There are many things that each person has to address when they are in recovery from an addiction of any kind. As people begin to reconceptualize their lives, goals, and the world around them, it can be very easy to feel overwhelmed. Of the many changes that someone faces when going through recovery, putting themselves back out there in the world while searching for employment can be one of the most difficult.
Thoughts of having to prepare for an interview can bring up deeply held feelings of guilt or shame, and there can be an underlying fear that someone will make their decision about them before the interview has even begun based on their past. While this time can be difficult, there are still many options available to those who are seeking employment while in recovery from addiction. Just like all other skills and practices in recovery, it just takes time and effort.
Start With the Resources You Know
When looking for employment, start by talking to the people that know the person, rather than the addiction. The stigma around addiction can make someone feel as if that is all that other people see, so being able to talk to someone on a personal level beyond those stigmas can be very important.
While this can be family members, it can also be other members of a support group that have found employment already. Begin networking in order to get one’s name out, showcase the person that is applying for each job, and focus on all the strides and accomplishments made now rather than the mistakes made in the past.
Finding a job takes time. This doesn’t just apply to people in recovery, but to everyone in general. Finding employment can require numerous applications to various places, and it can take weeks to even hear back to know if someone has an interview or not. This time is stressful and the uncertainty can bring up some difficult thoughts and feelings.
Thankfully, dealing with these things is something that recovery and support groups do every day. They are already practicing many coping skills, so people in recovery have the skills and support needed to address this difficult time. Recovering from an addiction of any kind takes a remarkable amount of determination and resilience–two attributes that addiction recovery teaches and rewards–and these strategies are important for the recovery process as well the job hunt.
Prioritize Recovery First
Getting back into the real world can be a difficult prospect on its own, and adding a potential job can complicate many emotions. When looking for a job, it is important not to dismiss the weekly group and individual therapy sessions that are a part of the outpatient program. It can be easy to feel like someone has a good handle on their addiction, only to then be uncertain during times of massive change, such as starting a new career with new people in a new environment.
It is more important than ever to keep a good, healthy support network and maintain attendance in recovery sessions in order to help cope with these changes. While one’s schedule may then limit what jobs they can take at a certain time, it is still most important to focus on the recovery at hand. Prioritizing a job over recovery can open up the gates for relapse, which may in turn leave them without a job as well. The health of each person is still the top of the priority list.
Be Honest, But Only Answer What is Asked
When someone is in an interview, it is very important to be honest. Not only can getting a job based on a lie be discovered and compromise the job as a whole, but it can also make getting other jobs more difficult in the future.
However, when being asked questions, it helps to answer a question truthfully, but only answer the question that is asked. It is not necessary to divulge details of one’s journey with recovery if it is not asked of them or they are not comfortable doing so.
While some jobs may require a drug screening, sobriety is already the mission of recovery. It can be at each person’s own discretion if they want to inform potential employers of their success in recovery or if they want to keep their two lives separate during this time.
There are a lot of things going on in a person’s life during recovery, and schedules are often packed with different activities and plans. Getting a job is important, but know that someone may have to be flexible in which job that they take. It is possible that someone in recovery will have to start at an entry-level job and work their way back up.
While difficult, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The entire process is illustrative of the recovery process as a whole–finding new beginnings. It can be a blessing to be able to work and move forward based on one’s present merits rather than continuing to try to be defined by actions in the past.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and the many ways that it can affect someone’s daily life, Life Tutors has a personal, boots-on-the-ground approach to recovery that may be able to help you. Each patient is unique, and the struggles they face while in recovery and in the world at large can vary vastly from person to person. Finding employment is just one aspect for which a person will have to find the right strategy to continue in their success in recovery. For information on how Life Tutors can help you with your unique case, call today at (828) 417-7122.