After transitioning into sober living, many individuals focus their time on finding employment. Often times, we have left our jobs or lost our jobs prior to or for the opportunity to enter a rehab. Becoming self sufficient in recovery, is a great goal to have. Establishing financial independence and standing on your own, is a beautiful thing and often a goal of individuals in recovery. After beginning our journey journey with sober living, many individuals run into the obstacles of employment or rearrange their recovery priorities.
Finances before Recovery – Employment in Sober Living
Often time, finances before recovery is the number one mistake we make. We forget working a program or recovery, is the path that has lead to the change in our life. We forget this path is what lead us to happiness. Reverting back to defining ourselves by the material possessions we have or the valuing our character by the employment paycheck, often times lead to our problems. On page 127 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, speaks on this matter:
The head of the house ought to remember that he is mainly to blame for what befell his home. He can scarcely square the account in his lifetime. But he must see the danger of over-concentration on financial success. Although financial recovery is on the way for many of us, we found we could not place money first. For us, material well-being always followed spiritual progress; it never preceded.
Financial recovery, does occur, but only after personal recovery occurs. Personal recovery is the foundation block, that we must build the rest of our life on. If financial recovery is first, and we loose our employment, all the blocks above it may crumble down.
Honesty about Working a Program of Recovery
When seeking employment in sober living, this is a common question that arises. Many residents ask, how they should address this. Placing personal recovery over financial recovery, plays a role here. Often times, we make the mistake of working a program of recovery around our job, rather than a job around a program of recovery. Having the ability to attend meetings, work with a sponsor and sponsor others, will keep you sober longer than a job. Page 78 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous address issues, such as this, when cleaning our side of the street.
Telling them what we are trying to do, we make no bones about our drinking; they usually know it anyway, whether we think so or not. Nor are we afraid of disclosing our alcoholism on the theory it may cause financial harm.
So what should be done? Working a program of recovery, should always be the first priority. When considering this question, consult with other people in recovery and your sponsor for their experience before taking action.
Criminal Record in Recovery
Entering sober living, with a criminal record, is not an uncommon situation. Most people in recovery have had their fair share of run ins with law enforcement. Some of the run ins, may have never made it to your record, some instances, may have got dismissed. The one charge that scares most people, is a felony. A felony charge, to most people, means gaining employment is not going to happen. Thanks to Jobs for Felon Hubs, they have done the research to help. Their mission for their website is:
Our website is dedicated to helping those who have gone through the criminal justice system and are looking for successful reentry into society. This is more than just a website, it’s a community of people helping each other that was created by those who want to help get felons back to work and live normal lives.
The Jobs for Felons Hubs website, list the following resources:
Regardless of your past or current situation, obtaining employment in sober living is possible. This blog list the most common obstacles for employment in sober living, but you could be experiencing a different one and that is ok. In a life of sobriety, we get to experience life and not just exist. If you come across an issue with employment in sober living, consult with your recovery accountability circle, sponsor and most importantly, your higher power. The solution will present itself and all you need to do is take action.