Advice for People in Recovery on Making an Income While Job Hunting


Advice for People in Recovery on Making an Income While Job Hunting

Michelle Peterson

If you’re new to recovery, you may be having trouble finding a job that’s both a good fit for your recovered self and your financial needs. Finding the right job almost always takes time. For an individual newly emerged from a treatment program, it can be a frustrating and difficult process as you adapt to different friends, new surroundings, and the need to start over. All the while, you require a reliable source of income. Fortunately, the gig economy and the flexibility that computer and communications technology provide make it easier than ever to find work that fits your skill set and interests as well as your schedule. If you have a computer and a reliable internet connection, there’s something out there for you.

Use your car

If you have a reliable car, there’s money to be made in the sharing economy by driving for a service like Lyft or Uber. The nice part is that you can work as much as you like, and determine how much you’ll earn so long as you can drive. Many drivers are able to earn as much as $35 an hour or more. It may not be a long-term source of revenue, but it’s a good way to make a healthy income while you’re job hunting.

Pet sitting

If you love animals, you can make a nice income pet-sitting for busy professionals or people who travel a lot. It’s a growth-oriented side hustle. Lots of people who regard their dogs and cats as members of the family prefer leaving their furry friend with someone so they won’t be lonely during the day. Owners will expect you to interact with their pet, play with them, and go for walks. You’ll need to be able to adapt to different kinds of animals and to provide the right amount of socialization.

Handmade items

If you’re good with your hands and have a creative mind, why not use your skill to make money online? There are several websites where you can sell your handiwork, such as Etsy, Shopify, Bonanza or ArtFire. If you know how to create a website, you can customize your own virtual storefront and market your talents yourself. Craftwork is also a good way to stay busy and keep your mind off the difficult aspects of recovery.

Musical lessons

If you can play a musical instrument, consider giving lessons in your home or in students’ homes. You can do quite well if you’re willing and able to teach when students are available. The internet can be a good way to reach out to prospective clients. Why not post a lesson or two on YouTube so people can see what you have to offer and your teaching style? This can be a very rewarding way to make some income while you’re in between jobs. Make sure your students know your payment terms up front and that you have a cancellation policy in case they’re unable to make it to a lesson.

New business models

If you’re looking for something beyond a temporary fix while you look for work, look into starting a business with long-term profitability potential. Some of the best new business ideas that are making people decent money include selling wireless earphones, dash cams, smartwatches, and decorative phone cases. Focus on something that has practical uses and which also appeals to people on an aesthetic level. These types of ventures are also great because they can be run out of a home office; all you need to do to set up a productive workspace is find a room (or even a corner of a room) with good natural light and the right furniture and equipment, and eliminate distracting elements like TVs and gaming systems.

Being unemployed after treatment can be problematic for those in recovery. There’s too much time to obsess about your problems and be tempted to fall back into negative behaviors. A profitable side job will keep you plenty busy and help make ends meet.

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Michelle Peterson Guest author


Michelle Peterson believes the journey to sobriety should not be one of shame but of pride. Her mission is aligned with that of RecoveryPride, which is to celebrate sobriety and those who achieve it.