Once treatment ends and you feel stable enough to navigate daily life independently, you will most likely find yourself in need of a job. However, you may be unsure of how to apply for and receive a job offer after spending time in rehab. You may worry that employers won’t want to hire you due to your history with addiction or that they will question the gap on your resume. Navigating this process takes time, but you should know that it is possible to get a job, and you will find the one meant for you.
As you continue your job search, consider these tips for finding a job after addiction treatment.
Think About Your Passions
Recovery offers you the opportunity to start over and rediscover yourself. During treatment, you most likely tried different hobbies that you had never tried before. You probably found new things that you are passionate about that may be possible to turn into jobs. Think about what matters to you and what your skills are. Making a list can help you have a clearer picture and thus help you in career searching. If you need help, a job counselor or skills test can point you in the right direction.
Ultimately, you want to choose a job that means something to you and gives you purpose. Working a menial job that you don’t care about is a recipe for potential relapse. Therefore, considering your passions is crucial when searching for a job after addiction treatment.
Prepare Your Resume
Whether you have an old resume or don’t have one, you need to prepare a resume to give potential employers that highlight your best attributes. If you need help creating a resume, there are various career services online and at treatment facilities to help you put it together. Your resume should include keywords that attract an employer’s attention, professional fonts, and only the most relevant information related to your work experience. Remember, you don’t have to overwhelm yourself by putting together a resume because people can help you.
Research Potential Employers
Based on your past work experience, there will be certain employers and job fields that you should look into first. Considering whether you want a part-time or full-time position is crucial, especially when considering your mental health and recovery. If you are still in an aftercare program, part-time jobs are an excellent start for reentering the workforce. You should also research the company's policies regarding time off for treatment and what other employees have said about the company.
Know Your Rights
It is understandable to be worried about possible discrimination due to your history of addiction. However, there are laws in place to protect individuals in recovery like yourself. Researching various laws that protect you, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), will give you a good idea of your rights as you navigate the job process.
Preparing for Interviews
Receiving an offer for an interview is a significant step towards getting a job following rehab. However, interviews are understandably nerve-wracking and therefore require preparation. Looking up interview tips can give you an idea of what to expect, how to answer questions, and what to do following an interview.
You may also be concerned about a potential employer asking about the gap in your resume. Remember, you don’t owe anyone your recovery story. However, there will be situations that require you to state your status in recovery, such as if you are receiving medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and will be drug tested. You must disclose information like this before testing. The laws you research will help you navigate what information to share during the interview process. Remember, you can never be over-prepared for an interview.
Learn to Balance Work and Personal Life
While you may be excited to jump back into work, you must remember that your sobriety is the top priority. No job is worth you stressing yourself out to the point that you end up relapsing. Talking to your counselor or other friends in recovery can help you glean practical advice about navigating a job in recovery. Ensuring you take time for yourself, attending meetings, and having a healthy work-life balance can keep your recovery on track. If you are struggling with this, consider talking to a mental health or addiction specialist. Having someone to talk to can help you keep an appropriate work-life balance.
Returning to work following addiction treatment is a significant step towards lifetime recovery. However, it is normal to feel nervous as you begin navigating this process. Your sobriety should remain a priority, as no job is worth sacrificing your well-being. If you need help with any part of the job-hunting process, NorthStar Transitions has your back. We understand the difficulties that come with finding a job when you have a history of addiction, which is why we offer programs and support to help you find a career you’ll love. While in our care, we will help you prepare yourself for the working world through various workshops and programs covering topics such as resumes, interviews, and more. While we enjoy working with our clients, our ultimate goal is to see you flourish in your recovery outside of our facility. To learn more about our programs and get yourself a job in recovery, call us today at (303) 558-6400.