Finding a Job After Active Addiction

Finding a Job After Active Addiction

Isolation is a huge issue for addicts, and finding work can make a real difference in the fight toward sobriety. But things like discrimination, past criminal history due to bad decisions during deep addiction, or lack of credentials can all affect addicts who are trying to find work. In this blog, we will look at ways you might find a job after addiction to avoid isolation with tips and more. 

If you need a safe space to stay sober, our sober living environment at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation may be right for you. Contact us and learn how we can help. 

The Importance of Employment in Recovery

When it comes to looking for employment during recovery from addiction, it isn’t just about making enough money to stay afloat; although that’s important too, it’s about making a new, stable life for yourself. When you join the workforce, there is a semblance of routine and structure that is hard for you to build. The other bonus is a sense of purpose and achievement, or having something to work toward. Goals, community, and structure can all help an addict remain in sobriety. 

Preparing Yourself for the Job Market

When you have been in active addiction for some time, entering the job market takes a lot of preparation and can be incredibly anxiety-inducing. You have to start by realizing your presence in the work place has value. You have unique empathy and experiences that others who haven’t experienced addiction can’t have. You will also bring to the table skills that are unique to you. 

Next, you must research the latest best practices for resumes. For instance, what algorithms companies in your industry are using to vet resumes they receive, what keywords are standard, and which layouts work best.

Another way to prepare is by practicing for interviews in your niche. There may be examples on YouTube, or online for what questions you may receive or ways to practice. For instance, if your industry uses certain applications, you’ll need to find common tests, which the employer might give you, and start practicing. 

Finally, there may be resources in your area for career counseling specifically for addicts. These support groups can help you look good and help you prepare and practice the skills you will need to succeed. Having someone to show your resume in advanced or bounce ideas off of will help. 

Leveraging Resources and Networks

Networking in many industries can make a big difference. One way you might do this easily is via social media like LinkedIn or X. Reach out to headhunters or HR in various companies and ask what they are looking for in resumes and interviews to help you shine. 

You can also consider furthering your education with different courses. Getting back into the swing of things or learning a completely new skill to bolster your resume can help you feel like you are taking action toward a better future and will assist you in landing the job you want. 

Approaching the Job Search Process

Once you feel prepared with skills and a resume, it’s time to start looking for a job. You may start with temp agencies just to get your foot in the door and show experience and recent work. Otherwise, be open-minded about part-time, flexible work, or even freelancing. This can help you begin the process of working slowly, which can help if you’re nervous. 

When looking for jobs, be sure to set up a spreadsheet where you can add the link to the job ad when you applied, and any other important information you might need for an interview or to contact the company. This way, you can see when you need to follow up and not lose track, as often we need to apply to hundreds of jobs at a time before we find the perfect fit. 

Maintaining Employment and Sobriety

When you land that job, your success in that role will be intricately linked to your sobriety. Make sure you strike a balance between your job and fun activities like hobbies and seeing friends and family. It’s important not to be completely consumed with work but to use it as a guide to stay structured and work toward goals. 

Just because you land that job doesn’t mean you’re safe from triggers. The job you receive might not be healthy for you. It’s important to pay attention to that, too. If the job is causing too much stress and pushing you back into drinking it will harm you long term. Be ready to leave a job and keep searching for more opportunities in order to avoid this. 

Best Jobs for Individuals in Recovery from Addiction

You will need a job that works well around addiction. With that in mind, we have put together a list of opportunities that may work well for you. The best jobs will be ones that have a good environment, a schedule and are not too stressful: 

  • Peer Support Specialist: Now that you have experienced sobriety and supporting others you may be best equipped to become a peer support specialist. This is someone who can give support to those in need. This is also a great way to give back. However, you must be vigilant of triggering situations if you chose a role like this. 
  • Healthcare and Wellness: Working in healthcare roles like techs, counselors, and coaches can be really rewarding for those who have been in bad places before. Helping others towards better health is fulfilling and reminds us that our health has worth too. These roles need empathy, something an addict is in a unique position to provide. 
  • Creative Professions: Creativity can make a big difference to how fulfilled we feel in life. Things like writing, graphic design, or music can all be engaging and therapeutic. These roles can often be individual work, too, which is helpful for those who enjoy working alone. 
  • Skilled Trades: Trades are really underestimated when it comes to choosing work roles. Learning a good trade like carpentry, electrical work, plumbing, or landscaping can set you up for life. There will always be these roles available, and they can be satisfying as they are a skill that you can keep learning for years to come. If you like to use your body and don’t want to sit at a desk all day this is the perfect idea for you. 
  • Information Technology: Tech offers a lot of ongoing learning and skills. You might consider IT, developer roles, analysts, or marketing. These positions often take focus and a willingness to branch out educationally after work. This can provide you with a hobby to keep you busy and meet new people. 
  • Nonprofit Sector: This is a great way to feel like you are helping people at work. Plus, many non-profits really value diversity and different life experiences. This makes them a role that is less intimidating for addicts who may be concerned about their past. 

It’s essential for individuals in recovery to consider their personal triggers and stressors when choosing a career path. Jobs that minimize exposure to high-stress environments, avoid the normalization of substance use, and provide a supportive community are preferable. 

Sober Living with Sanctuary Foundation

No matter how we find a structure and community, whether it’s through a sober living facility or a job, it’s important to have a life full of support and goals. As an addict, you have unique experiences and can offer more than the average person in many roles. It’s important to embrace this and find your worth. Having a job can bring you closer to your goal of sobriety by offering community and structure back into your life. For more structure and community, reach out to the Sanctuary Foundation about our sober living facility.