There comes a time when every recovering addict must step outside their home, recovery center or sober living facility and start creating a life of sobriety. This is an exciting time because you’ve worked hard to complete detox and the initial steps of recover. You now have the freedom to start dreaming about your future, and you’re well enough to take actions that will make those dreams come true.
Maintaining employment job will boost your self-confidence while allowing you to take financial responsibility for your life, but you have to choose your position wisely. You need a job that can serve as the foundation of your new lifestyle, setting you up for success in recovery. The following tips will help you assess all job opportunities to find the right fit for your new life.
Consider the Location
You don’t want to apply for jobs within close proximity to areas you once purchased or used drugs. If you’re a recovering alcoholic, you don’t want to work in a restaurant with a bar or any business located next door to a bar. This places you in the danger zone of temptation on a daily basis.
If you can find a job in a new neighborhood or city, it can feel like a fresh start in an entirely new world. You’re still going to have cravings, but you’ll find them easier to conquer if you aren’t staring at a reflection of your past life on a daily basis.
Assess the Stress Potential
All jobs will introduce some level of stress into your life, but some are far more chaotic than others. You don’t want to jump right into an intense environment that makes you crave the substances that once helped you escape your problems, so consider starting with entry-level or part-time positions. You can always increase your working hours or interview for more advanced (and stressful) positions once you’re more secure in your recovery.
Work Out Future Problems Today
How will you get to and from work each day? Will your new position blend well with other responsibilities in your life? If you need to rely upon public transportation, work out the exact routes that you will take and what times you will board the bus or train. You may even want to determine whether you will pack your lunch or visit a nearby restaurant or street vendor.
Think about every small detail that may add unnecessary stress to your daily life, and work out the problems in advance. This includes the clothing you may need for interviews and certain positions. Most large cities have charities that donate professional attire to those trying to get on their feet, so don’t rule out jobs that may require you to wear clothing that you don’t currently own and can’t afford to purchase. Find help securing these items now so that you aren’t worried when a job offer comes your way.
Think Long Term
Don’t settle for clocking in and out of a job each day. Determine what career you want to build for your future, and create a plan. Ask yourself whether each job opportunity will take you one step closer to that long-term career goal.
If your long-term goal is intimidating, break it down into smaller steps. You may focus on working part-time while studying for your GED, and then you may enroll in a technical school or community college. If you have the resources and professional experience, you may start out in a managerial role with your eyes on executive-level positions for the future.
Everyone starts somewhere, and you deserve something better for your future. Give yourself time to dream, set your goals, and then take action. Amazing things can happen when you do little things consistently.
Consider Your Colleagues
One thing that will put you at risk for relapse is the stress that comes from working with difficult coworkers. Consider the type of people working for a business so that you don’t find yourself in constant disagreement or surrounded by old acquaintances who may drag you back into your past lifestyle. If possible, talk to some of your supporters about referring you for a job with their employers. If you have someone supporting you each day, your work environment will set you up for success.
Ready to Work for Sobriety?
Reach out for help if you need assistance building your resume, securing professional clothing or searching for employers willing to overlook an employment gap. You can work your way to sobriety, but you’ll need support making this transition and building the life you deserve.