Are you a caregiver assisting with the care of a family member, relative, or friend? According to a Gallup poll, between 13% and 22% of all full-time employees are also caregivers, more than half of them adding 21 or more hours of caregiving a week to their full-time work.
Consider this statistic from the Longevity Project: even among the highest wage earners who are caregivers, 5% feel their workplace does not support them; among those earning under $50,000, nearly 20% feel unsupported.
What can you do if you do not feel supported by your workplace as a caregiver?
Understand That There May Not Be a Perfect Solution
Unfortunately, caregivers pay a high cost in terms of employment, compensation, and benefits, all of which may be sacrificed to caregiving. Caregiving is associated with more job turnover, including quitting altogether, lower wages, and fewer benefits, including lower savings for retirement.
Know Your Rights
You may be eligible for unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The advantage of FMLA is that you do not lose your job or benefits, but there are eligibility requirements. Some states also offer family-leave insurance programs that may have different rules and benefits from FMLA.
Look for a Company That Understands Caregiving
You may want to searching for the job you need. Look for a company with flexible work hours and/or the possibility of remote work—two trends that have been on the upswing. Check online for reviews of companies to find out which ones offer the type of flexible work environment you need.
Caregivers thrive best when performance is more important to a company than adhering to a rigid schedule. Some companies are better than others at educating their managers about caregiving issues and discrimination. For example, they train managers to deal compassionately with any absence or lateness that is rooted in the demands of caregiving.
Some companies also offer an employee assistance plan that provides access to counseling or advice for caregivers. If you are already under stress from caregiving, a company with flexibility, a supportive attitude, and an employee assistance plan will decrease the amount of stress you feel at work.
You have every right to look for the type of job you need, one that allow you to continue giving your family member, relative, or friend the caregiving they need. When you are ready to begin your search, Robin’s Resumes® can help you with job transition coaching and with the type of resume that makes hiring managers and recruiters take notice before, during, and after caregiving.