Whether you are returning to your previous job, or starting a job search from scratch after completing a treatment program, the transition can be difficult. Several issues commonly arise in this situation including: dealing with your boss and/or co-workers, stress, and dissatisfaction with lingering concerns about the ability to cope with work stress.
Here are a few tips to help with the transition back to work
Be Proud: it is critical that when looking for work, you do not focus that any rejection has to do with your addiction related past. You are dealing with the challenge and moving forward with your life. You should be proud!
Dedication: Remember; job hunting is difficult, no matter the situation. If you are dedicated to finding work, and you do not give up, you will be able to find a job. Make lists of things you are going to do to find work and cross them off as you go. Keep track of how you spend your time. Finding a job is a job in and of itself and you should feel good about the work you are doing to make it happen.
Positive Attitude: Coming out of rehabilitation, you are new and improved! Remember, you have taken some time to get healthy and you are going back to work with new coping skills. This will make you a better employee than before.
Get Support: Don’t forget to reach out to your support system! Do not be afraid to turn to your loved ones or to schedule a meeting with your sponsor if you feel that you are under too much stress to be able to deal with this alone. There are many people who are rooting for you and willing to offer your assistance or guidance.
Perseverance: Most importantly, don’t give up! It is guaranteed that you will encounter obstacles, as you would in any stage of life; however, you must remember that it is possible to overcome them.
Once you have a job, there are many things you can do to stay healthy.
Be Self-Aware: Be honest with yourself about things that cause you stress and be proactive. Consider speaking to your manager and asking for reasonable accommodations that can relieve some on the job pressure. Some examples might include: taking a break to walk outside; wearing earphones to block out noise; flextime hours etc. Think about what you need and don’t be afraid to ask for adjustments.
Balanced Lifestyle: Watch out for ‘workaholism’. It isn’t uncommon that someone in recovery will exchange a previous addiction for another; alcohol or drug addiction can turn into an addiction to work. This entails using work as a way of avoiding dealing with challenging emotional situations or relationships. While it important to engage with your new job, it is critical to maintain a balanced lifestyle.
Stay in Recovery Mode: Remember, staying in shape physically and mentally requires constant maintenance. Make time to look after yourself. It’s important and you deserve it!
Many agencies, including Edgewood, Bellwood and Nouveau Depart, offer aftercare programs to help you stay healthy. These programs are important and can be very helpful, especially during a back to work transition. You can read more about Edgewood aftercare services here.