Getting a Job After Rehab: Careers Vs Jobs
Getting a Job After Rehab
Graduating from rehabilitation is one of the biggest milestones in your life. Congratulations! If you’re not quite there yet, don’t worry, we believe in you and as long as you hold fast to your goals and make every day count, you’ll reach your ultimate goals!
Getting back into the workforce can be a catch 22; you need a job for financial stability- and hopefully joy and intellectual engagement- but without a solid resume or references, landing a position can be difficult. Considering the sea of competition you’re competing with, you need to have excellent credentials and solid references who will vouch for you.
Stop right there!
Even if you don’t have a solid resume, there’s no reason why you can’t position yourself to learn new skills in a short period of time and rack up resume fodder for applicable experience.
If you think continuing education is holding you back- principally because you don’t have a degree- there are ways to learn many of the fundamental skills you’ll need for free online with certified courses (some even give certificates). Pursuing college is ideal, but don’t worry if it takes you a bit to get to that point. All work is honorable, even if you’re working in a fast food chain, you should feel proud of yourself for putting one foot in front of another to get you closer to your dreams.
Sometimes you can’t be picky. Even if you have to work in retail or food (and you really hate it), you’re not stuck there forever. As long as you keep making steps towards pursuing your dream job, you can do it! Yes, dream jobs do exist, and yes, they are absolutely obtainable at any point in your life.
You’re never too old, too young, or too whatever-else to do absolutely everything you want in this life.
Getting a job after rehab is easy with our pro resume building tips and tricks.
Choosing a Career VS a Job
Don’t settle for a long-term job when you can focus on nurturing a career path! Here’s the thing a lot of people get wrong: jobs aren’t limited to fast food or retail- in fact, sometimes these job turn into professions and lucrative careers- like moving up to the corporate office. Other times, retail jobs and fast food gigs are just that, where one stays on the line for many years when they may not want to. Employment in offices, physician practices, business management, and other lucrative positions are just jobs too. Their nature doesn’t necessarily make them careers.
The difference between a job and career has no actual grounding in job type, but the quality of your life.
Many would disagree with me, but here’s my take: one’s career should be fulfilling, enriching quality of life by doing something they love. Jobs are simply a paycheck. You may of course have a respectable position which pays well, but if you’re going to an office, or a service line everyday, or out in the field, and you’re miserable, you’re doing it wrong.
We need money to survive, yes. “Money isn’t everything” is largely applicable to those who don’t live paycheck to paycheck. But for the rest of us, our jobs must sustain a measure of both fulfillment and income.
If you love waitressing, and that is your career– you be the best darn waitress to ever live! But if you’re a waitress, and you’d rather be doing anything else, take steps to get the heck out of there. Easier said than done, right? Many of us don’t have the opportunity to rely on our families to support us through a career change.
How then do you manage to make the switch?
One of the most common ways would be to apply for career opportunities while remaining at your present workplace. If you don’t have the resume to compete with others in the field, I have three pieces of advice for you:
- Apply anyway, you may be surprised what a well crafted cover letter can do for you
- Go to school and continue your education- lots of financial aid is available
- Use your off hours to glean resume fodder
Making the Switch: Where to Get “Resume Fodder”
When I worked at Subway, I enjoyed my job. In fact, I love Subway. I give all my money to Subway. If I’m on a date, I want to go to Subway– not a restaurant. You get the picture. Despite my eternal love for veggie delites, I only worked at Subway for six months. I decided to leave for two reasons: I did not want to become complacent and I wanted to pursue my career as a writer- and not just write on the side. I wanted writing to be my foremost source of income.
And now it is.
Leaving the stability of my job was nerve wracking, and I didn’t want to do it initially. Admittedly, as you can imagine, I wasn’t making very much at subway anyway! But my first paid writing gig? I literally wrote for pennies. Fortunately, I was able to move along relatively quickly and started getting real work. I was lucky enough to have the support of my loved ones while I transitioned from Subway to writing.
For those who lack this support, no one has the right to judge whether or not you’re “doing enough.” Bills need to be paid, and sometimes that means you have to stay at a job longer than you’d prefer. There’s absolutely no shame in that, and don’t let anyone else convince you otherwise.
Even if they’re your loved ones.
That being said, never become complacent, but do not jeopardize your well being because you were pressured into it. (That includes your psychological health too.) You can take mini steps everyday to get to where you want to be. Keep them in the forefront of your mind and say,
“I won’t be here forever.”
Getting a job after rehab is an achievement you need to celebrate, no matter how big and small. This will give you the motivation to keep going!
8 Pro Resume Building Tips for Getting a Job After Rehab
So, how’d I go from hobby writer to paid professional? With a lot of work and ignoring naysayers.
I was fortunate to have many of the writing skills I use everyday- but that wasn’t enough for real-world applications and professional expectations. I didn’t have the resume clout for an actual “job,” but I did have the verve and dedication to land several internships at the same time. (It certainly helped I was heavily involved with all of my local college’s publications.)
Resume Building Tip #1:
Revolve your extracurriculars around your ultimate career objective. Volunteer and get involved in anyway you can. Your experience is certainly applicable.
Resume Building Tip #2:
Apply for remote internships on internships.com if you don’t have the time to go to a physical location.
Resume Building Tip #3
Volunteer at applicable conventions, conferences, community events, or anywhere which serves as a stepping stone for your career of choice.
Resume Building Tip #4
Search Craigslist for “gigs-” and don’t forget to take advantage of looking in other states for opportunities too. Just click the telecommute filter, and you’ll be able to do whatever you want straight from home.
Resume Building Tip #5
Get certified! If you want to be a graphic designer, why not take a photoshop course?
Resume Building Tip #6
Become involved in your local community, utilize Facebook and social media, use flyers, and word of mouth to offer your services as pro bono work. This way you’ll get working experience and testimonials vouching for your services.
Resume Building Tip #7
Use LinkedIn! The largest professional social media network ever. Join groups with similar interests and get advice from people on the inside.
Resume Building Tip #8
Go to relevant Meetup Groups to build meaningful relationships with professionals in the industry you want to work in.
Where to Get Great References
Oh the all-too-familiar peril of getting great references!
If you have previous job experience you can rely on, you probably have a manager or co-worker to vouch for your work ethic. That’s great! But for those of us who aren’t so lucky, and who are just coming out of treatment, finding references can seem impossible. But I promise you, if you follow our resume building tips- especially in regards to volunteer opportunities, community engagement, and internships- you’ll glean sparkling reviews from each avenue.
Don’t forget to ask your favorite therapist, case manager, or program director from your facility for a letter of recommendation. They know you better than most, and have seen your transformation first hand. If you’re feeling shy about asking for references, check out these templates and customize them to your heart’s desire.
Trust me, if you tell them about your adventures of getting a job after rehab, they’ll be more than pleased to help.
Top Performing Professions of 2016
- Start your career search on the popular Monster.com or try Careers.org.
- Here’s some advice on defining and finding your dream job.
- And of course, learning all you can about your career is essential! Here’s a career guide to get you started.
Getting a Job After Rehab? Here are the Most In-Demand Jobs of 2016!
Top 5 Tips: What to Do with Yourself After Rehab
About the Author
Alexandrea Holder is a South Florida native working toward double Master’s degrees in Psychology and English. She finds the psychological aspects of addiction and mental illness fascinating, as both are prevalent in her family’s history. When not researching and spreading addiction awareness, Alexandrea enjoys sparring, artistic pursuits, and admiring puppies online.