I’m sure you have heard it said that looking for a job is the hardest job you will ever have and for the most part that seems to be true. Your only argument will probably come from those guys on Deadliest Catch. Seeking employment comes with its own set of obstacles for anyone trying to do so but for those in recovery, an additional unique set of hurdles exists. You need to pay your bills and you need to eat just like anyone else, but how do you find reasonable, gainful employment when struggling with overcoming an addiction? We can obviously cross career opportunities such as ‘pharmacist’ and ‘bartender’ off of the list, but how do you stop the slide all the way down to ‘ditch digger in rural Mississippi’?
The best career idea, first and foremost, is to return to whatever you were doing before you went into rehab. Unless your job kept you around drugs and/or alcohol. Many rehab programs advise that additional drastic lifestyle changes be avoided during the first year to 18 months of recovery. This would necessarily include things such as jobs and relationships if it can be helped. The reasoning behind this is that major life changes, even positive ones, induce great amounts of stress. The more changes you take on at once, especially while you are still new to recovery, the greater your level of stress is going to be. The higher levels of stress that you have, the greater your chances for a relapse as a means of dealing with it. It is also beneficial to your recovery to have something stable and familiar in your life when so much else is changing.
If you are unable to return to your former job, especially if it is one that puts you in the path of substance abuse like a nurse or a bartender, then a change of career will be absolutely necessary. As you begin your new job search, some of the most important things for you to keep an eye out for are:
- Regular hours – Regular working hours allow your days to take on a predictable pattern, minimizing scheduling stressors. This will also make it easy for you to schedule the necessary recovery times and meetings that you must attend.
- Routine tasks – Again, in light of reducing the amount of stress in your life, jobs, where you perform stable, routine tasks, are preferable to jobs with a great amount of confusion and upheaval. At this stage of the game, steer clear of applying for a job as an airline pilot, or an investment banker.
- Reasonable working conditions – Is the commute longer than your workday? Are you forced to work in stuck close quarters that your personal bubble is nonexistent? Things like this can be major stressors for addicts and non-addicts alike. Give serious consideration before taking any job where you know ahead of time you are going to spend the bulk of your day being angry and/or uncomfortable.
- Room for growth – Not all jobs will offer room for growth and that’s okay, but finding a job that does offer it can provide you with a sense of security (having something to work towards) and a sense of achievement as you work your way up the proverbial corporate ladder.
There is no universally correct answer here. Ultimately you have to do what feels right to you. At Asana Recovery we understand the uncertainty that comes with letting go of your old way of life. We also know what steps to take to get you started on the path to your new life. Our compassionate team members are here to help you and guide you through every single step of the recovery process. If you would like to learn more about our detox or our residential treatment programs, reach out to the staff at Asana Recovery today.