Finding work after rehab can be difficult for many reasons. You might have a gap in your resume if you’ve spent a lot of time in treatment, or you might have a criminal record that stems from a drug-related conviction. You might even find employers who stigmatize drug use and aren’t willing to take a chance on someone who will be working in recovery. And yet, as difficult as finding a job in recovery can be, it’s hardly impossible. All you need is a lot of patience while you consider these helpful tips.
Use Your Network
Yes, you do have a network of people who can assist you in finding work after rehab. You may not realize it, but your family and friends can help you at least begin your job search. Your loved ones can put in a good word on your behalf with their employers, give you advice on tweaking your resume, or even hire you directly if they’re in a position to do so. There’s no guarantee that they can find work for you right away, but it’s still a great place to start.
Have Reasonable Expectations
If your previous substance abuse has led to you having a criminal record or a spotty employment history, you might not be able to find your dream job right away. For you, working in recovery could mean accepting an entry-level position that won’t pay as well as jobs you may have had before, but sometimes you have to take what you can get. At the same time, you have to be mindful of what accepting just any job can do to you. If you accept a stressful job that you hate just to start working again, your stress level and misery could cause you to relapse.
Volunteer Your Skills
Sometimes the best way to prove that you can do a job is to just do it, even if you’re not getting paid. An opportunity to volunteer your skills won’t necessarily turn into a paying job, but it never hurts. Even if you don’t grab the attention of an employer right away, volunteering can make for great opportunities to grow your network and make finding a job in recovery that much easier. Volunteering also looks great on a resume, which can prove useful if you have any gaps that need to be filled.
Make the Most of Your Resources
In addition to online job listings, there are plenty of resources that can help you find work after you’ve been through rehab. Unemployment offices, temp agencies, the National Skills Coalition, and even the Salvation Army can be great resources for finding work after rehab. You can never have too much help in your job search, so take advantage of as many of these as you can.
Be Honest, but Don’t Mention Recovery if You Don’t Have To
When you go to a job interview, you don’t have to mention that you’ve been through recovery unless required. Chances are that it won’t affect your job performance if you don’t let it, so it shouldn’t be anyone’s business but your own.
Finally, be patient. Job searches are difficult, especially if you’re recovering from a serious condition. Keep looking for work, and don’t get discouraged. There is a job out there for you; you just need to find it.
If you need help adjusting to life in recovery, head to Living NRhythm to learn more about how we can help you take control of your life one step at a time.