Written by Rufus Carter with Recovering Works. Rufus Carter has been in recovery for over 9 years and is dedicated to personal training as well as helping others find their career paths after rehab.
Re-entering the working world after rehab is intimidating. Not only must you do the work of writing a resume and attending job fairs and interviews, but you also open yourself up to rejection from potential employers. It’s a scary process when you’re just getting your footing in sobriety, but finding work is an important part of moving forward in recovery.
If you have gaps in employment, limited job skills or educational experience, or a criminal history, you’ll face additional obstacles finding work. That doesn’t mean you can’t find a suitable job — far from it. However, your job search might take more time and effort than it did pre-addiction. In the meantime, you still need to earn money to make ends meet.
Gig economy platforms have made it much easier to earn income when you’re between jobs. With gig economy apps, you can start working and earning money without going through a lengthy application process. And because there’s no one scrutinizing your resume, gaps in employment won’t keep you from finding work. (Many gig economy apps do require background checks for independent contractors, however.) These are some of the most popular gig economy platforms to work with:
- Airbnb: A mainstay of the sharing economy, Airbnb is a service that connects travelers needing a place to stay with homeowners and renters with room to spare.
- Lyft and Uber: With ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft, you use your personal vehicle to earn money as a driver.
- Postmates: Do you like the idea of driving for cash but prefer to skip the passengers? Become a delivery driver with Postmates — you can even deliver by bicycle!
- Rover: Through Rover, you can walk dogs, look after pets in their owners’ homes, or board pets in your own home.
- TaskRabbit: If you’re good with your hands, consider TaskRabbit. As a tasker, you can be hired for a wide range of handy household tasks such as mowing the lawn, assembling furniture or fixing a leaky faucet.
Becoming an independent contractor through a gig economy platform isn’t your only option for making ends meet. If none of the above ideas click with you, here are some other ideas to consider:
- Selling handmade goods: The market for handmade goods is stronger than ever. Whether you’re a knitter, woodworker, metalsmith or another type of artisan, you can find a market for your goods through online marketplaces such as Etsy or by selling in person at farmers markets, craft fairs and other events highlighting local and handmade goods.
- Providing in-person lessons: If you have a particular talent, why not share it? Whether you tutor students, provide music lessons or coach a local youth sports team, you’ll grow your income and make a difference in the lives of others.
- Freelance writing: Starting a blog is only one way to earn money writing. Copy editing, copywriting and content writing are three ways you can get started in the freelance writing business.
- Volunteering: If finances aren’t an issue but you want to build up your resume, volunteer. Any type of volunteer work will show potential employers that you’re a motivated candidate. If you can find a volunteer position in your desired vocational field, you’ll also have an opportunity to gain experience and network with people who could later be your boss or colleagues.
These are viable ways to generate income while looking for employment after rehab. However, keep in mind that you might not make enough through gig economy apps and freelance work to earn a full-time living. Keep searching and applying for jobs as you work, and eventually, your effort and dedication will pay off.