Exploring “Career” Options

My goal is for the Working Assets blog to honor and embrace the multitude of “career” options available to individuals living in recovery.

Variety is said to be the spice of life. Different jobs are the spices that flavor our recovery.

You can be happy working at a job that pays very little compared to other careers. Altruists in humanitarian professions don’t earn the big bucks. Yet the self-validation you get from helping others can’t be beat.

It’s a myth to use external markers of success–a college degree; a high-paying job–to define a person’s status in society.

For years in my blog I’ve celebrated Rite Aid cashiers. Every day they’re ringing up orders and doing it with a smile. Some of them have held this job for years. And years.

Extending the definition of a career is imperative. How a person lives their life is as much an art form and vocation as a traditional job.

Earning income–and making tons of money–isn’t how we should judge people living in recovery or anyone else for that matter.

I would caution readers that wanting to have a high salary solely because you want to earn a lot of money isn’t the way to go.

My failed first career working in corporate insurance offices proves this point.

The older I get I don’t understand the lack of compassion given to people who collect so-called entitlements like SSI and SSDI.

This is why we need to expand the definition of a career to comprise
jobs that don’t pay money or pay very little money.

Managing your life living in recovery can be hard and often challenging. This can be a primary job for some of us.

It’s not the hateful and hurtful rhetoric in the media that upsets me the most. It’s the lack of compassion. It’s the dilemma that as of 2020 outsiders and a lot of professionals still think that for the vast majority recovery isn’t possible.

Sharing our recovery stories is the remedy. Showing that peers have jobs–whether paid or volunteer work or in the form of hobbies–can empower individuals who are told they or their loved one won’t recover.

And again, thinking you must get a job as a CEO to prove your worth is a mistake.

Let’s cheer each other on to do in recovery the things we love to do. Whether doing these things earns us millions is beside the point.

Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and athlete.

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