When did you start your job search?
"A peer was talking about re-entering the workforce. I supported him. Once I saw that he was able to do it, I said maybe it's time for me to try. My health is stable.
I got so sick and tired of never feeling fulfilled, never accomplishing anything. It compelled me to get my life back together again."
What are your recommendations for other job seekers?
- "The first thing is to get your mind right. Know what your mission is. Don't just do part of it-complete your course. Find out what you like to do and do it. It can be something minute. Sometimes you might not want to go straight back to work. Try volunteering. It's a good way to network and communicate with people. You never know who you might meet.
- Go to employment services programs. I had been out of the loop so long with my resume. Employment Programs can help with that and they do mock interviews to build confidence. Some people don't recognize they have transferrable skills. I had a varied background in retail-merchandising, technology, sales and inventory.
- Preparation is always a precursor to an opportunity. When you go out there, you always want to do the best that you can. I went through DBT, went to self-esteem classes. There are things you can do to help you prepare. It is hard when you are battling stuff-physical and emotional. I was unemployed for 5 years due to health issues and a misdiagnosis. I was hospitalized for 30 days; I struggled with mental health issues and addiction.
- If you didn't get a job, go over how you did in the interview and try to improve. One of the most important things is just because one door closes; it doesn't mean another one won't open. Don't give up. Set small goals to get where you want and stick to them."
- While at any job, it is always good to keep learning on the job. Get additional training and certificates if you can."
How did work success impact you?
"It gave me a sense of accomplishment. It boosted my self-esteem because I didn't think I could work again. It gave me my self-worth back. There was something inside of me that needed to change because I didn't know what I was worth. This is something you have to search yourself.
I now have extra funds to take trips to be with my family. Being able to go to the movies, to treat myself to a nice meal or get my nails done. When you don't have the money or the means, you can't do a lot."
How do you stay healthy and support your recovery?
"I still go to therapy so I don't hold it all in. When anxious, I do meditation. Find something to bring anxiety down. Talk to somebody about it. I do yoga. I do things to calm myself down. I do a lot of positive self-talk. I have post-it notes with positive affirmations on my fridge and in my bathroom.
I try not to think about the negativity because it will sabotage the things that you are trying to do. That happened a lot during my addiction."