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Friday, August 28, 2015

Choosing A Career, Part II – Three Steps to Help You Decide

There is no guarantee that the career path you start down in college will remain the path you stay on all your working life. Personal growth, technological advances, and economic changes are a few of the unexpected detours that might one day steer you into a change of vocation. Doing some soul searching and practical research now, at the start of your career, will help you avoid pitfalls. With thoughtful preparation, you’ll be on your way to making your first career choice the right one.

Step I: Discover yourself. 
·      Begin by doing an inventory of your likes and dislikes: “Like to be outside; dislike being in an office.” “Like having a plan; dislike the unexpected.”
·      List any experience or skills you might have. Did you work during summer vacations? Do you have a talent for music, art, or sports? Have you participated in volunteer activities that taught you a particular skill set?
·      Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Do you like to study? Are you an active person? Do you lead or just prefer to go your own way?

Having a clearer idea of your personality and competencies will make it easier to pair yourself with a compatible career.

Step II: Imagine your life.

·      What lifestyle are you hoping to achieve through your work? Will your career have a potential income to support such a lifestyle? Check sites like to find salary ranges for different occupations.
·      How much education will you need? Success in some careers requires an advanced degree.  Are you willing to make such a commitment?
·      What kind of work environment can you expect? Travel? Isolation? High pressure? Long hours? Are those factors acceptable to you?

Envisioning the type of life you would have will help you determine if a career is right for you.

Step III: Explore the career. 

Before you get too far down a career path, you need to know just how far that road will take you.

·      Is the field expanding, or is the number of jobs limited?
·      Will you have opportunities for advancement? Are there related occupations that might offer additional opportunities?
·      Is it a dynamic career where initiative and imagination are rewarded?

Visualizing and preparing for the twists and turns of a career path will help you to respond flexibly and avoid dead ends.

Rehab That Gets You Back on Track

If you are a young adult who has encountered the obstacle of drug or alcohol dependency, Hope Academy can help. In addition to California addiction treatment, we offer a unique college prep program in partnership with Saddleback College. Call 866-930-4673 to start the admissions process and verify insurance coverage. We specialize in getting you back on track for a productive career and a sober, satisfying life!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Choosing A Career, Part I – Getting It Right the First Time

careers addiction recoveryAs a child, did you dream about being a doctor? Or maybe a firefighter, teacher, rock star, or astronaut? It's normal to cycle through a long list of ambitions when we are young—but by the time we enter college and are ready to begin training for a career, we often have little idea what we want to do. For many Americans, the first career choice is not one that will last a lifetime. In fact, it is estimated that the average person will change careers four to seven times before retirement.

Why Change Careers?

More personal satisfaction, improved earning power, and increased opportunities for advancement are often cited as reasons for making a career change. Sometimes a career becomes obsolete or an industry loses momentum. Other times we discover that the career we’ve chosen just isn’t a good fit. And often, economic reality forces us to question our initial choices.

The Downside to Career Change

There are significant costs to making a career change. In today’s economy, most occupations require formal education or some kind of certification. That means that entering a new field almost certainly entails returning to school or taking courses online. Educational expenses and the time required can be significant. In addition, the personal costs, like handling more stress and remaining dedicated to the task, can be high. If you are undergoing CA addiction treatment during a career change, the added stress is a liability you probably can't afford. 

Choosing Right the First Time

Think of the savings in time, money, and personal satisfaction if you were able to identify your "ideal career" at the beginning of your college life. It’s possible, but it requires advance planning and soul-searching in the form of: 

1. Testing. Take advantage of the aptitude tests and interest surveys that most high school and college counseling services offer.
2. Volunteering. Volunteer in a field you think you might enjoy, take a part-time job, or check out the many available vocational education programs.
3. Seeking wise counselTalk to someone who works in an occupation you find interesting. There are often opportunities to tag-a-long for the day with a professional. 
4. Personal inventory. Take inventory of yourself, the areas that interest you, and the economics of the job market. (More on this in Part II.)

It’s not possible to predict the future, but the more you can anticipate change, the more prepared and adaptable you can be in your career choices.

