation and action), this message needs to be considered in the context of four key factors:   


Medical

Questions to ask

  • Do I have new questions or needs related to my health or health care as I make changes in my life?
  • Are the changes I've made good for my health?
  • As my activities and routines change, are there strategies I can use to stay healthy?

Whom to ask

Health care providers, counselors/case managers, family and friends

Decision-making required

Let your health care providers know about the changes you've made in your life.

Ask them to create a plan with you for how you can stay healthy and engaged in medical care.

Discuss your medication regimen and how you will be able to stay consistently on schedule taking your medications.

Resources  to assist

 

Legal/Financial

Questions to ask

  • What do I need to do to manage financial changes from employment?
  • Do I need a reasonable accommodation to do my job?
  • Do I need help with tax, alimony or child support issues?

Whom to ask

Legal advocates, benefits counselors, community work incentives coordinators, counselors/case managers, vocational and career counselors, tax professionals

Decision-making required

Learn about:

  • Managing your finances
  • Managing changes in benefits
  • Filing taxes and reporting earnings
  • Maintaining connection to health insurance
  • Tenants' rights and housing supports
  • Your rights and protections: preventing and addressing discrimination
  • How to apply the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to your situation
  • How to negotiate a reasonable accommodation

Resources  to assist

 

Psychosocial

Questions to ask

  • What new support do I need to manage the changes in my life because of my new job?
  • How are the changes in my life affecting my family, social life and community life?
  • Are there resources and strategies that would help me manage any of these changes?

Whom to ask

Family and friends, counselors/case managers, therapists, support groups, 12-step program sponsors, spiritual advisors, vocational and career counselors

Decision-making required

Create a strategy for managing the normal emotional challenges of starting a new job, interaction with supervisors and co-workers and adjusting to a work schedule.

Determine which people in your life you will reach out to for advice and support to help you succeed in and sustain your new job.

Ask someone you can rely on to be your first call for support if challenges at work or elsewhere tempt you to make "snap judgments" about continuing to establish success on the job.

Consider developing your support network to include, for example:

  • Counselors and therapists
  • Support groups
  • Community of faith participation
  • 12-step program(s)
  • New friends
  • Other social structures that help you stay connected to others

Build workplace communications skills to work effectively with co-workers, managers, supervisors.

Resources  to assist

  • HIV/AIDS Service Locator and Health Services Directory
  • Ask if your employer has an Employee Assistance Program for links to psychosocial support
  • Ask if your employer has Employee Resource Groups for links to social and professional development networks

 

Vocational

Questions to ask

  • How can I get support for enhancing my workplace communication skills and professional behavior?
  • What skills and supports do I need to manage stress and challenges at work to sustain this job?
  • What goals can I develop for my career beyond this job and how can I plan to achieve them?

Whom to ask

Family, friends, vocational and career counselors, counselors/case managers, therapists, support groups

Decision-making required

Learn about:

  • Managing a routine as a working person
  • Managing stress and conflict
  • Dealing with authority
  • Workplace communication with co-workers, managers and supervisors
  • Strategies for success on the job

Make a plan and build your network for career development: your next job—one that may pay better, make better use of your skills or improve your benefits.

Resources  to assist