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A Special Note to People in Recovery

Thursday, January 4, 2007 2:58 PM

As you know, you cannot move successfully along any career path if you are using. Before you attempt to create a resume, seek out useful tools for recovery.

One such tool is relapse prevention training. Be your own advocate; ask around until you find it. Such training will help you understand the process that can lead to relapse, identify triggers, and learn coping skills to prevent relapse.

Another proven resource is http://smartrecovery.org, an excellent site that provides online mutual-help groups, an online message board, and information on face-to-face meetings around the world.

Here are three more excellent resources:

"When AA Doesn't Work for You: Rational Steps to Quitting Alcohol" by Albert Ellis and Emmett Velten (Fort Lee, N.J.: Barricade Books, 1992).

"Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction" by Jack Trimpey (New York: Pocket Books, 1996).

"Stay Sober and Straight: How to Prevent Addiction Relapse with the Rational Self-Help Treatment Method" by Maxie Maultsby (Weirton, W.Va.: Rational Self-Help Books, 1990).

Unexplained job exits, lengthy employment gaps, and other challenging issues caused by your substance abuse are more easily explained when you are in recovery. If the resume you send includes clear evidence of skills useful to an employer, then you may be invited to explain the issues. Think about, write, and rehearse in front of a mirror at least 100 times your three-part, sixty-second explanation to:

Acknowledge your total responsibility for the consequences of your substance abuse.

Announce the period of time you have been clean -- and your willingness to be tested.

State your determination to continue to work at it for the rest of your life to stay clean.

Many employers respect the courage it takes to say and mean such things. As a result, people in recovery who are honestly committed to staying clean are hired and thriving in the workplace every day. You can be one of them.

Material excerpted from The Elements of Resume Style (AMACOM Books, 2005) by Scott Bennett. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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