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Job interview help

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by customerjon, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. customerjon

    customerjon Member

    I have been unemployed for 13 months to focus on recovery. I am about to start job hunting and am wondering how I explain my 13 months of unemployment. I really have no idea what to say. Do I just say, 'I was getting sober?"
  2. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @customerjon... Thanks for coming by and asking such an interesting question. The truth is, I'm not sure what the best approach in this situation would be. Part of me thinks being 100% honest is the best way to go (and, although it doesn't touch on getting sober, here's an article that backs up the honesty approach: That said, I'd be lying if I said there wasn't still a lot of stigma associated with addiction and recovery out there. I'm wondering: Is there a way to explain your 13 months off as taking some time off to find yourself or something? Or just saying you had a medical issue that you had to deal with? Or, if you do choose to go the total honesty route, could you talk about how getting sober has taught you a lot about life...and made you a better person...and helped you discover yourself? Something along those lines? I wish I had better advice for you, but I've never had to deal with this before. Surprisingly, no one's ever asked about it, either.

    By the way, big congrats to you on your recovery!

    P.S. I did a little searching online and found this bit of information that may help you. Sounds like a decent plan to me. It kind of combines the two things I mentioned.

    Dealing with Gaps in Employment

    As you work on rebuilding your résumé, you may find that there are gaps of time in your work history. Perhaps you had to leave a past job unexpectedly due to your addiction, and this can also cause questionable longevity within job positions.

    It is important to build your résumé honestly and to have this mentality when preparing to interview with future employers. Where there may be gaps in your work history, you can fill with qualities or skills about yourself that qualify you for the job position. While work history is an important part that is considered by employers, it is not the only factor they are looking at.

    If your potential employer does question your work history in your interview, honesty is always the best approach. There are ways to disclose your struggles appropriately, such as mentioning that you needed to take time off to address medical complications or for health concerns, etc. Your future employer will likely appreciate and value your straightforwardness and honesty.
    Lostboy8731 likes this.
  3. I would tell them I was in a rehabilitation program for medical reasons and it doesn't affect my ability to do a job. If they pressure you for answers, you probably do not want to work for them anyway. Starting uncomfortable usually leads to more discomfort which will usually effect your recovery.
    Lostboy8731 and deanokat like this.
  4. lovecraftXIX

    lovecraftXIX Member

    Perhaps this is a necessary measure for survival. But seriously, tell it like it is. Say you were on a rehab program for medical reasons and couldn't do the job. If they question exactly what you were sick with and your other medical conditions, you shouldn't work for such a company. I certainly wouldn't want to. It looks like an attempt to invade my life. When I came to apply for a job, I had a remote qa tester jobs. They started asking me what companies I worked for, and they wanted to know what software was in other companies I worked for. Is it normal to ask such questions? In the end, I am still looking for a job, anyway, it is better than working for them.