Reintegrating back into the real world is hard after rehab treatment, in varying levels. Just like treatment itself, no two people are likely to have the same experience. A lot of it depends on your work status and history prior to rehab, and other social and economic factors.

Rebuilding Your World After Rehab Treatment

For the majority of people in rehab, they find that they are not currently employed. Serious addiction often leads to the loss of work, amongst other things like loss of home, relationships, and sense of self.

There is a range of people in rehab from those who have never worked to those who held prominent jobs and lost them due to addiction. The few that are able to keep their jobs are very lucky.

No matter which camp you belong to, finding work after rehab can be a challenge, but it is achievable and something that should absolutely be a priority – along with recovery – once you have the time and means to look for a job. Having a job will give you an income, responsibility, and purpose to build your days around. It will also put you on the path towards being able to stand on your own two feet.

Here are a few things you should make sure you do to secure a job as soon as possible after rehab.

  1. Think about your talents. If you went to college and have a clear major or extensive job history, you have an idea of where to look for work and what kind of work to look for. For others, entering the workforce may be a completely new experience and one that will require a lot of deliberation. This process can start while you are in treatment, by discussing realistic job options with your therapist and case manager.
  2. Put together a strong resume. Your resume is a snapshot of what you have accomplished and what you are capable of. If you don’t know where to start, there are plenty of free templates online. Don’t be shy about asking for help too from friends, family, and the staff of your treatment center.
  3. Make looking for a job a priority! Once you have numbers 1 and 2 in place, job hunting should take up a big part of your day. You can physically bring your resume to places like retail stores and restaurants. If you are looking for more of an office environment, your best bet is to go online and use a job search site like or
  4. Stay humble. You have made a giant shift in your life for the better by becoming sober. You may not get your dream job right out of rehab, and that is ok. Take what you can get to start rebuilding your life and bigger and better things will come.
  5. Stay focused. Getting a job can take time. Don’t get discouraged and keep applying even if you land a couple of interviews and don’t get the job. Think of each interview as an opportunity to get more experience, and be even better and more prepared for the next one.

The key is to keep at it and know that persistence will pay off. Look for a job, work on your recovery, and everything else will begin to fall into place after rehab treatment.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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