If you are in the process of recovering from substance addiction, one of the most important steps to reintegrate yourself back into society is by becoming a productive citizen. This means that if you do not have a job, you have to find employment and become financially independent. However, this process is admittedly easier said than done.
For many people in recovery, finding a job can be quite challenging. How do you bounce back and find a stable career when you’re not yet 100% healed? Many people in recovery are often scared to explore working again because they don’t want to be judged and they want to avoid the stigma attached to being a former addict. While there are laws in the United States that protect recovering addicts who are not currently using illegal drugs from job discrimination, it can still be challenging to be hired especially if there are long gaps in your career history.
Yes, it is difficult but this does not mean that you should forestall your job search. Recovery is a continuous process and you’ll find that maintaining a regular routine like having a job will actually help you get through your issues.
If you’re currently searching for a job, here are some tips that could help.
Create an effective resume
The first step in finding a job is preparing a solid-looking resume that outlines your skills set and career history. When writing about your past jobs, don’t just list down the tasks you were assigned to do. Instead, focus on your achievements and your contributions while working in that role. Keep your resume concise, ideally one to two pages (maximum).
When using a resume layout, don’t just type up your details on a basic Word document. There are free resume templates online that can make your resume look more professionally done and graphically pleasing so you’ll stand out among the competition. It is also a good idea to create online profiles on job search sites and LinkedIn so it will be easier for you to apply for jobs listed online.
Maximize your network
Talk with the people you know, family members, and friends to ask whether they know of a job opening. You’ll be surprised that even if you’ve been through substance addiction, there will still be people around you who will be willing to help you start anew. You can also tell the people you meet in meetings or the people you meet at rehab that you are job hunting. You can also participate in alumni programs at your rehab to expand your network.
Seek out government programs that provide job assistance
Because of the opioid drug crisis, many local government programs have cropped up to help recovering addicts find employment in recovery. Contact the social service office in your area to check how to participate in these programs.
Don’t be fussy
There will be times when the only available jobs will be those that will not necessarily be referred to as “dream jobs”. Some examples include waiting tables at restaurants, sales staff, and blue-collar work that involve manual labor. If these jobs are available, don’t automatically shut them out. Keep in mind that it does not mean that this will be your permanent career. What’s important is that you can start earning your own money and have a regular work routine while in recovery.
Consider a career in addiction treatment
A good option for people in recovery is to find a career in addiction treatment. You can be a sober coach, a support person in a treatment facility, an admissions specialist or even a counselor. Having your own history of substance abuse issues and surviving these struggles can make you effective in these types of roles. Check with your own rehab facility if they are hiring or call up different treatment centers in your area.
Explore freelance and online jobs
If you cannot find a regular 9-5 job, don’t be disheartened. Instead, try to check out available freelance and remote online jobs that you can do. There are many jobs listed on sites like Fiverr or UpWork that will allow you to work from anywhere, even from the comforts of your own home. This will widen your job search, as it will not only be limited to the job openings in your area of residence.
Examples of common remote jobs include graphic design, website development, bookkeeping and content writing. Even if you don’t have any of these skills, you can apply for jobs that only require basic email and typing skills such as being a virtual assistant, social media assistant or email marketer.
Learn new skills
A great way to increase your chances of being hired is to develop new skills. Being in recovery is a great time to reevaluate what you want to do in your life. For example, if you are interested in fashion, take up a dressmaking course. If you like watching fixer-upper shows, maybe take up carpentry or word work lessons.
Jobs with specialized skills like technicians, mechanics, and electricians are also high-paying opportunities. If you don’t have money to take up lessons, you can find free resources online through and search educational videos on YouTube. Ivy league schools like Harvard University offers free online courses and you can also sign up for free courses offered by Google and Facebook.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, help is available.
Contact Anaheim Lighthouse today.