Returning to work after not being in the workforce for awhile can be challenging. However, there are some particular challenges for the recovering addict too. For this reason, it might be useful to gather some support around you as you begin your new job and throughout the first year of employment.
Returning to the work life can be challenging for anyone, regardless of whether you’ve ever struggled with an addiction. For instance, if you’re not mindful of the work culture you might soon be seen as an annoyance in the office. And in most work settings, there is also a hierarchy, which means working with authority figures. This too can be a challenge for some recovering addicts. And lastly there are those in the work place that can be cut throat and they don’t necessarily care about your well being. Instead, they care about their own progress to the top. These can create uncomfortable circumstances and can easily be triggering. For these reasons and more, it’s important to prepare yourself for what you may be entering into.
Of course, you’re likely to enjoy your work too. You were probably hired because you have a particular skill set. You likely have a certain personality that fits right in with what the organization is attempting to accomplish. And every work place has its challenges, but they also have their lighter sides too. You might get all sorts of perks with your new job. The point is that if you’re entering the work force again, it’s not all bad! It can be fulfilling, meaningful, and rewarding, not to mention the fact that you will have a regular income!
Alongside all of these advantages, there might be difficult moments, especially for someone shortly out of addiction treatment. For this reason, it’s important to find the support you need. Below are three suggestions for how to get support on the job.
Employee Assistance Program – Most employers, including the government, have a program that provides their employees with therapy. You will likely have a set amount of sessions that can focus on anything you want – it doesn’t have to be work related. Also, this is a service that you can use right on the job. So, if something very challenging comes up in your day, you can make an appointment and perhaps even see a therapist the same day.
Employee Perks – Most employers also have benefits of the job such as a gym or a gym membership. Some employers have a massage therapist who comes in on a regular basis or an acupuncturist. There might also be a day care center where you can bring your child. In other words, if you’re working and you’ve got some frustrations to let you, you can work out on your lunch break or get a massage. This is another tool to rely upon at your new workplace.
Other Employees – There are certainly co-workers you’ll meet that will be your good friends. You might not spend time with them outside of work. But when you’re at work, you might find yourself laughing together or joking about this or that. These new friends can also be a support system when you need it. You might be able to talk to them about something bothering you at work or get their opinion on something. Co-workers such as these can be a great support because they are in the same situation you’re in and can provide honest feedback.
Old Friends – Lastly, you might want to have a buddy, one that you’ve relied on in the past, someone you can go to let out your frustrations about work. You might need to call upon your friend if you’re feeling triggered and experiencing cravings.
Of course, return to work only when you feel ready to do so. In the work environment there might be after work invitations, Christmas parties, and celebrations that will likely have alcohol present. In order to survive the work life, make sure you have the support you need!
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