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On Episode 8 of Bigger Than Me, Rocky has Chris Foster GateHouse Treatment COO and Bri again. The topic this time is the stigma and addiction in the workplace. Foster points out from the beginning a “McJob” is often the first job in early recovery. It’s usually hard for us to get a job with our work history whether it be spotty or if a previous employer had terrible experiences hiring people in recovery before. We also cannot put some of our money making methods on a resume, so where do we stand at that point?
Those in recovery have a lot more to prove to an employer than the average person. We also have a vantage point due to that; we are typically extremely talented people. We have endearing qualities about us and have overcome and conquered darker things than most people will see in a lifetime. How do we use those things to our advantage?
Case Managers at GateHouse Treatment have found a way to use that when helping clients make their resumes. They also run through a mock interview with them, not your typical mock interview where you put on a polo shirt and sit down with someone and joke halfway through it. You sit with our CEO; you have a formal interview, they ask you questions an employer would typically ask. They’re also taught every basic of a job interview from how to dress, a proper handshake, maintain eye contact, your posture while sitting down with the decision maker.
Every little thing matters in a job interview, it matters even more for us at times. We tend to forget these things in life or were never taught them, and we can be too scared to go after anything due to how negatively we think about ourselves. It’s another part of social reintegration that we have to face; it can be a very humbling experience taking a minimum wage job. Although humility and poverty aren’t synonyms, we don’t need to worry about all of the outside things in early sobriety.
There are some things in early recovery to avoid entirely, and they are listed on our blog. When applying for jobs, you have to do a lot more face to face interactions. In the day when Indeed and Monster with plug and play websites of sending your resume everywhere, putting a name to a face are essential. What you wear is also a necessary part of an interview. You have to look presentable to a job prospect.
Rocky and Foster both talk about how if you don’t have a job, your job is to get a job. They both point out that if you want a 40 hour a week job, you must look for a job 40 hours a week. Look for businesses with now hiring signs in the window, check out the message boards in meetings, use your network! Talking to people in your halfway or meetings you frequent can help you find a job, or at least refer you to places hiring.
Rocky and Foster both touch on avoiding some specific jobs such as 2nd shift, 3rd shift, and unethical jobs. Especially in South Florida call centers are very prevalent, many of them also hire people early in recovery. Unfortunately, a lot of them operate illegally or don’t do anything to help your sobriety. Many people who work in call centers get high and bring that into work. Commission based jobs (such as call center sales jobs) are a quick way to make money. You can make easy, fast cash, but money can’t fix the inside. Building up the outside doesn’t help keep us sane or sober.
Chris Foster also talked about the dangers of working in restaurants, the back of the house is often a place of drug use. It isn’t true for every person, but a majority of employees at least drink. There is the possibility that anyone in any job could be using, in some industries, it’s more commonplace than others.