For most, one of the first orders of business after treatment is to secure some form of employment. Depending on the financial situation, this varies significantly from one person to another. But whatever is needed in that regard, nearly everyone needs to find some kind of job, as remaining industrious and in attendance in life is key to building a stable foundation in sobriety.

It is, however, a slippery slope. Most of us are somewhat fragile upon concluding treatment, so a job with low stress is highly attractive. When I finished treatment, I was offered a part-time job as night-watchman at the facility I went to. This was perfect at the time: although there was a enormous degree of responsibility, it was fairly drama-free, as most of the residents were asleep (or supposed to be…). Situations such as these don’t arise for everyone, however, and you have to take what you can get. As mentioned, its different for everyone. So many questions need to be asked: Is it realistic to return to a position or line of work that you previously had? Do you have the physical and emotional endurance to work a full-time position? And then, what are your financial requirements? This is tough stuff, but in that though, there is remarkable opportunity for personal growth.

For the most part it’s a sound idea to initially do something different than what you were previously doing. Low stress, uncomplicated accessibility and hopefully hours that are too not arduous are smart things to strive for straightaway after treatment. Another good example was a friend whom I went to treatment with. He had been a professional musician, and had some work he could do immediately following rehab, both as a studio player and in live situations. He was a little apprehensive about both, and ended up getting a 30-hour a week job washing postal vans. He said it was the keenest employment move he’d ever made, and was able to slowly work back to his career in music. Herein lays the key to a ‘get well’ job: simplicity and giving yourself time, if you have that luxury.

Most everyone needs time to build up their durability to hold up a full-time job, and its not easy to get for everyone. Many treatment centers have some staff dedicated to assisting with job placement, vocational training or school. If you feel you need it, there generally is opportunity to get some form of disability while you are in recovery, and this can ease some of financial the burden and time constraints for those in the process of leaving treatment and entering the working world. If you decide to enter school, there are various grants and student loans.

While the answers are somewhat intangible, it’s a good idea to get as much feedback and support from the staff at your treatment facility, and a counselor will be of great help here. A schedule can be useful, by putting plans in black and white and providing a degree of motivation. This can also lessen the degree of anxiety and foreboding that often sets in in these situations.