Successfully graduating from a dedicated detox, residential, or other addiction treatment program is cause for celebration. Each individual should take pride in these accomplishments. However, it does not mean that the journey with recovery is done, and those graduating from these programs and entering life as an alumnus are met with their own challenges. One of the most profound challenges that many face while transitioning back to living on their own is reengaging in the professional sphere. Finding a job after treatment can be difficult, with interviews being exceptionally difficult to navigate. 

Discussing why one left their last job can be difficult, especially if their time with a particular company came to an end as a result of the use of drugs or alcohol. Others may find it difficult to navigate questions regarding why there may be a gap in their resume. However, it is always possible to navigate these questions and find a fulfilling professional career after treatment. 

Interviews After Treatment

Job applications and interviews will always be stressful, regardless of any past use of addictive substances. Taking time to prepare for these stresses and enact plans to navigate interviews is crucial. Those in recovery will have a number of questions they must answer for themselves before heading out to an interview. Not everyone will necessarily approach the topic of substance use or addiction recovery in the same way. Finding the approach that works best for any one individual is crucial for focusing on one’s professional advancement while maintaining a healthy, sober lifestyle. 

Preparing to Rejoin the Workforce After Rehab in Hawaii
Preparing to Rejoin the Workforce After Rehab in Hawaii

Rejoining the workforce in one’s newfound sobriety comes with many hurdles, but it is possible. Learn more by calling Hawaii Island at (866) 390-5070.

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Know What to Disclose

While some people may prefer to be upfront about their addiction recovery journey, noting it in cover letters or in phone interviews, others may not be as comfortable disclosing such information at the beginning of the application process. Each individual will have their own preferences when it comes to when to disclose their history with addictive substances. 

For many, it can be helpful to wait before discussing their recovery journey until potential employers learn more about their work ethic to avoid any stigmas or misconceptions about addiction and recovery from informing first impressions. Others may take pride in the upfront honesty of discussing their journey at the beginning of the interview process. However, when a person chooses to address the topic is always up to the individual. 

Whichever option one chooses, it is important to be consistent in the information available. Clearing up social media spaces, going over one’s preferences with references, and more can all portray a consistent stream of information for employers. 

Keep Conversation on the Present

Each individual may have to field difficult questions about their journey, whether it be discussing their recovery journey outright during interviews or explaining any gaps in the resume that may prompt such queries. While it is not advised to lie during these interviews, it can be beneficial to gear answers to focus on the present, rather than dwelling on the time in these gaps. 

Outlining the skills gained during this time and how they can affect present and future employment can be instrumental, even when discussing addiction treatment and recovery. Interpersonal and communication strategies, decision-making skills, personal agency, accountability, and more are all core parts of the addiction recovery process that can translate well into a professional environment. Rather than discussing the challenges of addiction recovery, it can be more important to focus on the skills and transformations made therein and how they define a person in the present, keeping the focus on their transformed identity rather than the past. 

Learn About Personal Rights and Protections

Discussing addiction and recovery will always be difficult. Coupled with the inherent stresses of the job interview process, this time can be incredibly stressful and anxiety-inducing. However, familiarizing oneself with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and knowing the protections therein can provide a sense of support in the professional sphere. The act legally prevents potential employers from discriminating against those who have suffered from addiction, classifying substance use disorder (SUD) as a disability under legal context. 

However, while an individual cannot be judged based on past addiction, these protections are only in place so long as an individual is not engaging with addictive substances in the present. The ADA will not prevent job loss or ramifications in the case of relapse. Utilizing the ADA while continuing to develop effective relapse prevention strategies in ongoing care is essential while pursuing professional employment.

How do I Keep My Patients Motivated
How Do I Keep My Patients Motivated During Recovery?

To learn more about how to motivate patients during recovery or the benefits of motivational interviewing, call HIR at (866) 390-5070 today.

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Find a Job That Fits

Professional life is stressful, and asking potential employers about the work atmosphere, attitudes, and more can ensure that one is finding a positive professional position. Employment is an agreement between employer and employee. Finding a healthy and supportive professional environment is necessary for maintaining positive mental health and continued sobriety. Navigating continued recovery while managing workplace toxicity or pervasive use of addictive substances in workplace culture can be exceptionally difficult. Each person always has the power to decide if a potential work environment is a healthy and safe space to further their professional career in sobriety. 

Job interviews are stressful. Continuing to stay motivated throughout the job hunt is essential for your continued, hard-earned sobriety. At Hawaii Island Recovery, we understand the challenges that affect alumni, even after graduating from a dedicated treatment program. Recovery is a lifelong commitment, and continuing to engage in effective treatment, support, and recovery-focused communities is necessary to maintain your sober transformations. With continued outpatient care and aftercare planning, an accepting and inviting community, and more, we can personalize a program to continue supporting you while helping to balance the stresses of finding a new job. Our center for alcohol and drug treatment in Hawaii is committed to helping you at any stage of recovery. Learn more at (866) 390-5070.