When Habits Continue to Haunt: Past Drug Abuse and Employment

Getting a job is hard enough without having to explain lengthy gaps in your employment history caused by drug and/or alcohol dependence. Keep reading for insight on how to keep yourself financially afloat while gaining experience and finding the confidence to get back to the real world after rehab and battling your addiction.

Self-Employment an Option

At least one career coach says it can take three months or more to find a job. That’s three months of unpaid pills and plenty of time to get evicted. While you get your resume in order, consider opening up for yourself opportunities to make money without a full-time position.

A few gigs that pay well are:

● Music teacher. Teaching children or adults how to play the guitar or piano is a fulfilling role that allows you to utilize your natural or learned talents by helping others achieve their dreams. The Every Girl blog notes that you can also sell your skills; as a musician, you can play at weddings, parties, and other events.

● Dog walker. Walking dogs, cat sitting, or keeping animals in your home is a great way to earn a sizable income, especially during the summer months and throughout the holidays when people tend to head out on vacation.

● Internet writer. You don’t have to have a degree in literature for your voice to be heard. Many websites pay up to $100 for content that’s well-written and speaks to its target audience. Cracked.com, for instance, reportedly pays $150 for a list-style article. You’ll have a good chance at getting your idea accepted if you have unique life experiences people might want to read about.

● Yard sale flipper. If you’ve ever watched American Pickers or Antiques Roadshow, you know that trash equals treasure. If you have a few dollars in your pocket, take advantage of cheap yard sale prices to find items you can resell for profit.

● Photographer. Photography is another skill that is in high demand. People pay thousands of dollars for wedding photography and are often willing to shell out $100 or more per hour to photograph events such as a christening, birthday, or anniversary party. And in today’s age of technology, you can even take stock pictures with your smartphone camera (as long as it’s of high quality) for money. Check to see if your carrier offers any special deals on new phones. You may be able to get cash credit for a new phone if you trade in your old one.

Increase Your Education

If you’re looking to change career paths because your former position triggered your substance abuse, there are plenty of ways to obtain an education without digging deep into your pockets. And considering that more than nine out of 10 executives believe the workforce lacks skill, training can help you find the keys to the job of your dreams.

Banish Discouragement

One of the most important parts of reclaiming your pre-addiction life is learning how to overcome discouragement and the adversity you will likely face during the rebuilding process. This means you must learn ways to keep your mind strong and avoid work-related stress so you don’t succumb to cravings. This includes keeping your body healthy through diet and exercise and asking for support and encouragement from your loved ones.

The fact that you’ve made a conscious commitment to stop using drugs and alcohol may be enough for some employees to overlook gaps in your employment history. However, if it isn’t, working for yourself or going back to school may give you the leg up and confidence you need to continue moving in a forward motion.

Rufus Carter