The first thing a person usually wants to do when they are newly sober and out of treatment is to find a job. Some are able to rely on loved ones or government assistance programs until they are truly ready. Others will have to go back to work right away. Interviewing and working while trying to maintain your newfound sobriety can be challenging, but the good news is that it absolutely can be done.
Finding a Job
If we have a felony record or prior convictions, you may feel discouraged about finding a job. Fortunately, the 12-Step community offers many resources to help – you just have to ask. Many communities offer Alano Clubs, which hold 12-Step meetings and share available job listings and places to live.
Many of these employers know that recovering addicts and alcoholics may have criminal records and open specific jobs for these situations. There are also networking opportunities amongst the 12-Step fellowship that can help jump start your career.
Although it may seem like you’ll never find the perfect job or career, your time will come. Try setting a goal for how many jobs you will apply for each day, so you have something to strive for. Do not feel discouraged if it takes longer than you expected.
The best jobs to get in early recovery are often customer service jobs, where you will be met with consistent growth in the patience department. Ask for help if you are unsure about how to create a resume. Your treatment center may also have tools to help you with the transition of leaving treatment and finding a job.
Jobs are a gift. It may be strange to think of work this way, especially since it was likely difficult to even maintain our jobs while we were drinking or using. But working now can inspire gratitude, which is another healthy coping strategy against potential relapse.
We can appreciate that we wanted a job and were willing to take anything that was available. If you find yourself feeling complacent or complaining after a few months, it’s important to remain grateful for the opportunities you’ve been given. You’re on the right path. Working also helps us stay busy, which is especially helpful in the beginning of your sobriety.
Hold Off on Treatment-Related Work
It makes sense that the first job we may consider is working in mental health treatment, detox, or sober living. Because we have first-hand experience, we often believe that it would be beneficial to give back and share what we learned in treatment. We see a lot of people who are in recovery gravitate towards the recovery industry.
It is strongly suggested that you get some time clean and sober before you make that leap or take that opportunity. It’s common to work in this industry around the clock, so by the time you go home, you may not be interested in taking care of yourself and your program. You may tire of the 12-Step program after talking about it for hours at work.
You may even tell yourself that you’ve already done what you need to do for your own program that day, making you vulnerable to a possible slip in your own sobriety. One day, you might thrive working in the recovery industry – just give yourself enough time in sobriety first.
If you’re ready to seek help, speak with a professional at Alta Loma today.
Alta Loma residents who are transitioning to independent living are encouraged to seek out volunteer and employment opportunities. Alta Loma staff will even help with interviews and organize transportation. Alta Loma also provides access to higher education options. Your future is waiting. Call us today at (866) 457-3843.