Once you finish your addiction treatment or rehab, you are in a position to look back on your time as an addict with fresh eyes. Now that you\u2019re in a more positive place and feel better physically and mentally, it becomes extraordinarily clear how chaotic your life was when you were actively drinking alcohol or using drugs.\r\n\r\n\r\nYour relationships were a mess. You made mistake after mistake at your job. You truly cared about nothing more than your next high.\r\n\r\nNow that you are back in control of your life, it\u2019s time to make reparations. You\u2019ve got a lot of ground to cover in order to repair your reputation or career, but remember to take it one step and one day at a time. Here are some tips, collected from recovering addicts, to help you prepare for the journey ahead.\r\nTry to Diversify Your Career\r\nWhen she was an active alcoholic, Maia H. worked in advertisement and marketing. \u201cI got passed up for promotions, which at the time made me angry. I\u2019d blame everyone but myself,\u201d she explained. \u201cEventually I went on a huge binge and didn\u2019t show up to work three days. When I finally showed my face again, I was called straight to the big boss\u2019s office and told to pack up my things.\u201d\r\n\r\nFor Maia, being fired was her rock-bottom moment. She entered a rehab program just a few days later.\r\n\r\n\u201cThey offered a lot of different resources to patients, including career help.\u201d That\u2019s when Maia had an epiphany: \u201cI\u2019d worked in advertising for 10 years but hadn\u2019t paid much attention to how it had really exploded out in different directions. We just worked on billboards, mostly. But this lady at the rehab center was telling me all about digital advertising and digital marketing.\u201d\r\n\r\nTo stay competitive in the job market and find\u00a0jobs for recovering addicts, Maia decided to take online courses in these new fields. \u201cMy resume looked amazing, but more importantly I actually felt confident when applying for jobs or going to interviews. I knew my stuff! I had a brand new focus and really felt like I was turning a new page.\u201d\r\nBe Brave About Asking for a Letter of Recommendation\r\nCharles E. had been struggling with a painkiller addiction when he made a significant mistake at his factory job. An entire batch of merchandise had to be trashed.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s the kind of thing that could happen to anyone. So you\u2019re not necessarily fired the first time. But I made those kinds of stupid mistakes three times within six months. They let me go.\u201d\r\n\r\nCharles had been working for this company for eight years and was an experienced and knowledgeable employee. \u201cBut I\u2019d become a liability,\u201d he explained, \u201cand it was all down to the drugs. I couldn\u2019t get off them. It was bad.\u201d\r\n\r\nCharles eventually did enter a recovery program and break his addiction. He was then faced with having to find a new job. \u201cI realized that this job, the one I\u2019d been fired from, was the one where I had most of my experience. And potential employers were probably going to contact them to ask about me. And they\u2019d learn about my mistakes and never hire me,\u201d he said. \u201cI thought I was going to have to start from the bottom.\u201d\r\n\r\nBut Charles received some great advice from a mentor. \u201cHe told me that I should go talk to my former managers and be real with them, and ask them to write a letter of recommendation that highlighted my good points \u2026 everything they liked about me for the majority of the time I worked there.\u201d\r\n\r\nCharles admitted that \u201cit was a risk, but the worst they could do was say no.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cI learned that you can\u2019t legally be asked about past drug use in an interview. But there was nothing to stop the interviewer from contacting this other company and for them to say, \u2018Charles messed up big time and cost us a lot of money.\u2019 It\u2019s not pleasant, but that\u2019s how it works.\u201d\r\n\r\nCharles\u2019 gumption worked in his favor: \u201cThey were actually pleased to see me and to hear that I\u2019d gone through rehab. They knew I had been a good worker and had all the training. They said they\u2019d work on a letter of recommendation for me \u2026 but a couple weeks later, they actually sent me a job offer for another section of the factory!\u201d\r\nDon\u2019t Define Your Future by Your Past\r\nAfter rehab, you stand at a crossroads. You can pick up the fragments of your career where you left them, or you can try something completely new. Neither path will be easy, so take the time to decide which route you want to travel. The most important thing you can do is to keep looking ahead. You\u2019ll make much more progress if you stay focused on the future and don\u2019t stop to lament the past.