My year long sick leave is over. I have been signed back for to work. This has meant an end to ESA (Employment Support Allowance) and a move to JSA (Job Seekers Allowance). This is something I want to be on for as short a time as possible. Being on benefits is a bit soul destroying although to be fair my advisor has been OK. I have to attend an appointment on Fridays and complete a diary on a weekly basis stating what I have been doing to find work, with examples of any job applications made. For someone who has never been unemployed before it’s all a bit strange and it can feel like your being treated as a child at times, though some of this might be my own perception rather than reality.

Job hunting has been an interesting experience thus far. I was initially uncertain that I would go back to teaching but equally it’s the obvious route back into work. Indeed as I have got stronger in recent weeks, this is not as daunting as I originally considered. I have scoured the internet looking at the local job market and nothing has jumped off the screen at me.  Earlier this week I applied for two jobs. I have had one interview, earlier this week and was verbally offered a job.

This is fantastic news, though I am not declaring where this is. I am yet to receive any written contract  and the job does not start immediately, so in the meantime I am continuing to look for work in the short term. This is best achieved through doing some Supply Teaching, so I also joined an Agency this week.

It has been nice to have other foci this week – for so many months the only preoccupation has been my health. This has been a full week with lots going on. I am pleased to say I am feeling good.

There is however one ‘fly in the ointment’.

For both the Agency and the job I need to have a Criminal Records Check. This is fine for the UK, but I also need to obtain one for the period of time I spent in Tanzania. This is not an easy process. After a couple of days of research and emails between myself and the Tanzanian High Commission. It turns out that I need to send them my fingerprints, a sum of money and various personal details. Had I not left East Africa in the hurry that followed my diagnosis this would have been done at the end of June last year in Mwanza.  As it is I have needed to find a way of doing this remotely. Thankfully it is possible to get fingerprints done at specific police stations in the UK then a long wait while things are posted, checked and returned. All this puts a delay of up to a month with the Agency, assuming that the process will run smoothly. I have been pleasantly surprised by the speed of response from Tanzania – it is something which was an issue whilst overseas. So there is a barrier to work, my hope is that this will be temporary. In the meantime I will also be looking for work in the short term which does not require the Tanzanian checks.

It certainly feels like I am emerging from a long tunnel and that life is ready to kickstart – I am well aware that there will be a need to follow up on health issues, but as the medical appointments get fewer and farther between I can begin to forget and move on.

I can’t guarantee it, but this may well be the last blog post on this journey. It’s been a roller-coaster of a ride. Thank you for following and commenting but now I must be more than a man who had cancer. It’s time to get on with my life.

8 thoughts on “Barrier

  1. Hi, bro. Prayers that all goes through with the DBS. Great though that Tanzania has been helpful so far.
    A great photo of you too, bro. 😊Well done on the journey and as you soon embark on the next journey rest assured of our prayers for you. 🙏😊👍


  2. It’s been a long journey for you which you’ve faced with courage & such a positive attitude. We wish you well as you enter tbis new phase & find what’s waiting for you up ahead. So pleased you are now fit enough to start looking to return to the world of work. Praying the right job comes up soon.

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  3. Well done ,very proud of how you have coped with all that your illness threw at you. 🙏for all the things you must do to secure employment. Let’s hear it for your future 👏✌🏻

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  4. I completely understand why this blog post may be a symbolic last step. My daughter too, who’s a bit further along the line than you had to symbolise putting cancer behind her when she trained for, then ran the London Marathon a fortnight ago. It was her way of saying ‘it’s over’, as I hope finding a job will be for you. The very best of luck, and thanks for sharing your journey.

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  5. Hi Graham,

    We are just so thankful for God’s healing and for the fact that you are back to work. We rejoice with you! Hopefully the police clearance will come through quickly. Greetings to Anita and God’s great peace as you move forward!!! We are so pleased for you.

    With our love,


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