After completing rehab treatment, a major challenge for many is the return to work or the search for employment. It is true that this can be a difficult and stressful period, but difficult does not equal impossible. Everyone has to deal with challenges in this life, even people who have tackled something as big as drug addiction. Just knowing that it will be tough can defuse some of the worry over this transition, but here are a few key things to keep in mind as well.
1. Do not assume. Life is hard and fraught with obstacles for everybody. Don’t assume that you are having a hard time finding work or re-adjusting to your job just because of your past drug history. Blaming present struggles on past behavior can lead you down a road of discouragement, fatalism and even relapse.
2. Remember, perseverance pays off. Sticking with your rehab treatment bore good fruit. So will remaining dedicated to the job hunt. Plenty of people without any addiction problems have to go out in search of work each day. You are not alone. Eventually something will present itself.
3. Think positively. Guarding what goes on in your mind is crucial. Take one day at a time. You can remain hopeful and positive for this one day. Do what you can each day to look for work and tell yourself that this is something you can do. Focus on what you can do and not what you can’t do. Positive self-talk is needed before you find a job and afterward, too.
4. Put your best foot forward. Interviews can hinge on many things so do what you can to make them positive interactions. Dress your best. Make plenty of eye contact. Use good posture. Smile. You don’t have to tell everyone about your history unless the job requires it. You are an overcomer and a valuable asset. Show that to others.
5. Focus on work, not others. If you are returning to a job after treatment people at work may know why you were gone. It will be easy to get discouraged if you think about who is gossiping and what others are saying. Instead of concerning yourself with what you can’t control anyway – keep your focus on doing the best work you can. Then leave it all at the office when you head home at the end of the day.
6. Maintain aftercare. Looking for work is stressful. Transitioning from one lifestyle to another can be tough. Re-establishing a life is a major undertaking. You will benefit from the support of others during this significant time in your life. The rehab experience was a step forward. Taking the next steps deserve just as much attention and help.