Throughout your journey to sobriety, you have likely thought about where you would like to work once you complete your treatment and are ready to commit to a career. It is also entirely normal to want a fresh start in a new career rather than returning to a job you held prior to becoming sober.
One of the keys to having a successful career after sobriety is not only finding a career you enjoy but also ensuring the work environment is conducive to your sobriety. Here are some qualities to look for in careers and job opportunities while you are in recovery, and after you have achieved sobriety:
Waking up, going into work, eating lunch and going home at the same time every day can go a long way in providing a sense of stability. Try to find a career that will allow you to work at the same time every day or on the same days every week, rather than working sporadic shifts depending on availability and need. If that is not possible, ask if you can still maintain some sort of consistency, like working in the mornings when you are scheduled to work on a weekday and working in the evenings when you are scheduled on a weekend.
Routine, structured duties and expectations
Predictable expectations are almost as important as a predictable schedule. If you have just become sober, you have likely experienced a lot of change in your life recently. Starting a brand new career where you will have to go through extensive training and learn to do several different tasks will only add to the stress you might already be feeling. You may find yourself bored on slow days, but try to find a position where you will be doing mostly the same things every day so that you know what to expect and are confident in your ability to meet expectations. For example, if you take an administrative position in an office, you might be expected to sort and scan that day’s incoming mail, print and organize documents and send out the office’s outgoing mail at the end of the day. Every day when you go into work, you will know that you need to check the office’s incoming mail bin, ask your colleagues if they have any large documents that need to be printed, and prepare shipping labels and envelopes for outgoing mail.
Related to your interests
Work is more fun when you have a genuine interest in what you are doing every day. A bonus to consider during your job search is whether potential opportunities would allow you to explore your hobbies and interests, like positions at bookstores, board game shops, coffee shops, music shops or hardware stores.
Here are some career opportunities that are ideal for individuals in recovery, either because of their consistent scheduling and duties, opportunities for growth or positive environment:
Working at a bookstore would provide you with a calm, quiet environment, normal business hours, consistent duties and the chance to engage with new people every day. Day-to-day duties might include stocking shelves, sorting donations, receiving and sorting deliveries and ringing up customers.
Support staff at a residential treatment or sober living facility
If you feel ready to be immersed again in the world of recovery, working at a residential treatment or sober living facility is a great way to help others on their journey to sobriety. Potential career opportunities can include intake staff, enrollment staff, facilities and maintenance staff, and hospitality staff.
Vocational or trade careers
Some vocational career paths require apprenticeships or training in order to become licensed, but they are lucrative opportunities that allow you to work with your hands. Trade positions like plumbers, HVAC technicians, mechanics, and welders are interesting, provide opportunities for independence and skill-building, and typically operate during normal business hours.
Administrative tasks at an office job, while repetitive, provide the structure that is beneficial during sobriety. Duties can include copying, scanning, filing, mailing and organizing documents. Administrative roles also provide opportunities for growth, as offices typically offer the chance for administrative assistants to manage projects for optimizing organization and efficiency, as well as supervising more junior file clerks once they have a few years of experience.
Nonprofit support staff
Working at a nonprofit like a food bank, charitable organization or animal shelter can be rewarding and fulfilling. Nonprofits rely heavily on volunteers to help keep their operations going, but support staff are important because they work consistent hours, can hone skills specific to the organization, and quickly become familiar with critical day-to-day processes. Potential duties can include sorting donations, intaking new donations or clients and providing administrative support.
Mazzitti & Sullivan Counseling It’s important that you feel happy and fulfilled by your career, as this will be another motivating factor in staying committed to your sobriety. Reach out today at 1-800-809-2925 to begin your sobriety journey.