At its root, addiction recovery is all about wellness. It’s a process by which an individual restores their physical and psychological well-being. While learning to manage addiction and prevent relapse is the primary focus of the recovery journey, it isn’t the only thing people in recovery have on their minds.
Choosing a career or settling on a new career to pursue is frequently a concern for people in recovery. Taking steps to choose a career can be empowering and enhance the overall changes people are making in their lives.
Talk to Your Therapist
Choosing a career isn’t always a clear-cut decision. Often it requires careful, deliberate exploration. While in recovery, individuals are discussing many aspects of their lives with their therapists, so it makes sense to discuss career concerns with these professionals.
For some people, the nature of their previous line of work may have contributed to their stress or negative emotions and influenced their drinking or drug use. A therapist can help people explore their triggers so that they can choose a career that minimizes those stressors and, instead, supports the individual’s emotional well-being. There are also organizations that specifically help individuals find work after completing addiction treatment.
Play to Your Strengths and Interests
The recovery journey involves no small amount of self-reflection. Some people may experience a tumultuous mix of emotions as they try to assess their choices and move beyond their past experiences. In the most positive sense of self-reflection, individuals must evaluate their strengths and discover what their talents are.
Yet, as people consider a career path, they must also think seriously about a type of work they will genuinely like. Enjoying one’s line of work is something most people strive for, but it’s especially important for someone recovering from an addiction. Hating a career means that this individual has to cope with negative emotions at least eight hours of each day for the foreseeable future. That level of negativity can sabotage recovery and lead to relapse.
Consider the Environment
When choosing a new career, recovering individuals should select one that will not put them in proximity to alcohol or drugs. So much of recovery is focused on preventing relapse. Limiting exposure to alcohol or drugs simply helps keep those temptations at bay. A job in a restaurant, nightclub or bar does not offer an environment that is conducive to recovery. A healthy environment for a recovering individual is one that supports sobriety and minimizes the triggers and temptations associated with relapse.
If you are recovering from addiction, it’s so important to view your future career with positivity. When you work with your therapist and think positively about the types of work you want to do, it can have an empowering effect on your life and enhance your recovery journey.
So often, people fall into the wrong careers. With reflection and mindfulness, you can choose a career path that will not only provide for your basic financial needs, but will satisfy your need to perform meaningful work, work that complements your talents and enhances your ability to enjoy each day.