Overcoming the Obstacles
of Employment in Recovery
From the challenges that recovery presents to our alumni, to the unfortunate stigma placed upon those in recovery by the law and society, keeping a job — or even finding one to begin with — can be difficult for those who are working through a substance use disorder.
For these reasons, we offer career training, alumni support, and connections with groups that can help our clients and alumni hold down a job and move forward in their life in recovery. To get an idea of what employment in recovery looks like, read on, or contact Extra Mile Recovery today.
Getting A Job
It’s common for individuals who are leaving rehab to reenter their regular lives unemployed. At Extra Mile Recovery, we help our clients get back on their feet by preparing them for their job search. These are some of the high-level concerns our clients and alumni face while looking for work that are good to think about ahead of time.
Choose the Right Job
Some people in recovery want to start slow and pick up a part-time job where they can reacclimate to work-life. Others prefer to jump into work that keeps them busy and engaged, like learning new skills through vocational jobs. And others find it rewarding to explore the type of work that helped them get to where they are by entering the recovery industry. There’s no one right answer; it may not be a good fit forever, but it’s important to find a job that fits your needs when you’re starting off in recovery.
To Disclose, Or Not to Disclose
While Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) legislation protects you against discrimination based on age, sex, disabilities, and other factors, it’s hard to account for personal biases, and the stigma surrounding substance abuse can make it difficult to secure employment. Always remember — you have a right to privacy when it comes to your health history, and substance addiction is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Ask for Help
You are not alone in your job search. During and after our treatment programs, the team at Extra Mile Recovery helps you develop your resume, prepare for job interviews, and connects you with alumni who can help you in your search. You may also want to check out federally-sponsored programs like CareerOneStop that are known for connecting people with inconsistent work histories or legal issues to welcoming employers.
Keeping a Job
Staying employed can be challenging enough when not in recovery, which is why we’ve found ways to support our alumni as they continue their career. Even if your recovery isn’t perfectly smooth, there are ways to make sure your employer is still happy to have you. The idea is to find a positive balance between work and life, while making sure you allocate enough time to continue working on your recovery.
The Americans with Disabilities Act and similar legislation protects you as a person with a substance abuse disorder, but those workplace protections don’t extend to those actively abusing substances. In addition, many companies will exercise a legal right to drug test employees. Avoiding relapse isn’t easy, but it’s an important step in keeping a job long-term.
Compensate for Your Weaknesses with Your Strengths
Your struggles with recovery may not allow you to operate at peak performance every day: you’re only human. But as much as possible, you should compensate for that. Be open about your needs when possible and have a plan for making up lost time or work later. Make an investment in working hard, and your employer will invest in you.
Ask for Help
Recovery doesn’t end with rehab, or with landing a job: it’s a lifelong journey. At Extra Mile Recovery, we offer alumni outreach and support to ensure that anyone who’s worked with us can reach people who will support and guide them through the trickier parts of their lives. Find out how we set you up for career success during recovery by reaching out today.