When most people think about how a career was ruined by drugs and alcohol, it’s usually a pro athlete or celebrity who reached the top only to have their addiction send them crashing down. While those stories may capture the attention of the masses, the fact is any person in any profession can have their career ruined by an addiction. Here is a look at just a few of the reasons why addiction can cause damage—often the irreparable kind—to anyone’s career.
Addiction Can Give You a Bad Attitude
Generally speaking, a person with a bad attitude about their job typically does not have the most successful of careers. They may be able to hold down a job and pay their bills, but they’ll have a difficult time rising through the ranks without the passion and aspiration often required to do so. And if you’re unable to indulge an addiction while working, your focus is going to be affected, motivation will be weighed down, and performance will suffer. It’s the makings of a bad attitude, or an easy way to exacerbate one. Restlessness and irritability can also lead to conflict with management and coworkers.
Lack of Sleep Can Hurt Job Performance
A serious addiction will almost always go hand-in-hand with sleep problems, and there are few people in this world who can maintain a strong performance at their job while sleep deprived. It’s well-established that persistent drug and alcohol use can interfere with one’s sleep cycles. However, even behavioral addictions like gambling, shopping, or Internet use can cut into time that should probably be used to get some rest.
As a person falls deeper into addiction and their sleep habits continue to suffer, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep your concentration and stay focused on work. Sooner or later, someone will start to notice the drop in job performance and your career will suffer the consequences.
Bad Choices and Accidents
For most professions, clear minds are needed to make good choices and avoid actions that have dire consequences. Of course, people with serious addictions never have clear minds. They are either under the influence of a substance or too focused on their vice to give their job the attention it needs. Under these circumstances, it’s only a matter of time before you make a bad choice that hurts either your career or the company (often times it’s both). Some professions also have more precarious environments, like in construction or electric work, where serious accidents are always a threat to the health, well-being, and even the lives of both workers and customers alike. Add addiction to the mix, and things can get ugly, fast.
Being part of a workplace accident, especially if it’s clear that cause was related to your addiction, is a swift way to destroy your career.
Word Gets Around
When you have an addiction that starts to interfere with your career, sooner or later word will get around. If you lose one job, it can be difficult to get another job because prospective employers can easily speak to former employers and learn why things didn’t work out. It’s a reputation that can be tough to break. Even if you do get a second chance, if you don’t deal with your addiction, it’ll continue to have a negative impact on your job performance, making it tough to keep your career afloat. The best thing to do would be to seek addiction treatment to help break the addiction and not repeat the past, and possibly even show potential employers how serious you are about getting bac on track.
The first step is always to recognize that there’s a problem. The second step is facing it head on, and that goes for both your addiction and your career goals.