The Recover would like to begin the year focusing on what can help the addict in recovery find employment. This will be a 3 part series in the upcoming weeks ending with an exciting announcement!
2018 is going to be your year. Your vision board is filled to the brim with colorful goals and ideas for your next steps. You haven’t felt this ambitious in years, but you know you’re about to make up for it. So where do you start? At times you can feel doubtful, as the creeping addictions in the back of your head remind you of where you were this time last year. But what your addictions haven’t seen yet is your comeback. The one with the Rocky theme song playing as you walk into your new life. Forgetting the old ways and starting anew.
In the first year of recovery it is not recommended that you make drastic changes, including employment or relationships. Addicts are creatures of extremity, and can move from hot to cold very quickly. These rash decisions can lead to impulsive behavior and make it hard to come back from. A stable form of employment is one thing that helps keep an addict in its current path of recovery, reliability is hard to find.
One of your first steps in starting anew is changing your old habits and routines. Most people after recovery can find it hard to return to old employment, the reminders of old routines can bring back old memories of use and cause them to feel disassociated with their new way of life. Your old stresses remain, with none of the drugs or alcohol around to numb yourself from the reality.
If the environment you were working in previously has too many triggers or involves old habits, it is best to find new employment with the help of your sponsor. Someone with an alcohol abuse history would be recommended to find a new job if they had previously worked in an environment with alcohol constantly around. Step back and evaluate your situation, ask for advice and then decide. It’s best to continue working while looking for a new job. The adage goes “It’s easier to find work when you’re still employed”
And for some, a steady consistent job has never been something they had experience with. They might have survived on odd jobs, dead end jobs or criminal activity. For those with that type of history, this is the first step in finding a new passion in their life. It should be seen as an exciting time!
To find a new job for the recovering addict, keep in mind some of these things:
- Hours: The type of hours an employer offers can make a huge effect on your day to day life. Look for “regular” hours (9am-5pm). That type of schedule can ensure time for people in recovery to attend meetings and stay on a predictable pattern.
- Acceptable Working Conditions: Keep in mind you commute times, tasks that are reasonably asked of you, the employee, and personal space for your body limits.
- Clear Expectations: Employers need to be definite with the things being asked of you. It will help knowing what they expect from you and help you understand what is needed to perform your job.
- Room for Growth: This is something that will come with time. Some employers are looking for someone to fill a spot, they look no further into their employment with their company and know it is somewhat of a “revolving door” position. Those types of jobs can be good placeholders on your way to an actual career. Sometimes just having a consistent job on your resume can help show future employers that you are capable of being dependable. But once you have achieved an acceptable record of employment, growth is Important to look forward to. You know what you must strive for, and achievements that will result in a promotion.
Sometimes the journey seems challenging, especially in the beginning. You can look at what you lack and see a wall between you and the gainful employment you desire. But to be honest, employers care more about what you can do now than what happened in your past. Honor yourself by giving yourself a chance to have the same accomplishments those not in recovery have. You have come so far, and your triumphs don’t end at sobriety, it’s where they begin.
Also published on Medium.