Sober living helps you learn to navigate the world without drugs or alcohol, and being employed can help you succeed for the long-term. But it’s not always easy to find a job during sober living, especially in the current market.
The Benefits of Employment in Recovery
Employment has a number of benefits for people in recovery, according to an article published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.1 Employment helps you:
- Fill your time productively
- Reduce financial stress
- Develop healthy relationships with other people
- Improve your sense of self-worth
- Find purpose and meaning in life
A job in recovery will go a long way toward improving your overall quality of life.
How to Find a Job During Sober Living
The idea of trying to find a job can be daunting, especially if it’s been a while since you were employed. Here are some tips to help you find a job during sober living.
- Decide What You Want to Do – What type of job you land depends on your experience, skills and training. It also depends on what you want to do. Think about what your long-term goals are, and evaluate your strengths and values. If you’re a compassionate person, a job helping people might suit you. If you’re a problem solver, you might enjoy a job in customer service. Write down a list of the types of jobs you are suited for.
- Create a Resume – Most employers will ask for a resume, and yours should be professional, free of errors and a clear, honest reflection of your skills and experience. If you don’t know how to write a resume, look for help online, or ask a friend or family member for assistance.
- Be Honest With a Potential Employer – If you have legal problems, past employment issues or a long gap in your resume, you may need to explain these to a potential employer. Do so matter-of-factly, without going into the fine details. Explain that you struggled with an addiction, got the help you needed and are now looking to make positive contributions to society. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services stresses that knowing your rights concerning discrimination is important when you’re looking for a job in recovery.2
- Ask Around – Networking with other people is a good way to find a job during sober living. Put the word out that you’re in the market for employment. Ask friends, family members and others in your social network for referrals or ideas for employment. If it’s appropriate, you can ask others to put in a good word for you to help you get your foot in the door.
- Search the Internet – Federal, state and city jobs are stable and pay fairly well, and you can see what’s available on their job boards. You can also find jobs on Craigslist and employment sites like Monster. If you have a particular job in mind, visit the company’s website, which may offer an online application process.
- Consider Training or Education – If you lack the skills you need to find a job during sober living, do what you can to brush up on them. Consider returning to school, or talk to a job counselor about vocational training that can help you develop the skill set you need for the job you want.
Keep at It
It may take some time to find a job during sober living, but if you stay on top of it, your diligence will pay off eventually. Always be on the lookout for opportunities, and apply right away when something opens up. Keep at it, and you’ll find yourself gainfully employed and on the road to long-term recovery.