There are many reasons why you may need a new job after completing rehab. Maybe you just want a fresh start with new coworkers. It may be that your old job isn’t waiting for you. Whatever the reason, searching for employment as a newly recovered addict isn’t easy. You don’t have to disclose that you have been treated for addiction, but it may be unavoidable if new employers want to know why you lost your last job or why you were unemployed for a long period of time.
You will find that there are plenty of employers unwilling to work with a recovering addict. It isn’t fair, but it is a reality you should be prepared to face. Research has shown that addicts in recovery perform as well, and sometimes better, in jobs than people with no substance use disorder history. This should give you hope that with perseverance, you will not only find a job, but you will thrive in it.
Get Help Finding a Job
You don’t need to go this alone. Start with your treatment center and find out if there are any employment programs. Many rehab facilities work with employers willing to hire people in recovery. You can also check out national, online job locators that help match recovering addicts with employers. The Department of Labor’s Career One Stop can help, but also try America in Recovery. With a quick search online, you should be able to find other similar resources.
Polish Your Resume and Practice Interviewing
If it’s been a while since you went on a job hunt, you need to update your skills. Enlist a friend or family member to help you update your resume and make it look professional. Practice interviewing so that you’re ready to present your best self to a potential employer. Make sure your appearance is professional and that you have the right clothes to look your best. If you don’t have appropriate clothes or can’t afford any, borrow from a friend.
Go Back to School
If you’re not happy with the job prospects, or if you need a break from a fruitless job search, consider going to school to earn a degree or certificate or to learn a new skill or trade. This can be a good way to ease back into life as a sober person without the pressure of looking for a job. If you have a good support network to help you as you learn or retrain, this is a great option. It will also give you a leg up when you’re ready to go back to the job search.
Do Volunteer Work
When you’re struggling to find a paying job, volunteer work can be a great alternative. Helping others is rewarding and will give you purpose and a reason to stay sober. It will also give you something to put on your resume. Volunteer work is good experience to have when you’re applying for jobs. If you can do work that is related to the kind of job you want to get, that’s best, but it doesn’t have to be. Any kind of volunteer work will be beneficial.
Job hunting is never easy, but when you carry around the burden of past substance abuse and addiction, the chore becomes even more difficult. You can get a new job and you can succeed at it. You may need to prove yourself more than other job seekers, but you will be surprised at how many employers will be open to working with you. You just need to be positive, polished and ready to work hard to find that employer.