Every year, many people miss work to attend addiction recovery therapies. However, post-treatment, they are expected to return to work. This is important for them as well, not just for a source of income but for their social standing and to build their identity.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that effective treatment addresses the person’s needs, including vocational. It may not be easy to forge a new career path, but if done properly, it can be a means to a new, healthy life.
What to Expect if Returning to Work
When you return to work, your co-workers may ask, “Where have you been?” While it sounds like a simple question, it might be a difficult question for you to answer. However, you can always choose to be upfront about your absence or not say anything at all.
Everyone has the right to respect their recovery. If you feel that being honest about your absence from work could lead to judgment from your co-workers, you have all the right to not disclose anything.
The Family and Medical Leave Act allows an individual to take medical leave without disclosing specifics if diagnosed by a professional. The Americans with Disabilities Act also protects your privacy.
4 Tips for Rebuilding Your Career Post-Addiction
#1. Look in your field: You may feel rejuvenated after healing and wish to make huge changes. Using a job within your field might help you balance work and life.
#2. Find a job with reasonable expectations: It is okay to start small and keep stress levels low while re-entering the workforce. After treatment, many people volunteer or do an internship to ease their return to work.
#3. Jobs with structure and performance assessments, giving the chance of development and raises, can make you feel like you have minor but reachable goals. This is important if you had a successful career before entering therapy.
#4. Some begin careers in motivational speaking or helping others recover following treatment. This means more independence, but also more stress than typical employment opportunities.
If you are in the recovery stage, you have a lot to offer in the workplace. You have past employment and role expertise. Work can act as a method for you to recoup and rebuild your life.
How to Rebuild Your Career
Relearning sobriety can be a full-time effort. Returning to work will be a part of your life at some point. Some may return to work immediately after release, while others may need more time.
Decide what you want from your work. Take time to plan your career route with your treatment team, and be prepared for adjustments. It is easier to advance in an existing career than to start over. Remember that it takes time to discover yourself.
Finding a meaningful career post-recovery is not easy. However, it is certainly possible. With proper coaching and belief in yourself, your past addiction will not prevent you from finding the best line of work for yourself. If you or any of your loved ones are struggling with mental health concerns, contact Avalon Malibu at (844) 857-5992.