Getting hired as a former addict isn’t always easy. You may have spotty employment history or disgruntled former employers, but working and all of the mental and emotional benefits of being a productive member of society are an important part of a long-term recovery plan.
Stability, normalcy, and responsibility are significantly helpful in maintaining sobriety and keeping you from slipping into past habits. Working increases self-esteem, self-reliance, and contributes to a sense of wholeness in recovering addicts.
Here are the steps you can take toward getting a job after recovery.
Take advantage of work programs
Pair up with government or non-profits organizations that work with recovering addicts.
Your local YMCA might have programs in place, or your state or region may offer a variety of resources. Take a look around the web or ask your rehab program for help finding help.
Your treatment center likely has resources or programs of their own in place for getting a job after recovery. Here at Real Recovery, you are required to work or expand your education while in recovery, which helps with the transition into working after recovery.
Set goals and avoid discouragement
Finding work can be hard for anyone, so don’t let yourself get discouraged if it’s taking some time.
Write down your goals and try to do something productive each day.
Whether that means fixing up your resume, applying for jobs in person or online, or making follow-up phone calls, working towards getting a job in some way every day will help you stay focused and positive.
Be open to all opportunities
You may have to take a step back from where you were in your career before your recovery.
Finding work at all can be hard, let alone finding work in higher up positions. Be open to entry level work if it comes to you.
Remember, the best way to get a job is to have a job, and the shorter the unemployment gap on your resume, the better.
If you’re not having any luck
If the outlook is bleak, and you’ve been trying for a while, it’s important to keep busy and avoid slipping into old habits somehow.
Consider volunteering, signing up with a temp agency, or offering small-time services like dog walking that can turn into an entrepreneurial venture.
Most importantly, stay positive. Getting a job after recovery is a big step and a long process, so maintain a positive outlook and practice patience.
Maintain your aftercare
Transitioning out of rehab is stressful, looking for work is stressful, and stress can lead to relapse.
It’s important in this period to rigorously stick to your aftercare program and routine.
No matter how busy you are with finding a new job, training for your new job, or actually working, plan in advance to attend meetings and keep in touch with sponsors or aids from your rehabilitation.
Working and being able to support yourself and stand on your own two feet will be not only a relief but a great measure in preventing relapse.