Seeking Employment When You’re in Recovery

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Seeking employment after rehab can be a challenging experience as you’re still working on yourself and learning healthy ways to cope with everyday stress. You may also be unsure of how people will view you if they find out you were in rehab. However, you’ll be happy to know that there are laws that protect you from being discriminated against. As long as you are coming to work sober, these laws apply to you.

Below are some helpful tips on how to find employment after rehab.

Determine What Type of Work You Want

Think about what type of work you want to do based on your talents and interests. Keep in mind that a full-time job might be a lot right now, so you may want to entertain part-time work or flex jobs that allow you to work at home some of the time. While having a job is a great way to stay busy and generate an income, you don’t want to burn yourself out too soon. A new job still comes with a lot of responsibility, and you don’t want the stress from this to put you at risk for relapse.

Make Use of Job Resources

There are different organizations that can help you find a job. Specifically, look for career development organizations that will help you enhance your skills and find work in your desired area. Great places to check out include The Department of Labor’s One-Stop Career Center, The National Skills Coalition and National HIRE Network.

Pura Vida Recovery also offers services for young adults who are recovering from substance use. As part of our Transitional Young Adult Addiction Treatment program, we offer career development services, including resume writing, interview help and finding a job. And, if you need more education or training, our program can help with this as well. We can get you set up with GED classes, vocational training and even scholarships.

Know Your Rights

As mentioned earlier, you have rights that protect you from being discriminated against. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), substance use is a disability. Therefore, an employer cannot discriminate against any individual who has sought treatment for a substance use disorder or is currently in treatment. However, if you come to work under the influence, the laws no longer protect you. This is important to know for the future, because if you relapse, you’ll want to get help immediately so that you can keep your job.

Share What You are Comfortable With

You do not need to tell a prospective employer that you’ve dealt with substance use in the past. However, if you have criminal charges filed against you, the employer will probably want an explanation. In this case, you can be open and upfront about your past substance use and let them know that you successfully completed a treatment program. If you need to seek treatment while you are working, you will have to give enough information to show that your leave is FMLA-protected. However, you do not have to tell your employer your actual diagnosis.

Prioritize Your Recovery

Even though finding work is an important part of recovering and becoming a productive member of society, your recovery must come first. It’s okay to work part-time and settle into your new role. Your main priority is to make sure that you are tending to your needs and managing your stress levels so that you do not return to drug or alcohol use.

Follow your aftercare plan, attend meetings and counseling sessions, spend time with positive people and make time to do the things you love. Also be sure to take good care of yourself by eating well, exercising every day and getting enough rest.

Volunteer to Gain Skills

If you’re having a hard time finding a job after rehab, consider volunteering for the time being. Volunteering is a great way to keep busy while job searching and learning new skills that will benefit you in the professional world. Plus, you can use your volunteer experience to bolster your resume. Employers love to see this!

Finding work after rehab can be a challenge, especially if you’ve been out of the working world for a long time. But don’t let this discourage you—there are plenty of opportunities to get out there and make an impact while earning a living. To learn more about the Transitional Young Adult Addiction Treatment program at Pura Vida, contact us today.