When an individual in recovery has years of sobriety under their belt, that is a great success, hard won. Staying in recovery is not easy. Neither is the real world. How does an individual in recovery approach the job hunting process?
A new job can be very fulfilling. However, jobs are hard to come by, especially with someone who has a history of addiction. Read on to learn the 3 best ways to improve employment chances when in recovery.
To Disclose or Not to Disclose
This is not necessarily a black or white scenario. Disclosure of addiction recovery is up to the individual. As is the time when the individual may choose to disclose it. It could be during the interview process, or even before that in a cover letter. It could be once the job has been offered. The important thing to remember is consistency. In this digital age, an employer can easily find a prospective employee online. However, If the individual opts against sharing their past, there is the chance that an employer will do their own background check. Being consistent with the narrative is key.
Focus on Strengths
Should the individual in recovery choose to disclose their past, doing so could help to combat pre-existing notions about struggling with substance abuse. One way of accomplishing that is to focus on strengths. An individual in recovery has had to scale mountains and fight demons to achieve sobriety. The time to focus on strengths is now. For example, detailing all the learnings gained because of the experience with substance abuse, and the subsequent recovery, and how that could help the prospective employer.
Preparation is Key
Be prepared. Be prepared for prejudices against someone in recovery. Not everyone is going to understand the process or the past challenges. Be prepared also to answer questions about the past, to cover gaps in employment. How best can such gaps be explained, while still showing your commitment to the path of recovery?
At the end of the day, it is completely up to the individual as to how honest they want to be, without fabricating any explanations. And keep in mind that the law is on the side of people with substance abuse disorders. This law keeps employers from discriminating against a former substance abuser, who is now in recovery and sober. Know your rights and the protections afforded under state and federal employment laws. Finally, the individual must be mindful of where they are in the recovery process, and use that knowledge to find a good fit.
Hired Power provides information and resources for addiction intervention and recovery. If you are struggling to kick a drug or substance use habit, call us. Let us help you create a solid foundation for lasting recovery. 1-800-910-9299