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When I got sober, I never thought it would be an advantage in my life. Anyone who has gotten sober can attest to this. You feel like your life is over. You feel like a weed in a garden of wildflowers. It’s hard to see the benefits when all you want to do is live a normal life and not deal with whatever this substance use issue is.
About a year into my sobriety is when I realized being sober was one of my greatest assets, especially in my professional life. Being sober isn’t something you would think could help you get or keep jobs, but that’s exactly what happened to me. Most people attempt to keep their sobriety a secret in the professional world, but for me that wasn’t an option. Here are 5 ways being sober has improved my professional life.
1. I found other sober co-workers.
At my very first job in Cancun following my first months of sobriety, I found out by chance that my boss was also sober. This gave me pure joy. I was able to talk to him about my recovery and over the years he has provided me with a lot of guidance and advice. I was surprised and humbled by making this connection early on in my sobriety, and it encouraged me to continue to be open about my sobriety as the years went on.
2. I stopped being late and missing work.
At the end of my drinking and using, I had a remote job that allowed me to mask my hangovers and did not keep me accountable for showing up for my job. Previously, I always made excuses on why I was missing or late to work, and I always ended up quitting my jobs. I would quickly get tired of trying to balance making up excuses, doing the bare minimum of work, and not disappointing my bosses. In sobriety, I’ve been able to show up on time and give my best work every day at my job.
3. Being open about my sobriety gave me work.
This is the biggest way my professional life has improved because of my sobriety. Since I started my blog, my writing has given me countless jobs – whether freelance writing, working with others in the recovery community, or helping people get sober. My blog is all about my life living in recovery and my honesty about how that impacts every situation in life. It’s something I didn’t plan on doing, but I’m glad I did. Being open about my sobriety didn’t prevent me from getting work, it gave me every job I’ve had since.
4. Gave me my highest paying and most rewarding jobs yet.
Speaking of sobriety giving me jobs, it is also the reason I was able to secure a job with a group of addiction treatment centers for my highest paying job in my life. When I was drinking, I was just staying afloat in my jobs, I wasn’t moving forward. Today I am moving up, learning more, and making more money with every job I get.
5. Gives me drive to strive for a career I want.
During my drinking years, I didn’t care what my career was or how much money I was making. If I was making money to pay my bills, eat, and party, I was doing ok. Sobriety has given me drive in my professional life. I now strive for a career that is rewarding, that lines up with my morals and values, and provides me with a way to pass on the message of recovery. I now know what I want out of a career, what I feel good doing, and what I’m good at. I’m lucky that my personal interests and my career interests have intersected and I can make money doing what I love.
There is no doubt in my mind that if I wasn’t sober I would not be able to be a dependable and hardworking employee. I also would not be able to make a career out of learning, speaking on, and promoting sobriety. Sobriety has improved my life in every way, especially my professional life.