6 Steps to Returning to Your Career After Recovery

6 Steps to Returning to Your Career After Recovery

Returning to work after spending time in rehab can be challenging. Your work environment, the stress involved in your job and the people you work with can all be part of your struggle with addiction. Returning to the same workplace can be a big hurdle to overcome, but with the right preparation it is possible. The following six steps can help you continue recovery while you also seek gainful employment:

Take Your Time

Once rehab has ended, many people want to return to work as soon as possible, because they want to get back to normal. But you may need more time to get used to your new normal than you think. You cannot undo years of addiction in just a few short weeks, so jumping right back into your prior work schedule may do more harm than good. If you want to return to your career and place of employment, then first explore your options. Many companies offer flex time and e-commuting for employees who have unique circumstances. Talk to your human resources representative to see if this option is possible for you. If your goal is to return to a normal work day as soon as you can, then consider going into the office for just a couple of hours for the first few days or even weeks. Gradually build up the amount of time you spend at work until you are back to putting in a full day.

Identify Supportive Co-Workers

During rehab, you learned how important it is to surround yourself with people who support your recovery, and the same principle holds true in the workplace—although you may not be able to pick and choose the people with whom you work, you can choose the people with whom you eat lunch or socialize at break time. Find other employees who share your experiences and develop ways to support each other throughout the work day. Ask if your company has a support group through work that you and friends can attend during the work day. Connecting with people who understand your journey gives you a vital support system at your place of employment.

Control Job Stress

If you find yourself stressed out at the very idea of returning to work after rehab ends, then chances are that your stress level from the office contributed to your drug abuse. Learn to de-stress while at work and leave work at the office when you come home, because these tasks are vital to preventing relapse. When you feel stressed during the day, then sit back in your chair, close your eyes and meditate. Remind yourself that your job is not the only valuable prospect in your life. Remember that you deserve to be happy and that controlling job stress is an important part of that happiness. When you get home, take a walk with your family, go for a bike ride or spend time talking to those you love to decompress before you eat dinner. If you leave work at the door, then this act can go a long way to creating a peaceful environment at the end of the day.

Know Your Limits

When you return to work after rehab ends, then it is important to know your limits. How much time you can spend each day in the beginning? How many and what kind of projects can you do? What are your most productive times of day and when are you most vulnerable to feeling overwhelmed? Your therapist or counselor will help you answer these questions honestly. When you return to work, you can give your employer and co-workers a clear picture of how much they can expect from you in the first days back to work.

Maintain Your Therapy Schedule

Staying in regular contact with your counselor or therapist is vital to continued success during recovery; this fact is especially true when you return to work. As you ease back into your work routine, your therapist may recommend daily sessions, either in person or by phone, to see how you feel being back in your work environment. As you become more comfortable with your drug-free life, your therapist will recommend a session schedule that is best for your ever-changing needs. Know that your therapist is just a phone call away, because this information will give you added confidence as you live in recovery.

Stay Connected with Your Support Group

Along with regular therapy sessions, staying connected with your support group is a crucial part of returning to work after rehab. Your support group is your safe place when life is difficult, because these people know your struggles and have been where you are. Furthermore, if you attend extra meetings during the first few weeks that you return to work and if you have your accountability partner on speed dial, then your support group can help you greatly during those early days.

Find Help for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

It takes courage to return to work after rehab ends, because it is an important step on your recovery journey. Having a plan in place can reduce your risk of work-related drug relapse, so, if you or a loved one struggles with addiction, then know that our admissions coordinators are here to help you. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline now to speak to an admissions coordinator about available treatment options.