The Benefits of Working While Going Through Recovery

The road to recovery is often full of challenges that require a strong will to overcome. From risking relapse to feeling isolation to experiencing stigma from others-it’s a process. To succeed with the process of recovery, you need structure and accountability. One of the best ways of getting through this trying time is by working while recovering.

two men shaking hands at desk

Employment is an essential part of maintaining long term sobriety, gaining economic independence, and social re-integration. While substance abuse may take a toll on your personal and professional life, working while recovering is an excellent way of getting control back.

Let’s take a more in-depth look into some of the other benefits of working while going through recovery.

Working Gives A Sense of Purpose

According to Professor David Ulrich of the University of Michigan, getting a sense of meaning in the workplace enables you to have hope and larger purpose.

While you can’t change your past, you can change your perception of it and what it says about you. Working while in recovery helps you rebuild your identity, build strong relationships and provide a positive environment for personal growth.

You’ll be able to see the connection between what you do and what you value even though it may not be a clear right off the bat. It’s not easy finding meaning and purpose in life because it involves a lot of self-reflection and energy, but doing so helps you get closer to your goal.

Working Builds Confidence

Most people recovering from substance abuse often struggle with low confidence levels and feelings of worthlessness. That said, in most cases, these feelings existed long before addiction and usually drive people to use drugs as a coping mechanism.

Raising your confidence level and improving your sense of self-worth plays a major role in your journey to recovery. Gainful employment helps you become a more productive member of your community. This can go a long way in improving your self-confidence and banishing the feelings of worthlessness.

Being able to use your skills to improve society and the world at large is rewarding and fulfilling.

Working Provides Steady Income

The most apparent benefit of working while going through recovery is that you’re able to earn a steady paycheck. Having a reliable income is a crucial step towards self-sufficiency and financial sustainability.

While earning a steady income isn’t the only reason to seek employment, it helps pay the bills as you work toward your financial goals.

Working Gives You Stability

While most people may find their work routine to be very monotonous, it could be precisely what’s needed to help ease you back into society. Working while going through recovery is an excellent way of adding some form of stability and routine to your life.

Getting into a routine of waking up at a specified time and going to work can help maintain sobriety.

Having too much time on your hands could spur relapse. However, getting a well-paying job might be easier said than done. You may want to consider volunteering as a way to establish a routine during the hiring process.

Working Displays Responsibility

One of the first things to go when you’re an addict is that your friends and family stop trusting you fully. To earn that privilege back, you have to show them that you can be trusted again and that you’re a person of your word.

Knowing that there’s somewhere you have to go every day will give you the motivation to maintain your sobriety. That said, you must take care not to work until you’re mentally or physically exhausted because the temptation to use might be too great for you to ignore.

Working Gives You a Sense of Normalcy

Finally, a sense of normalcy should not be discounted. A sense that you are living your life the way others do, with routine and responsibility, will put you back on a path that is consistent with the recovery process.


Hopefully it’s easy to see why a person going through recovery might benefit from working while recovering. After all, recovery is never truly “finished.” It is a process you decide to embark upon everyday, and a sense of purpose and normalcy only helps in that process.