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04 Oct 2017

What to keep in mind when looking for work or re-entering a career after addiction treatment

Whether you’re re-entering your career or looking for a job, entering the workforce after addiction recovery treatment comes with its own set of challenges. This can be a stressful time, but it is not impossible and there are resources at your disposal. The best thing you can do is to prepare yourself mentally for this transition. Below are some things to keep in mind when getting ready for employment after treatment. Happy hunting!

IT'S A TOUGH MARKET

Don’t get discouraged if work is slow in coming. Many people, whether or not they have faced addiction, have a hard time finding a job so don’t automatically attribute your struggle finding work with your past. This kind of thinking will discourage you and can lead down the wrong path.

It took perseverance to enter and complete recovery treatment, and it will take the same mindset to tackle this next step. Activate the positivity and coping mechanisms that you learned in treatment. Focus on what you can do and understand what you cannot, and even go to meetings to share your experience and connect with others in your position. Big transitions in life are stressful so it is important to maintain aftercare.

DO YOUR BEST

Interviews are largely about seemingly little things like how you are dressed, eye contact, posture, disposition, etc. Focus on putting your best foot forward. Remember that you do not have to tell your employer about your addiction history unless the job specifically requires it. If you have to or want to discuss this, know that it is not a weakness. You are a person that has overcome an enormous obstacle - you’re focused, committed, and go-getter.

If you’re returning to your career after time away for addiction treatment, people will wonder why you were gone. Shifting public attitude about addiction and recovery means that you can return to a healthy environment. It’s easy to think that people are gossiping, but it can also be something in your head that will just get you down. Either way, focus on doing the best job you can and leave work at work when you go home. If you feel comfortable, have an intimate conversation with your coworkers about your absence. You don’t have to go into details of your addiction and the things that happened, but establish trust and re-enter your life routine on a positive note.


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