Professional Development Services is a tutorial group that teaches individuals such skills as resume building, how to properly fill out job applications, perform mock interviews, and assist with completing school applications. This group helps integrate the individual back into the professional world and highlights the skills of the individual for job placement.
Diving back into the job market can feel intimidating for a person in recovery. It’s understandable to assume that certain barriers stand in the way, such as:
Having a gap in employment history due to going away for treatment
Feeling uncertain about revealing past substance abuse
Worrying about discrimination from potential employers
But according to a 2012 survey, more than 23 million adults – 10 percent of the U.S. population – consider themselves to be in recovery from drug or alcohol abuse. Plenty of individuals have gone on to lead successful lives and work in careers they enjoy after rehab. In addition, many companies today are open to hiring candidates with previous drug or alcohol issues.
You don’t have to let your recovery get in the way of your professional goals and aspirations. As long as you stay on top of your sobriety and take good care of yourself, the job or career you want will be well within reach.
Job Searching Tips for People in Recovery
Before you start scouring job boards on the Internet or highlighting newspaper classifieds, it’s important to start with the foundation of every job search – your resume. Make sure it’s updated with your most recent job experience, as well as the highest level of education you’ve completed. If you don’t have a resume or unsure of where to start, enlist a family member or friend to help. Many communities also have workforce coalitions that can help with resume writing.
Once your resume is squared away, you can develop a plan for the types of jobs you’d like to apply for. This is a great time to assess your past job history and ask yourself questions, like:
What did I like about my last job? Were there things I didn’t like?
If I had the chance to take my previous job back, would I?
What skills do I have that can provide value to a career field I’m interested in?
What do I see myself doing in the next five to ten years?
While applying to every job listing may be tempting, it’s best to focus on jobs that fit your skill set and needs during recovery. Picking just “any job” may lead to unwanted stress that could trigger a relapse. When you’re skimming through job listings, keep an eye out for the following criteria:
Clear and reasonable expectations
You should know exactly what the jobs entail after reading the description. Go with your gut — if the job isn’t what you’re looking for, move on.
Structured duties and working environment
Many people in recovery find that they thrive in jobs with a set routine. High-stress jobs with tight, changing deadlines are often not the best fit.
Starting small can be a good thing if there’s plenty of room for growth in a company. If you’re applying for jobs in a new field, an internship or volunteer position can get your foot in the door.
If you start to feel anxious or overwhelmed by your search, don’t worry. There are plenty of professional opportunities out there for people in recovery. Eventually, the right job will come along, but remember that it might take some time. Like all good things that are worth having in life, you’ll need to be patient throughout the process.
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