It’s hard to explain to a potential employer why there is such a long gap missing from your work history. And saying “I was sick” and leave it at that is sometimes a hard route to take. You did a hell of a lot more than that. You could have added “while recovering/relapsing from (insert illness here) I advocated for others in my community”. Mention if it was by starting a site, raising money, picking up a hobby to sell items. All of these are skills.
If you didn’t do those things, think about what you did during the ups. Did you teach yourself a new skill? I learned how to kind of (sort of) write a blog. All self-taught! I know hard to tell isn’t it? (That was sarcasm by the way, I, in no way am great at this).
When you type out the resume, use those skills in it. Mention it somewhere and even put the dates that you did all of this. Maybe you weren’t getting paid by a company, but you weren’t doing nothing. No W-2 doesn’t mean no work was done.
I realized I needed a hobby when I got incredibly sick in 2016 and couldn’t work. My mom actually pushed me to start this blog. She wanted to call it “Fuck You Epilepsy” but I found it a bit harsh, even though it is how we all felt at the time of Keppra (Keppra Made Me Do It).
I wrote Fuck You Topamax in honor of that idea though. Once my Keppra story got popular I latched on to this and kept going. There was a learning curve, I had to learn WordPress, some photo editing, links, SEO etc. I am still learning, and constantly updating/refreshing my skills and yeah, I sometimes do that from bed.
So, when you get into that interview don’t shy away from that “gap” in your work history. Let them know what you did and be proud of it. You survived a low point in your life and now you’re back in the workforce.
If you haven’t already, I was nominated for the WEGO Health awards, endorse me! WEGO Health Awards! It’s a Thing.