Because of the effects of heavy drug & alcohol use, it can be difficult for people who have substance abuse issues to keep a job or start a new position – and it can be even more complicated when these individuals decide to get sober and start the recovery process.

There are some obstacles that might get in the way of the career search for a person who just got out of rehab. These obstacles could include anything from gaps in employment, to having a criminal record, to employer discrimination against individuals in recovery.

But the obstacles should not get in the way of trying to find a job after rehab. Many people who have solid jobs and are in positions of power are still going through recovery today. In fact, plenty of companies are very open to hiring people who are in the substance abuse recovery process. It’s all just a matter of prioritizing recovery to increase the chances of success.


How To Find A Job After Rehab

Diving back into the job market after rehab can feel intimidating, but there are plenty of options and resources to help you get there. Follow these tips to find a new job after your stay in rehab:


Revamp Your Resume.

Update your current resume or create a new one including your most recent job experience and the highest level of education you received. If you don’t feel comfortable creating or updating the resume on your own, get help from a family member, a friend, or a workforce coalition.


Assess Job History.

Think about your previous positions. What did you like and dislike about your old jobs? What skills did you develop in these positions? Would you take your last job back if given the chance? By answering these questions, you’ll have a better idea of what you want.


Look Into the Future.

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years? How can you get there? Answering these questions will help you establish your goals and learn how to achieve them.


Be Picky.

Don’t just apply for every available position that you see online – focus on applying for jobs that fit your skills and interests. If you accept a position without having a passion or the skillet for it, you likely won’t like your job. If you’re not happy with your job, that could cause stress. Stress can trigger a relapse, so only apply for positions that would be a good fit.


Read the Job Description.

This one sounds like a given, but it might be the most important tip to follow. Make sure the employer includes a detailed job description that reflects a structured work environment, clear and reasonable expectations for the position, and growth opportunities.


Utilize Your Resources.

Connect with peers from your recovery group to see if they know of any companies that are hiring individuals in recovery. You can also take advantage of organizations designed to help people in recovery find jobs, such as America in Recovery and The National Hire Network.


Ultimately, you should go into the job search with your head held high. If you show confidence during your job search, that will be reflected throughout the interview process.


So You Got The Job…Now What?

Congratulations, you got the job! Now, it’s your responsibility to deliver on the promises you made to your new employer by staying dedicated to the recovery process. Continue to put your sobriety above everything, and the rest will follow.

Make a good first impression by dressing appropriately and staying neatly groomed for work. To ensure success, show initiative by talking to your coworkers or offering to help with projects.

While it can be tough to adjust to regular life again, reentering the workforce will likely help make the recovery process easier. Having a new sense of purpose can be extremely motivating for individuals going through recovery. As long as you follow these tips and stay on top of your sobriety, you’ll be well on your way to getting a job you love after rehab.