Rebuilding your life after addiction can be a demoralizing experience. You’re getting your life back on track, but others still see you through the lens of your disease and the behavior it lead to. Family and friends may keep a distance, and if you faced legal troubles during active addiction, you may find it difficult to land a job interview.
While there are many challenges in addiction recovery, focusing on the negatives won’t guide you to a better future. Instead, seek out the opportunities — and when you can’t find any, make them. This advice is especially relevant when it comes to finding a job. It’s not uncommon for recovering addicts to have gaps in their employment history, burnt bridges with former employers, and criminal records. All of these things make it hard to find a good-paying job, but it doesn’t have to mean you’re stuck working for minimum wage. Rather than claim defeat, consider how you can earn money without distracting from your recovery.
The gig economy is a blessing for workers who struggle to fit into the employment economy. With gigs, you can work when, how, and where you want. At the same time, you must be disciplined and organized in order to get paid. It’s a good balance for people recovering from addiction; they can protect themselves from unnecessary workplace stress while also being held accountable to their work. Because many gig economy jobs can be done anywhere with an internet connection, you can work from a recovery-supportive environment, whether that’s your own home or a residential treatment facility.
Parents in particular stand to benefit from the gig economy. By opting for a side gig over a full-time job, parents in recovery can attend to their children’s needs while earning money and rebuilding their resume. However, when it comes to meeting the needs of parents in recovery, not all gigs are created equal. The most manageable gigs allow you to work from home and set your own hours so you can schedule work around parenting duties and recovery demands.
One great option is starting an online store. Whether you’re selling items you produce or drop shipping from major retailers, e-commerce is an industry with lots of potential. And unlike a brick-and-mortar store, there are minimal overhead costs so it’s easy to get started.
The first thing you need to run an online store is an e-commerce platform. E-commerce platforms are software solutions that let you build an online store on a website. E-commerce platforms do more than display your products beautifully; they also help you track sales and process payments. However, not all e-commerce platforms are the same. If you’re already using a payment processing system, look for an e-commerce platform that supports it. If you haven’t yet chosen a payment processor, seek one that offers a high level of security. Any worthwhile processing should comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, or PCI DSS. You can learn more about PCI at PCIComplianceGuide.org. It’s a lot of information, but don’t get overwhelmed — a good payment processor handles the ins and outs of compliance for you.
An e-commerce business doesn’t have to be strictly limited to your online store. Consider how you can turn your online store into an omnichannel business by diversifying where you sell. You can reach customers selling through social media, setting up at local events, or asking other retailers to stock your product. If you post blog content on your website, write guest posts for other bloggers to share your expertise and draw new customers to your store. Not only is blogging a great marketing tool, but it can also serve as a secondary income stream through ads and affiliate marketing. Blogger Amy Lynn Andrews talks more about how you can earn income blogging. If social media is more in your wheelhouse, marketing through Instagram is a great way to generate interest in your business.
While running an online store isn’t the only way to make money from home, it’s a great option that doesn’t require a ton of experience. And because an online store can be as big or small as you want, it’s possible to start small while your sobriety is new and scale up over time. If you have a little bit of tech-savvy and a yearning to get back on your feet, it just might be the side gig for you.
For additional information regarding addiction recovery, visit www.recoveryhope.org