Life After Recovery: How to Make Ends Meet During a Job Hunt

This is a guest article by Rufus Carter. You can reach him at rufus@recoveringworks.com.

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Moving on with your life after going through addiction treatment can be a long road full of ups and downs. Many people feel a mixture of pride and anxiety after leaving treatment; pride that they were able to seek help and make healthier choices for themselves, and anxiety about what the next months or years will bring. These are common feelings, but that doesn’t make them any easier to bear. When you’re worried about finding a job while you’re still learning how to make those healthy choices, things become even tougher, especially if you have a family to support.

Fortunately, there are some ways you can make the transition a bit easier by earning money with a side gig until you find the perfect job for you. These days, part-time work is fairly easy to come by, and these jobs can be financially and personally fulfilling. Whether you’re interested in tutoring or giving art or music lessons, making and selling handmade items on Etsy, or becoming a pet sitter, there are plenty of ways you can make ends meet. 

Even before you start looking for the right gig, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of success. Dedicate specific hours each day or week to work, and make your work a priority. Set up a home office -- even if it’s just a corner of your living room, having a place where you can work comfortably will help you stay motivated. Finally, set goals related to how much cash you want to make or how many hours you want to work, and stick to them. Once you’ve done these things, it’s time to get to work. 

Become a Pet Sitter

Taking care of an animal is beneficial in so many ways. Not only does spending time with a sweet pup or cat help you mentally -- reducing stress and anxiety -- it can also help you physically. Just petting a dog can lower your blood pressure, for instance, and being responsible for walking him can help you get in daily exercise, which is important for maintaining your sobriety. 

Get Crafty

If you’re creative, consider making and selling goods online. Original artwork, glassware, furniture, clothing, and accessories like jewelry and handbags are always big sellers when they’re handmade, and the best part is you’ll be making money doing something you enjoy from the comfort of your own home. Check out this list of the best sites for selling handmade goods.

Teach a Skill

If you’re knowledgeable about a particular subject or have a skill you’d like to share, think about becoming a tutor or instructor. You can make great money by helping others advance their skills in different areas, whether it’s learning English as a second language or how to play a musical instrument. Create social media accounts and advertise your services; once you have a few clients, ask them to write reviews for search engines so you can garner more business.

Become a Blogger or Freelancer

If you have a flair for writing and a knack for grammatical skills, there might be a job waiting for you online. Many web zines and blogs are looking for outstanding writers who can contribute articles and posts on a daily basis, and while it may not be permanent work, freelancing can be just the thing you need while you get back on your feet. You can even start a blog of your own; just keep in mind that it might take a while to earn money through ad revenue that way.

Life after addiction treatment doesn’t have to be stressful. Starting with a good plan will help you avoid unwanted anxiety and even depression, which can, in turn, help boost your mental health and allow you to stay on a sober path. Think about your skills and hobbies and look for ways you can cash in while you’re looking for a more permanent position.