After transitioning into sober living, many individuals focus their time on finding employment. This is often because they have either left their job to enroll in rehab or lost their job prior to enrolling. Becoming self-sufficient in recovery is a great goal to have. Establishing financial independence and standing on your own is a beautiful thing, and it’s a common goal for people in recovery. After beginning a sober living program, many individuals run into problems finding employment for various reasons.
5 Common Challenges of Finding Employment in Early Recovery
Finding employment in recovery isn’t always easy, especially considering the challenges most addicts in recovery face when they start hunting for jobs after rehab. Some of the most common employment challenges addicts in recovery face are:
1. A Lack of Positive References
Many people in recovery may lack credible references because of past drug abuse and the negative effects it had on their employment history. Examples may include frequent tardiness, absences, substance use on the job, or decreased job performance.
The social stigma of addiction may keep employers from giving addicts in recovery a fair chance at performing a job. Some people in recovery may be less likely to even get an interview if the potential employer finds out they are in recovery or had substance abuse problems in the past.
3. Prior Beliefs About Finances Before Recovery
Sometimes people in recovery can revert to the way they viewed their finances before recovery: defining themselves by the material possessions they have or valuing their character by the size of their paycheck. Working a program of recovery is a life-changing process, and on page 127 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, it says:
“The head of the house ought to remember that he is mainly to blame for what befell his home. He can scarcely square the account in his lifetime. But he must see the danger of over-concentration on financial success.”
Financial recovery does occur, but only after personal recovery occurs. Personal recovery is the foundation block that people in recovery must build the rest of their lives on. If financial recovery comes first, and employment is lost, all the blocks above it may crumble down.
4. Honesty About Working a Program of Recovery
When seeking employment while enrolled in sober living, many residents ask how they should address their recovery progress when speaking with potential employers. Placing personal recovery over financial recovery plays a role here. Often, people make the mistake of working a program of recovery around a job, rather than prioritizing recovery first. Having the ability to attend meetings, work with a sponsor, and sponsor others will keep sober living residents sober longer than simply having a job. Page 78 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous addresses issues such as this when cleaning our side of the street:
“Telling them what we are trying to do, we make no bones about our drinking; they usually know it anyway, whether we think so or not. Nor are we afraid of disclosing our alcoholism on the theory it may cause financial harm.”
So, what should be done? Working a program of recovery should always be the priority. When considering this question, consult with other people in recovery and your sponsor for their experience before acting.
5. Having a Criminal Record in Recovery
Entering a sober living program with a criminal record is not an uncommon situation. Most people in recovery have had their fair share of run-ins with law enforcement. Some of the run-ins may have been dismissed. However, some people in recovery may have a felony record. A felony charge, to most people, means gaining employment is not going to happen.
Eudaimonia Sober Living Programs Include Employment Help for Recovering Addicts
Eudaimonia Recovery Homes provides employment assistance to each sober living resident that enrolls in our program. Our staff helps residents gain respectable employment by aiding in the following areas:
- Locating and applying for job opportunities
- Updating or creating a resume
- Training and practice developing interview skills and other life skills
At Eudaimonia, we not only provide safe, sober housing for people in recovery, but we also offer helpful job resources and skills training for recovering addicts. We believe this gives each resident the best opportunity to develop an established foundation in sobriety and overall well-being.
Additional Employment Help for Recovering Addicts
There are also many online resources that provide employment help and job listings for recovering addicts in sober living, such as:
Career Options: Good Jobs for Recovering Addicts
If you are in recovery, you may choose to pursue any career that you want to, but there are certain types of jobs that would be great for someone who has a history of substance abuse or who has personal experience with addiction recovery. A few good jobs for recovering addicts might be:
- A substance abuse counselor or therapist – Although this career choice may require some additional education, you may find that a career as a substance abuse counselor or therapist is very rewarding because you have the opportunity to help other people who are struggling with addiction.
- An addiction treatment admissions specialist or support person – Many addiction treatment centers rely on the professionalism, experience, and people skills of their support staff to be successful. If you’re in recovery, you may enjoy this type of job because it involves talking to potential clients who are seeking addiction treatment, helping them find the right type of treatment, and assisting them as they complete the enrollment process.
- A detox nurse or medical support person – If you’re in recovery and you have an interest in pursuing a career in the medical field, being a detox nurse or medical support person may be especially rewarding. In this role, you could work to help addicts complete the very first step of recovery: detox.
- A sober coach or recovery specialist – This type of career may also lend itself to addicts in recovery, because who better to guide someone in recovery than someone who is actively living it? If you enjoy sharing your own personal experience with addiction and recovery or you like to provide helpful tips and advice for living a life of sobriety, this might be an ideal position for you. As a sober coach or recovery specialist, you’d have the opportunity to guide others through their own recovery journey.
Obtaining Employment While Enrolled in Sober Living is Possible
Regardless of your past or current situation, obtaining employment in sober living is possible. If you are enrolled in a Eudaimonia sober living program and come across an issue with employment, consult with your recovery accountability circle, sponsor, and most importantly, your higher power.
On the other hand, if you recently completed a drug rehab program and you’re looking for sober living homes in Colorado Springs, Austin, or Houston, contact Eudaimonia today to learn more about our sober living houses and recovery support services, such as employment support. We are happy to provide you with more information or help you enroll today.