Employment Support Services and Case Management
Clients entering the workforce for the first time or after a gap in employment, we offer a variety of services to enhance our client’s opportunity to gain and sustain employment.
For some who complete treatment and begin recovery, they’re eager to get back to work, to something familiar, an activity they know and can count on.
Having a regular job to go to is a big deal. In fact, recovery experts say that work is an important part of long-term recovery. This is true for a lot of reasons. Let’s look at a few of them. One of the sustaining components of a successful recovery, according to experts in the field, is gainful employment. In addition to two critical support networks of family and 12 step groups, work offers the individual in recovery the opportunity to continue to make progress toward realization of goals, improvement of familial and social relationships, rebuilding financial stability, and restoration of self-confidence, among many other benefits.
Effective recovery, then, almost always involves an individual having gainful employment, finding and keeping a job, and making a contribution to society through his or her efforts.
Advantages of work
While it’s all well and good to look at work as an important part of long-term recovery in the abstract sense, it’s even more practical to look at the advantages of work. In this way, it’s easier to see how working assists the individual in healing post-treatment for substance abuse, dependence, or addiction or in recovery from process addictions, substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders.
Steady income — There’s no question that having a job to go to that you get paid for is important to bring in a steady income. Without a regular paycheck, it’s not only impossible to take care of family and personal obligations, it’s much harder to live independently. Just knowing that you’ll get paid once a week, twice monthly, or on a per-job basis (for those who may be freelancers or contractors), is a big boost to ongoing recovery efforts. A steady income is something you can count on.
Stability — One of the things that’s been lacking during your time of substance abuse is stability. The up and down, back and forth cycle of substance abuse is not conducive to stability. Just the opposite is true. When you are employed, and go to your job daily, this contributes to your overall stability. It’s something you do day in and day out. That, in itself, is a measure of stability. You know what you need to do and you do it, knowing that being employed is going to benefit you today and tomorrow in recovery.
Ability to take care of financial responsibilities — When you are gainfully employed, you’ll have the ability to taker care of your financial responsibilities — something you may have been unable to do while you were in treatment or were suffering from substance abuse or other addictive behaviors. Society expects individuals to make responsible choices and to be able to manage their financial affairs. Having and keeping a job is an indication of normalcy, of fitting in, of being part of community.
Ability to take care of household responsibilities — Whether you are the spouse or parent, sibling or adult child, there are household responsibilities that probably were neglected when you were in treatment or during the period when you were abusing substances. Getting back on track to resume your ability to tend to household responsibilities is aided by having a job that you go to and get paid to do.
Constructive use of time — There’s are several old sayings that are similar to the following: “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” The words may be somewhat different, but they all mean the same thing. When a person sits idle, bad things can happen. This has nothing to do with the concept of sin, but the fact that if you sit around and do nothing (for example, don’t look for a job), the hours that go by will undoubtedly cause you to start thinking about your previous behavior – perhaps even spur you to use again. Having a job, on the other hand, is a constructive use of your time. While you are at your place of employment, you are responsible for carrying out certain duties and responsibilities, all of which take time — and help pass the hours in a more beneficial manner than being unemployed and idle.
Opportunity to enter new fields — Let’s say that you’ve always wanted to go into the field of engineering, or catering, or start your own business. When you’re in recovery, this may be just the right time to look into what it would take to pursue your dream. This may mean going back to school to get or finish a degree, or take specialized training, go into an apprenticeship, or just take some night classes to gain a skill or perfect your abilities in something like computer science. Look at this time as an opportunity to enter new fields — even if you are currently employed. In fact, receiving training or additional education while you already have a job is another constructive use of your time — and will help in your pursuit of long-term recovery goals.
Expand horizons — During the grip of addiction or substance abuse, it’s virtually impossible to see beyond the need for the next fix, crafting and planning how to get the money to use, using, and beginning the cycle all over again. The future is limited at best, and ignored totally, at worst. But now that you’re in recovery, going to work on a regular basis allows you to begin to expand your horizons. You will be able to see more possibilities ahead of you as a result of your hard work today. Doing a good job may lead to additional opportunities for advancement — in your current job or in another one, either at the same company or with a new employer.
