How do you really know if the company you’re joining is really the right fit for you? You don’t. But, I’m hoping this story of how BenchSci showed up for me when I was diagnosed with cancer will give you some insight into our culture of care.
Seven days into my new role, I got the call that my biopsy came back positive for skin cancer. My Dad had passed away of skin cancer many years ago and the level of overwhelm after that call was immeasurable. I told my manager I couldn’t keep it together and I needed the afternoon off. Without asking why she told me to take the time and sent me a gift card to Starbucks.
Anytime you hear the C-word, it rocks your world but having to get operated on in the same office that your Dad was at, is just a lot. I was managing that, the diagnosis, and the emotions of wanting to show up as my best self and rock it at a new job.
I’m grateful that we caught my cancer early enough that we could cut it out and thankfully we have great healthcare here in Canada that enabled me to get it removed quickly. On the evening of my surgery, my manager sent me an Uber Eats gift card to buy myself dinner. Recovery included not exercising which as someone who uses exercise for stress release, I found super tough. I had all this stored up energy and it kicked my anxiety into high gear. Through this, my manager told me to take care of myself, reassured me I was doing great (to me, I really wasn’t... ahem, perfectionism), and let me fall apart in our one-on-ones.
Here are some of the ways BenchSci supported me:
- I met with our biweekly caregiver support group run by our executive coaches, where I was able to discuss talking to my daughter about my diagnosis
- Our Chief People Officer reached out to me, reassured me it is ok to take time off if I needed it, and reminded me that showing up as my best self means taking care of myself
- I shared my story with BenchSciers who checked in on me and took things off my plate when I thought I could still do it all.
- Our extensive mental health benefits allowed me to talk to my therapist through the transition.
- Our flexible, remote work culture allowed me to attend the many appointments I needed to take care of my health and I was highly encouraged to take the time I needed.
I’m now post-op and received the call that they got all of the cancer out. I’m still a little uncomfortable and it kind of looks like a zombie took a bite out of my face but I’m wildly grateful for the support of my doctors and for BenchSci. In my two months with the company, I never once questioned if I was in the right place. We all deserve care in our lives and our workplace should be no different.
My parting words to you are:
1) Get some sunscreen on you and your kids and when you think you’ve put enough on, double it.
2) If you want to join a company that is on its way to helping scientists cure diseases like cancer, check out our careers page. We’re hiring 200+ folks this year.
3) Be well.