How Recovery Survivors Can Make Ends Meet While Searching For A Job

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June 28, 2018 By Eva Benoit

Getting on your feet after an addiction can take time, but if you need to find a job, there’s no time to waste. But considering it takes an average of three to six months to find employment, it’s not a bad idea to take on a side gig in order to make ends meet. Here’s how to balance the job-hunting process while bringing in a revenue stream to help you stay afloat.

Job Hunting Tips

When considering what type of jobs to apply for, it’s critical that you choose a career and work environment that will help you maintain your sobriety — even if that means taking a little extra time to bulk up your resume with skills that fit a new path. Prepare yourself for the interview by rehearsing responses to tough questions such as job gaps or multiple roles in a short period of time so you don’t freeze up under pressure. Dressing the part is just as important as a cover letter or work experience. Research the place you’re interviewing at to see what the company culture is like — though that doesn’t mean you should show up in jeans if it’s laid-back. It’s always better to be overdressed than under. Wear something that makes you feel confident, but make sure it’s not too flashy or over the top.

Get a Side Gig

Thankfully, the gig economy continues to grow by leaps and bounds, which means getting a side job is easier than ever. Some examples of popular “gigs” include ride sharing, personal assistant, caregiver, dog walker, pet sitter, selling things like handmade items on Etsy, teaching music lessons, tutoring, and many more. Consider taking on something that interests you, reflects your personality, and incorporates your skill set so you can be successful. Conduct some research in the areas you are considering so that you don’t wind up overwhelmed or disappointed. While you may be living paycheck to paycheck at this juncture, try to put a little money aside for taxes so you’re not caught off guard when it’s time to file.

When to Consider Starting Your Own Business

In some cases, working in the gig economy can inspire people to start their own business. However, before walking down the entrepreneurial road, make sure you possess the right traits. It’s important that you have solid problem-solving skills, you’re self-motivated, and you’re adaptable. Running your own business can be extremely stressful at times, so consider whether that type of lifestyle would cause you to relapse.

You’ll also need to take a hard look at your financial situation. It’s not uncommon for those struggling with substance abuse to wind up in debt due to their addiction. So, if you have are having fiscal problems, you need to address debt before starting your own company. Next, you’ll need to be able to produce detailed financial projections — another sign you’re ready to launch is whether you have enough money for startup costs. You will need a business plan and a pitch if you need funding. Understand your tax obligations and business structure before registering.

Set Up a Home Office

Chances are, if you’re starting a small business or taking on a side gig, you’ll work from the comfort of your own home. Instead of working on the couch or at the kitchen table, consider setting up a workspace somewhere that’s comfortable and free from household distractions. Invest in comfy chairs, a sturdy desk, and the necessary equipment to help you accomplish your daily tasks (computer, printer, phone, etc.). And if you plan to see clients, try to set up your office somewhere that has a separate entrance. At the very least, give them nice chairs to sit in.

Before any job hunting can successfully take place, one of the first things you need to do is let go of any remaining feelings of shame in an effort to go through the interview process and hold down a position with confidence. Forgive yourself for previous actions and understand that your addiction was something you did, not who you are. Recognize your triggers so you’re not caught off guard and connected with other like-minded individuals who are going through the same thing so you have a support system.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Written by

Eva Benoit