Currently I am between careers after leaving a teaching position. During this time, a prior issue with one of my knees has become more clearly diagnosed by an orthopedist, and it is clear that knee replacement is imminent.

How do I approach the job search at this point if I need to work?

  • 1
    To clarify, you need a knee replacement. Is that something you need immediately or is in something you need in the next x number of months? Also, adding a country tag to this question will be helpful.
    – Neo
    May 8, 2017 at 13:00
  • 1
    Uncertain as to timing of knee replacement; it is the next step after completing a series of injections last week that could last three months, six months, or one year. Knee replacement is 6-8 weeks off work and three months total rehabilitation. May 8, 2017 at 13:37
  • Is you new career able to be worked remotely?
    – Neo
    May 8, 2017 at 13:39
  • Have some cash reserves but was not planning this long of absence from work force - sounds crazy but actually thinking where I was regretting necessity of knee replacement that sooner rather than later may actually be a good thing at this point. May 8, 2017 at 14:08
  • Had not thought about working from home; not sure what types of remote careers would fit my education and experience? Thank you for the suggestion! May 8, 2017 at 14:12

4 Answers 4


Make it part of your negotiations with the company up front when an offer is made: "I'd love to come on, however you should be aware of a situation which might require some up-front leave". I've done this before when a planned trip was in the pipeline. It's nothing more than negotiating salary, telecommute or extra time off. Let them know, work a possible way around it with them (they know what they need more than you do). "I can work from home during recovery via telecommute", "I am willing to give up my first year's vacation in order to get this done" or some other form of negotiation is warranted. Just be honest. You may get them to play ball, or they may not want to complete the offer, but that's far preferable to lying or obfuscating or working for a limited time and them having to let you go when the surgery DOES happen, which is bad for them.


If you are able, I would put off the job search until after your knee replacement is done. ( financially / insurance )

The only other way you could begin the job search prior to the knee replacement is if you are able to put it off for awhile ( 6 months to a year ) or if you are able to do your work remotely.

I really hope for your sake that you can do your work remotely, otherwise you are in a tough spot.


You have several options:

1. Suspend the job hunt until your medical issue is resolved.

This is tough if you don't have cash reserves. You may have to seek help from friends, family and religious organizations to pull this off.

2. Put off the surgery until you secure a new position, with full disclosure to your potential employer during the interview process

Wait until you are actually interviewing to reveal this. This will likely close several doors for you. While an employer might appreciate your honesty, it's just as likely, if not more so, that they will pass on you for someone who they will not have to accommodate. Though tough, this may be the best option because your new employer will not be surprised when you suddenly have to take off.

3. Put off your surgery until you secure a position and tell the employer after you get the job.

I would strongly recommend against doing this. Yes, you'll be able to get the surgery and have a job, but your employer will feel like you pulled a fast one. They'll be right. If you take this option, start job hunting again immediately. They may or may not give you the boot, but even if they don't, you won't be trusted.

IMO, pick #1 if you can afford it, #2 if you can't.

  • 1
    Option three is flat out dishonest in my humble opinion. Option 1 is probably the only real option here...
    – Neo
    May 8, 2017 at 13:05
  • @MisterPositive which is why I said that the employer would feel that they had pulled a fast one, and would be right. May 8, 2017 at 13:06
  • 1
    I agree - 3 is not an ethical option at all. Was suggested to me by a friend and I told them they needed to rethink their moral standards and ethics! May 8, 2017 at 14:10
  • 1
    Thank you for recommendation two - was not sure at what point to disclose a concern in the job search process. I thought it would be pertinent to disclose during the interview process and let company decide if they wanted to hire me or not. May 8, 2017 at 14:20
  • @LisaWideman That was what I meant, I will go back and edit the post to make it more clear. May 8, 2017 at 14:35

Look specifically for the sort of work that you could do with a knee injury. You need something that will tide you over rather than be part of your career path. If it's within the same industry, great, if not, it's still a revenue stream.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .