Successfully completing treatment and returning home is an incredible achievement. While returning to the “real world” can be exciting, there are some things that can also be daunting. For instance, if you lost your job due to your addiction, then finding a new one might seem impossible. It’s not. There are a few things you can do to increase your chances of landing a great, new job.
Elevate Your Resume
First impressions matter, and your resume is the first impression you make on a potential employer. Because addiction often leads to periods of unemployment, getting fired, and poor references, there may be some holes in your resume. But there are some simple things you can do to do to ensure your resume ends up in the interview pile rather than the trash can.
Think about everything you have done as part of your recovery. Was volunteering a part of your treatment? Did you receive vocational classes? Did you learn any new skills? Include those in your resume to fill in unemployment gaps. If this was not a part of your treatment, seek out volunteering opportunities in your community. They are a lot easier to come by than jobs. Although you won’t be getting paid, this will help you gain experience and make positive connections that you can use as references.
Another important component of your resume is your covered letter. This is your time to shine, regardless of your professional experience or education. You can find a lot of great cover letter writing tips online. But in a nutshell, don’t regurgitate your resume. Instead, focus on playing up your strengths and skills, what you have learned in previous jobs, and how you plan on applying this knowledge if you are hired.
You know what they say, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” So, get out there and start talking to everyone. Start by letting your family and friends know that you are looking for a job, even if they don’t work in the field you want to work in. You never know who they could connect you with.
You should also try more formal networking, such as attending industry specific networking groups and social events. If you are shy and this sounds intimidating, bring a friend. They will not only make you feel more at ease, but if they are outgoing, they can serve as your wingman and introduce you to others. And of course, don’t forget to bring some resumes and business cards, if you have them.
You can also network online. If you are serious about your job search, you need to be on sites like LinkedIn and Indeed. Don’t just upload your resume; engage with others on the site. Comment on articles that others post, visit the forums, and start developing professional relationships.
Try Different Jobs
Sometimes change can be a great thing, and this might be one of those times. Carefully think about your last job and decide if it is something you still want. If you had a high stress job intensified your addiction, then that is probably not the environment you want to go back to. If you worked as a bartender and are new to recovery, then late nights at a bar are not beneficial to your recovery. Sure, bills need to get paid but not at the cost of risking your sobriety. Take this as an opportunity to explore new career opportunities.
Don’t be afraid to try jobs in new fields and don’t assume that a job is not worth your time. Understand that you might not be able to instantly go for top positions, especially if you have been out of work for a while. You might have to start in middle or entry positions, and that is fine. Work hard and you will be at the top in no time.
Remember, finding a job that is the right fit for you and your recovery might not happen overnight. Don’t give up, and keep putting yourself out there.