The Challenges of Finding a Job While in Recovery

Recovering from any addiction is a very challenging process. From the first steps of detoxing to returning to society, substance abuse recovery is fraught with difficult obstacles to overcome.

Even as men in recovery begin the transition back into their daily existence, they’re faced with the difficulty of finding a job. This affects their self-esteem and increases the likelihood of a relapse in addition to the financial concerns it creates.

By learning more about this situation, you’ll gain a better understanding for how to support an addict in recovery.

The Obstacles to Finding a Job for Men in Recovery

No Positive Work References

One of the biggest problems recovering addicts face is that they typically don’t have positive work references. Their past substance abuse often affected job performance. Even when they limit their substance use to their off hours, addicts commonly show up late to work, call off sick, or exhibit decreased productivity.

Addiction Stigma Plays a Factor

Just knowing that a job applicant is a recovering from drug or alcohol abuse can hurt the candidate’s chances of getting hired. There is a lot of misinformation about addiction in society and that can negatively influence a hiring manager’s perspective. Even when the recovering addict is doing well and eager to prove himself, employers are hesitant to take the risk.

Recovery Obligations Can Be Problematic

Some employers are reluctant to consider a candidate with a history of addiction because they know they will have other obligations. Individual counseling sessions, group meetings, and other types outpatient treatment take up time. Most employers require strict attendance and are unwilling to bend rules to allow those in recovery the time they need to attend counseling.

Criminal History Plays a Part

In many cases, recovering addicts have previous criminal convictions. These may be crimes committed in relation to their addiction, or they may be other poor choices made by the individual. In either case, hiring managers may be unwilling or unable to look past the addict’s criminal history.

The Benefits of Work for Substance Abuse Recovery

If you want to know how to support a loved one in recovery, helping them find a job is one of the most therapeutic things you can do for them. Jobs for recovering addicts are beneficial for a number of different reasons and, although getting hired may be a challenge, getting back to work will have a positive effect on the addict’s state of mind.

Primarily, doing any kind of work will be time-consuming. While the addict is spending eight to 12 hours doing work, his mind is focused on complex tasks. This means he’s not thinking about his cravings.

When people want to know how to help a loved one with a substance abuse problem, their focus is often in keeping the addict from using again. However, they can be more effective by helping the addict get back to work. It’s important for those in early recovery to indulge in hobbies and interests, as well as establish a means of measuring success. A job is a great way to do this – success leads to success.

Instead of turning to substance abuse, the competition in the workplace may produce those same euphoric sensations. His achievements will make him feel good, and encourage him to strive for more success.

Finally, working full-time will keep the recovering addict away from his triggers. Between work, group meetings, and practicing healthier coping mechanisms, the addict simply won’t have the time to seek out relapse-inducing activities. He’ll stay away from bars and other negative influences, because he’ll be too busy living a healthier lifestyle.

Tips for Recovering Addicts Who Need Help Finding a Job

Networking is the Best Way to Start

Wondering how to help an addict get back to work? You can start by introducing the individual to your friends and co-workers. This will enable him to form connections that may lead to employment. You never know who will be able to offer a job, or who may be aware of a new vacancy, so networking is essential.

Take Advantage of Community Resources

When a recovering addict does need help finding a job, one of his next stops should be government offices. The Department of Labor and Social Services offices can help with resume writing and job searches.

Additionally, some businesses contact the labor board to let them know they’re willing to hire recovering addicts and other disadvantaged individuals. These opportunities can help the addict establish a positive work record, even if it involves tasks that aren’t challenging for him.

Persistence is Essential

In truth, jobs for recovering addicts are especially hard to come by. An addict trying to re-enter the workforce must be patient and persistent in looking for new opportunities. It may take weeks, or even months, before the recovering addict finds some employer willing to give him a chance.

As long as the addict continues searching and takes advantage of any opportunity that presents itself, he will eventually find a rewarding job. Building confidence is essential to a successful recovery, and landing a job is a great opportunity to prove oneself.

Living Sober in Nashville

Recovering from addiction is especially difficult when it comes to rebuilding his life. Finding people willing to take a chance on recovering addicts requires a lot of searching and networking, but the efforts will pay off.

Getting back to work is a fundamental part of recovery, but it can also be therapeutic and rewarding. A new job will help the recovering addict find meaning in his life, while introducing him to new friends and experiences.

Contact NRhythm today to learn about how our services can help men in recovery reclaim their lives.