How New Recovery Survivors Can Make Ends Meet Until Landing a Job
|Guest Post By Rufus Carter|
Addiction is linked to debt — sometimes even poverty — which can create a serious toll on the recovery survivor and, in some cases, their family. The main reason behind this unfortunate connection is that it’s likely fiscal responsibilities were put to the wayside in order to feed one’s addictive behavior. Not only does this lead to a loss of money, but a loss of relationships and jobs, too. If you’re a new recovery survivor in this position, don’t even think about repairing your financial state until you secure a job and find a way to make ends meet in the meantime.
According to surveys, only 2 percent of applicants actually get interviews, which means you’re going to have to exercise persistence and patience. Only apply for jobs that you actually qualify for, and take the time to craft a detailed (and personalized) cover letter that highlights your strengths. When it comes to the interview, you need not feel obligated to disclose information about your previous addiction, but if you want to keep your private life to yourself, consider staying off social media or adjusting the privacy settings. Be prepared to answer questions about job gaps on your resume by finding a way to discuss your strengths. Research and understand your rights, as there are many state and federal laws that prohibit employers from discriminating against those with a previous addiction.
Since this process can take time, here are some ways you can bring in some extra cash until landing a solid position.
Join the Gig Economy
Fortunately, the gig economy is growing by leaps and bounds, which means there are more opportunities than ever to work as a freelancer/independent contractor in just about any field imaginable. There are part-time and project-based opportunities available, so there’s lots of room for flexibility — some gigs could even lead to a full-time job.
Due to the growing popularity of this model of employment, there are several job sites that make it easy to search for work. While it’s best to look into companies that align with your area of expertise in order to have a greater chance of getting hired, many people choose to be a pet sitter or dog walker by virtue of the fact that they love animals. This should be a consideration on your list, as studies indicate that animals can help a recovery survivor maintain sobriety by lessening depression, providing companionship, improving cardiovascular health, and lessening anxiety. There’s also a spiritual health connection because people generally feel happier when they’re around animals.
Turn a Hobby Into a Side Business
Whether you’re a woodworking whiz, have a passion for jewelry-making, or know how to make a piece of clothing that garners compliments, consider turning a hobby into a small side business. Start by creating a game plan that includes startup costs and when you’ll schedule in time to work — try maximizing your time so that you’re working toward the goal of actually making money. Build an online presence via social media, like-minded groups, and your own website. There’s no reason to drop a lot of coin on a site, as there are several online resources
that offer templates for little or no cost. Promote your goods everywhere, from conferences to clubs, and reach out to influencers and high-profile bloggers who align with your business to see if they’d consider reviewing your product.
While you may feel the pressure to get back into the workforce, make sure you maintain a commitment to your sobriety. Be sure to follow a healthy diet, exercise regularly, obtain continued support through groups and loved ones, and address your mental health by doing things you enjoy. Instead of looking at the job-hunting process as daunting, consider it an opportunity to start your life over in a more positive direction.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
Rufus Carter has been in recovery for 9 years. For the past 6 years, he has worked as a personal trainer. His website, recoveringworks.com, organizes resources for anyone in recovery who is trying to choose their career path. With the site, he hopes to help those in recovery create fulfilling and lucrative careers.
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.