How to Get a Job While in Recovery
Regaining Independence with Financial Self-Sufficiency
It can be overwhelming and discouraging to feel like you lack self-sufficiency while recovering from substance usage. Establishing financial independence as you re-enter sober living can help you regain independence. Often, one of the first items on a person's to-do list when going through recovery is to start looking for work. There are a variety of reasons people recovering from drug or alcohol addiction find themselves looking for work. For example, the person may have resigned from their employment prior to entering rehab. Alternatively, they could have lost their employment before going to treatment.
Remember that you have legal protections in place to preserve your employment rights. If a potential employer learns of your substance abuse background, they are legally obligated to follow specific anti-discrimination regulations. For example, the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, provide protections for workers. These laws were enacted to safeguard the employment rights of people with disabilities, whether physical or mental. These laws make it clear that a person's past with addiction cannot be used as a justification to deny them employment.
However, there are some common challenges to those in recovery looking for employment, including:
a shortage of positive references
stigma against those currently in recovery
having developed a criminal record
Here are a few important tips for making your job search easier:
begin with people you already know and start networking
don’t be afraid to utilize resources and job-related assistance