Build self-confidence — The more that you apply yourself at work, the more you add to your store of self-confidence. It seems axiomatic that hard work equals reward, but the rewards are not always quickly visible. In terms of self-confidence, however, the rewards may be seen in your readiness to smile, to accept new challenges, to take on tougher assignments. When you feel that you are well-equipped to tackle new things, just doing so boosts your self-confidence. The more you do that you feel happy with, the greater your reserve of self-confidence. It’s all in the doing. Do a good job, and your self-confidence will increase.
Restore self-esteem — One of the earliest casualties of substance abuse, addiction, and addictive behavior is a loss of self-esteem. When you’re in early recovery, your emotional state is still fragile. You feel vulnerable and, in a very real sense, you are. Some in early recovery report feeling worthless, unable to make a contribution, that their months and years of addiction have left them helpless. But there’s an antidote to those feelings: work. When you go to your job and do the best you can, you begin to feel that you’re doing something good, something that’s right for you. This helps restore your self-esteem or, in the case that you didn’t have any to begin with, to build it.
Pride of accomplishment — Work involves many and varied tasks, from large to small. Some work-related responsibilities require collaborating with others, participating in group meeting, while others mean working alone. But there’s always a goal, a deadline, a project outline to adhere to. When you successfully complete the steps to achieve a particular assignment, task, or project, you gain a sense of pride in your accomplishment. And you deserve to feel proud of your achievements. This is an important aspect of the benefit of work in long-term recovery.
Self-Sufficiency — Everyone wants to be able to stand on his or her own two feet. When you’re in recovery, this may seem at first to be an illusive goal. So much is undetermined. You feel uncertain which direction to take in any number of circumstances. When you have a job that you look forward to going to each day, you are asserting your intentions to re-establish your self-sufficiency. You will, day by day, gain strength in your ability to be able to take care of yourself in the manner that you wish. Even if you are still dependent on others for financial or other support (in the case of a teen still at home under the parents’ roof, for example), working can help in the transition to becoming self-sufficient.
Responsibility — If you want people to trust you, it’s necessary to show that you are responsible. Your word has to mean something, and others need to feel that they can rely on you to fulfill your responsibilities. Going to work and doing what is expected of you shows that you are capable of taking care of responsibilities. It also helps you by reasserting your belief in your own sense of responsibility. If something is important to you, if you feel that you can and should own part of the effort toward its completion, and take steps to do so, then you are demonstrating your responsibility.
Community — Unless you’re independently wealthy, working is part of the fabric of American life. And even multimillionaires work, in one sense of the word or another. They may serve on the boards of charitable organizations, or perform duties in other philanthropic, social, political or other organizations. But for most Americans, and especially those in recovery, work brings with it a sense of being part of the community. You have co-workers and liaisons with individuals in other departments, perhaps other companies. You may interface with the general public, or with suppliers. Every person with whom you come into contact during the course of your job is another example of the community that is important to you — and can help in your efforts to maintain a successful long-term recovery.
Sense of wholeness — Everyone who is in recovery wants to feel whole again, to feel healed, to feel completel. Work helps to bring about this sense of wholeness, not on its own, but as part of the overall recovery plan that you’ve created for yourself. One thing you know is that long-term recovery doesn’t occur in a vacuum. You have to actively work it every day — including going to work, seeing your doctor or counselor, going to 12 step meetings, taking care of yourself and your family.
Our caring staff will assist in developing achievable goals to begin breaking down barriers and becoming successful.
Online research tools
How to fill out an application basics
Online Job skills assessment tools
Dress for Success (some dress clothes available for that first interview)
GED preparation/practice and referral to local ABLE Centers
Northland can help you get back on track to a better life. Call now to schedule an appointment.