Job Hunting Pro Tips Part 1
“Good luck is when opportunity meets preparation, while bad luck is when lack of preparation meets reality.” Eliyahu Goldratt
The Right Job
Finding a job in early recovery is a big deal. The rush to put back a life that has fallen apart can be either exhilarating or scary. Many of the choices in this phase can have a significant impact on how well we do overall. There are two main points to consider here: finding the right job and getting it! Getting the wrong job can cost you everything. Here are some pitfalls that can be avoided.
Pitfalls in Early Recovery Employment:
Unhealthy Environments – If people are using and it’s not immediately addressed, run!
Easy Money – Any unethical practices for money always carries consequences. Whether it’s unconscious guilt all the way up to arrest, easy money is never easier. All parties must win, from the employer to the employee to the customer.
Commission only jobs – This one is neutral. There is a particular type of person that does well in these positions and are many that do not. Make sure that if you take a position that is “commission only” that you can handle the pressure of it. Your experience should be a good indicator of this.
No 2nd or 3rd shift positions – Most people in recovery fellowship and do step work at night. Very few have the discipline to have a full day before a shift that starts at 2 pm. A morning meeting, hitting the gym and then going to work is excellent on paper, but more likely we sleep till noon, do a shift and come back to a world that is already asleep. Second shift jobs are a path to isolation. Third shift is a “vampire shift”; it works against biology. Early recovery requires balance.
The Proper Mindset
One of the third step promises in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous states “We have a brand new Employer being all powerful He provided what we needed if we kept close to him and performed his work well.” Regardless of what we call that Power, the universe moves towards those that move towards it. If our prayer is “God, please help me get a job.” The response is most likely: “Go on some interviews!”
Equally important as acting, is the right perspective. The real job at this point is not to “get a job” but to learn how to live well. Often, we are tough on ourselves, feeling we have lost so much time in active addiction then attempt to race back to the top, it is not likely that our early recovery jobs will be our future career of choice. We may not even be sure of what we want to do professionally. All this is normal. Keeping the focus on recovery means selecting jobs, friends, social settings, hobbies and play with recovery not just in mind, but at the forefront. Some key questions are:
1) Is it going to help or hurt my spiritual growth?
2) Is it going to help or hurt my ability to help others?
Another set of principles used by the founders of A.A. and borrowed from the Oxford group is the four Absolutes. Purity. Unselfishness. Love. Honesty.
1) Is it pure?
2) Is it unselfish?
3) Is it honest?
4) Is it loving?
These are useful guidelines for every choice.