What is the key to finding a job after rehab?
It’s often said that getting sober is the easiest part of the recovery process. By comparison, staying sober is what takes the most effort.
Fortunately, addiction treatment programs help individuals to learn the skills and strategies that are required to sustain one’s sobriety indefinitely. On the other hand, there are certain things which a rehabilitation program can only prepare you so much for, including finding and maintaining a job after getting out of rehab.
For individuals who have just completed a treatment program, employment is often one of their biggest post-rehab obstacles.
Whether or not they have much employment history, many individuals experience periods of unemployment while in active addiction. Moreover, it’s quite common for people suffering from substance abuse problems to have trouble maintaining a job, resulting in a period during which they hold a series of short-term jobs.
Once you’re sober, the prospect of maintaining a steady job becomes much more feasible, but actually finding that job can be the most difficult part. Therefore, considering the following tips that will help those in early recovery find employment after rehab.
Assess Your Job History
Most job histories begin with an entry-level position, followed by individuals either working up through the ranks at their respective companies or maintaining those first jobs long enough to use that experience to find better positions elsewhere.
The problem faced by many individuals who have had substance abuse problems is the frequency with which their substance abuse puts big blemishes on their work histories; those blemishes amount to extended periods of unemployment with extremely short and intermittent periods of employment.
Reacquainting oneself with one’s work history is an integral step toward finding a job after rehab. If it helps, it may be a good idea to actually write out your work history, turning it into a timeline for your reference. Being able to visually see your work history will help with organizing your thoughts as you begin to put together a résumé. Meanwhile, take notice of the types of jobs and the industries in which you’ve worked.
Also, based on the jobs you’ve held, what kind of career trajectory do you think you’re on? The answer to that question will help you determine the types of jobs for which to look.
Craft a Compelling Résumé
Before you can begin the arduous task of applying for jobs, you’ll need a résumé. Many people are intimidated by the prospect of creating their résumés, but it’s not usually as difficult as it’s made out to be. If you’ve had a lot of work experience — particularly management and/or administrative positions — it may help to think about what makes for a good résumé when you are the one who’s hiring for a position.
Basically, the purpose of a résumé is to use your work experience, education, special skills, and work ethic to sell yourself to a prospective employer. Therefore, you’ll want to use your work history as a jumping-off point, gleaning your skills and knowledge from your education and previous jobs.
For instance, if you’ve worked in a number of retail positions, you could market your customer service skills, your ability to operate retail stores under strict corporate codes and guidelines, perform inventories, and so on.
Alternately, if you’ve previously held positions as an auto mechanic, you could also highlight your problem-solving skills as well as your troubleshooting and diagnostic skills.
Practice For Interviews
When it comes to getting a job, the extent to which you are viable as a candidate depends largely on two things: your résumé and your interview.
By this point, you should have a solid résumé to present to prospective employers, which leaves the interview. It may not seem like the sort of thing for which you can practice beforehand, but you can absolutely practice for an interview. Many of the questions that are commonly asked in interviews are available on the internet; in fact, you’ll probably find examples of how to answer those questions, too. Of course, you don’t want to memorize and recite someone else’s answers. Instead, you should look at the answers as a blueprint for crafting your own compelling answers.
Besides knowing what to say in an interview, it’s also important how you say it. In other words, interviewers want to see confidence, composure, a quick wit, a go-getter attitude, and trustworthiness in an applicant.
You can show most of these qualities incidentally by practicing so that you’re not too nervous during the interview. Perhaps you could have a family member or close friend help you by conducting mock interviews in the days leading up to the actual interview.
A job interview is when you want to put your best foot forward, and practicing for your interview will insure that your strengths aren’t overshadowed by nervousness and hesitation.
Tend to the Details
You’ve created your résumé, nailed the job interview, and gotten an official offer for employment. If you haven’t done already by this point, the next step is to ensure that there’s nothing that could prevent you from being able to start and maintain your new job.
The most obvious — and surely the most important — detail would be transportation. As an employee, attendance is undoubtedly an important quality.
If you’re not planning or able to drive yourself, you will need to have consistent, reliable transportation to and from your new place of employment, whether this means having a loved one who’s committed to getting you to and from work or using a ride-share service like Uber or Lyft. As an employee, attendance is surely going to be one of your most important qualities.
In addition to transportation, you’ll need to have some type of plan in place that will help you to maintain a healthy work-life balance. For instance, if your new job has the potential to be stressful, you should have some strategy in place with which you can blow off some steam without putting your sobriety at risk.
Likewise, you don’t want a new job to take over your entire life, leaving you feeling burnt out much of the time and putting you in danger of relapse. Finding balance between work and your personal life is extremely important because it will lend longevity to your new job while helping you to stay healthy and sober as you move forward.