Finding & Maintaining a Job After Addiction Treatment

Studies have shown that finding a job after leaving rehab puts you at a lower risk for relapse. However, finding a job can seem like a difficult task for someone who has just left addiction treatment. There are resources that can help recovering addicts find a job to help bring in money and keep them on track to sobriety.In fact, in their One-Step Career Center, the US Department of Labor offers assistance for those looking for jobs. There are also other programs for recovering opioid addicts, veterans, felons, and more. Knowing what steps to take and the available resources can make finding a job for those in recovery a simpler process than they may initially believe.

Common Struggles When Looking for Employment

  • A criminal record
  • Poor education or skill deficits
  • Large unexplained gaps on their resume

There are ways to overcome these perceived obstacles when searching for a job. Taking the proper steps can reduce the difficulty in finding a good job that you enjoy.

Prepare Your Resume

The first step before looking for any job is to ensure your resume is in order. It should be properly formatted, with your skills and positive attributes highlighted. It should also include your work history.Remember not to doubt yourself. Put anything on your resume that you think will be helpful in finding a job. You are a strong person. Completing addiction treatment is not easy and maintaining your sobriety is hard work. You are looking to better yourself and your life, and employers will like to see those qualities.If you do not have access to a computer or internet at home, there are community centers and public libraries that offer free internet and computers for use. Use free online resume templates when constructing your resume. You should also create a cover letter to use when applying for jobs.Upload your resume on the various job listing sites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, and LinkedIn, to help with your job search.

Stay Closely Affiliated With Your Treatment Center

The process of searching for a job can be stressful. It is important to focus on what you can control, and sometimes you need extra support. The treatment center can help you manage your stress and other emotions associated with looking for a job to reduce your risk of relapse. Keep your support network close, as this will help you maintain balance in your life as you are looking for work.

General Tips For Finding A Job

  • Look for things that genuinely excite you and that you are passionate about
  • If you are unsure what excites you or where your passion lies, start by taking a career assessment exam
  • Take the culture of the company you are applying for into consideration, evaluating how you would fit in and how the job would fit into your new sober life
  • Use your network including friends, family, your treatment center, sponsor, and more
  • Include internships and volunteer work in your search as well
  • Use the HIRE Network if you have a criminal record

Tips for Finding a Job in Recovery

Expand Your Network

Networking can help get you into places you may not even know about. You can expand your network by forming friendships at support groups and other sober activities to gain insights into employment opportunities. Also, keep in mind that the majority of treatment centers have connections with local temp agencies or businesses that can give you a starting job with the oversight of a case manager or career counselor.

Limit Your Expectations

You shouldn’t expect to find an amazing job straight out of rehab. Often, our expectations are hidden resentments we have towards ourselves without realizing it. Letting go of these expectations can open you up to new opportunities you may not have considered before, such as entry-level or part-time jobs.Reevaluate any assumptions you may have about what you can or cannot do. Be more willing to take new jobs, accept new ideas, and meet new people. Make your experiences count by finding the good in them and learning from the bad. Practice mindfulness and don’t let bad results get to your head.


Get involved doing something that you enjoy, that motivates you, and gives you a sense of purpose. By taking part in something you enjoy, your skills and abilities are more likely to shine through to others. Employers love having employees that are actively engaged in their work. Sometimes a volunteer opportunity can turn into a job with pay.

Use Job Resources

There are many job resources for including individuals in recovery who are searching for employment. America In Recovery is a site that consistently posts job opportunities for individuals in recovery. LinkedIn also posts job opportunities and resources, such as podcasts, that can be helpful in finding a job. You can also go to meetup groups to attend live workshops. Training, and other events that can educate you on finding and keeping a job. As stated before, don’t forget to reach out to treatment centers for job resources too.

One of the next big steps after completing addiction treatment is finding a job and maintaining it. This can seem intimidating, especially since many people in recovery often face obstacles such as a criminal record, a poor education, skill deficits, or large unexplained gaps on their resume. However, it is important to remain positive and use the resources available to you to aid in the employment search. Make sure you have a properly formatted resume and cover letter, use your network to find opportunities, and take an inventory of yourself to make sure you are not holding yourself back. Resources are available online and at treatment centers, you just have to reach out. For some recommendations on where to start, you can contact NorthStar Transitions at (303) 558-6400.

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