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Re-Entering the Workforce After Recovery

Completing an addiction treatment program is the first step toward a new, sober life. To be successful in your new chapter, you will need to re-enter the workforce. Doing so can be a significant challenge you need to prepare and plan for. This primer on re-entering the workforce will help you pinpoint the best jobs and learn what to expect after drug rehab.

The Best Jobs for People in Recovery

Everyone has a different set of skills and experiences that affect the industry and type of job they can get. However, all people in recovery should look for jobs with these characteristics:

  • Stable hours: People in recovery need routine and stability. Jobs with a set, standard schedule can help keep you on an even keel as you continue to work on recovery.
  • Healthy environment: Your commute and workspace as well as company culture should be conducive to you feeling safe and accepted in your new job.
  • Opportunity for growth: Goal-setting is an essential element of recovery, so look for jobs with the opportunity to get promotions and learn new skills.

What to Expect When Looking for Work in Recovery

There are a number of challenges you may face when looking for a new job after addiction treatment, and you will need to consider how to approach them. These are three common obstacles to plan for:

  • Employment gaps on your resume: If you attended a residential rehabilitation program, you need to decide if you want to disclose the reason for the employment gap on your resume.
  • Field flexibility: There is the possibility that you may have to broaden your search to include new industries and fields. Consider which ones you might expand into.
  • References: It’s possible that your addiction may have left you with few or no references. You may need to get creative by doing something like volunteering so you can build up your reference list.

Everyone approaches these challenges differently. One person might be happy to say their resume gap is due to addiction treatment, while another person may simply say they were taking a sabbatical. What matters is that you think about what works best for your situation.

Avoiding Relapse Triggers at Work

Once you do find work, it’s important to be aware of the factors that may trigger drug or alcohol cravings in your new workplace or as a result of your new job. Some of the common workplace triggers include stress caused by:

  • Promotions or new responsibilities
  • Relationships with coworkers
  • Heavy workload and work/life balance
  • Workplace celebrations

Using the tools you learned in counseling or therapy is essential to succeeding in a new job. Jobs for recovering drug addicts can be a huge source of stress, and healthy coping tools will help you deal with potential triggers successfully.

A Head Start at Gateway

Re-entering the workforce after addiction treatment can be challenging but rewarding. Treatment programs at Gateway can give you the tools you need to stay confident in your recovery as you transition back into a job or career. To learn more about our services, call 877.379.8031 and speak to one of our experienced representatives.

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