A Rehab Program That Includes Career Prep

Have you had your career path interrupted by drug and alcohol dependency? Hope Academy has a unique program for enrolling in college classes while you are working toward a life of sobriety. Our one-on-one coaching and sober-living community provide just the support you will need. Call 866-930-4673 to begin the admissions process or inquire about insurance authorization today.  

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Facts About College Stress and Addiction

It’s not a surprise that drugs and alcohol are intertwined with college life. For many young adults, college is the first time they’re on their own, and the freedom can be, well, intoxicating.

But sometimes addiction sneaks up on college students, not because of the party culture, but due to extreme stress. The same young adults who revel in making their own decisions and dabbling in drugs may find that adulthood is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Whether the worry is about getting a passing grade in a tough class, trying to come up with next semester’s tuition payment, or learning to live with roommates for the first time, sometimes the pressure is just too much to handle. And that’s when self-medicating with drugs or alcohol can become a problem.

What Does the Science Say? 

Research finds that stress and drug abuse are inextricably linked. When faced with stress, the brain releases chemicals to help you cope. Drugs like heroin and morphine act similarly to the stress hormones secreted by the body, but more powerfully and more quickly. Therefore, your brain associates drugs and alcohol with feeling less stressed—so you keep doing more, and the destructive cycle continues.

Also, addiction is more likely in people who have a co-existing condition or dual diagnosis, such as depression or an eating disorder. These conditions are not uncommon in young adulthood.

Trends in College-Age Addiction

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA), 80 percent of college students drink alcohol; more than half of this number binge drink on a regular basis.

Getting high on campus is a continuing trend too. Marijuana, cocaine, and prescription stimulant medications are prevalent among 20-somethings.

One-on-one coaching, detoxification, and talk therapy are all part of a multidisciplinary approach to addiction recovery for young adults who recognize their drinking or drug use has gotten out of control. Addiction may be a temporary roadblock in your journey of higher education, but it doesn’t have to permanently derail your plans.

Drug and Alcohol Addiction Recovery

Hope Academy offers a variety of drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs for young adults, including our unique sobriety college program. Our CA rehab programs for adults age 18 to 26 include residential treatment and outpatient programs, and our team is available to help with insurance authorizations, interventions, and more. Call 866.930.4673 to get help for you or a loved one--or to speak to one of our rehab specialists about sobriety college and vocational training during addiction treatment.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Five Academic Habits for Success During Sobriety College

college sobriety rehabAttending college, returning to school, or preparing for your vocation while in drug and alcohol rehab can be an amazing and rewarding experience. Life goals keep you focused on the future and motivated in sobriety while enhancing future employment opportunities. Many young adults struggling with addiction find sobriety college comforting because it gives them an external focus during recovery.  It can also be a challenge, however, to balance the recovery process with academic pursuits. Remember that sobriety is your number one priority, and you must be vigilantly aware of the potential relapse triggers and stressful situations that can arise during college.

Tips for a Successful School Year

As you approach a new school year, keep in mind the following five tips for academic success:

1. Take responsibility for yourself. Just as you have learned during addiction recovery, YOU are responsible for you. Seek help when you need it, manage your time, and don't let others dictate your priorities.
2. Have a plan to deal with stress. The inevitable pressure you'll feel when a paper is due or a test is looming can derail your recovery if you don't have a plan. Create a list of coping mechanisms that you can fall back on when stress is mounting. This may include massage, yoga, acupuncture, deep breathing, or a walk outside.  
3. Optimize your workspace. Your desk or work area should provide easy access to the resources and supplies you need. Consider adding something beautiful and inspiring, like flowers, plants, or artwork. If you work best in busy environments, take an occasional coffee shop outing and soak up the energy it provides. If you are easily distracted, find a private corner or room and keep desk decor to a minimum. 
4. Practice self-care. College students are not known for prioritizing self-care. When you add addiction recovery into the mix, self-care becomes even more critical. Make time every week to do something you enjoy. Studies show that people who practice self-care are more productive at work, at school, and in addiction treatment. 
5. Develop a peer network. Engage your peers by becoming involved in study groups. Plan recreational outings with your sobriety college friends. Attending college during rehab gives you the unique opportunity to connect with other young adults who are balancing addiction recovery with school and vocational planning. 

To learn more about our sobriety college program, sober living communities, or Hope Academy's college house, call 866.930.4673 today!
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