When a history of addiction creates gaps on your resume, finding a job can seem impossible – but it may not be as hard as you think.

With a bit of planning and effort, we’ve rarely seen an individual fail to find, at the very least, a part-time paid position in the local community. For clients returning to their job and a familiar workplace, we offer transitional support to balance work, personal and recovery life. If you’re starting over, we’ll help you with the job search, interview prep, and the transition into a new work environment.

How We Can Help

First, our location offers advantages – numerous opportunities are available in Westport, with dozens of shops, local chains and national retailers, recreation centers, and indoor and outdoor entertainment venues. In addition, many well-known companies in the investment management, manufacturing, construction, media, advertising, marketing, food service, and venture capital industries call Westport and surrounding Fairfield County home.

Jim Gabal

Director, Career Services

Jim Gabal

Director, Career Services

A long-time resident of Westport, Jim’s journey of recovery began after the successful completion of the the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Program at the Betty Ford Center. Since then, he has amassed over 25 years of sobriety – one day at a time. He is very active in Alcoholics Anonymous, attending several AA meetings a week and working with others in the program to help them stay sober and lead productive lives.

Prior to joining Westport House, Jim had a long and successful career working in some of the world’s largest media companies, launched numerous businesses and was a marketing consultant. In those capacities his management responsibilities included personnel search and acquisition, employee development, mentoring and performance evaluation.

Jim’s experience makes him a perfect fit for his responsibilities as Career/Volunteer Counselor. His duties here include securing paid and volunteer employment opportunities in the local community. In this capacity he capitalizes on his relationships with area companies and identifies appropriate opportunities for our residents. He assists residents in resume development, interview preparation, counsels them on post-interview follow-up and assist them through the successful hiring process.

He holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma.

Secondly, whether you are seeking that first job, a new job, or a career transition, you will have the support of our Director of Career Services, Jim Gabal (click on his picture to read about his background), professional workshops, mentoring, and work-oriented services developed to support your transition to work while you reside at Westport House.

Lastly, Westport is a very supportive community and the 12-step rooms are filled with business owners and executives who are in position to make hiring decisions. Over the years, we have developed close relationships with community members (in the rooms and out) who have hired Westport House residents or referred them to others in need of help. In fact, many of our alumni are still with their original employers and moving up the career ladder.

What Employers Want

Ultimately employers want healthy employees and it is in their best interest to allow you to receive the treatment you need to return to a state of wellness and productivity. It’s up to you to justify their investment in your future. Most of us have been where you are and we’re here to help you succeed in finding the right opportunity for you.


Returning to a Supportive Employer

  • Professional advisors and mentors who are in recovery and have successfully navigated the transition back into the workplace
  • Helping you understanding your employer’s drug and alcohol policy
  • Educating you about your rights under the law
  • If necessary, communicating with your manager and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) representative before and after your return date
  • Setting realistic goals and objectives
  • Maintaining perspective in terms of the role of work in your recovery

Once you’ve returned to work, we’ll assist you with:

  • Complying with return-to-work agreements (including the recommendations of medical professionals)
  • Meeting your employer’s random drug testing requirements
  • Completing release of information forms allowing you employer to receive updates of attendance and progress

Finding New Job Opportunities

  • Professional advisors who are in recovery and have successfully navigated the transition back into the workplace
  • Interview preparation
  • Job or volunteer placement in the community
  • Learning how to talk about gaps in employment and other consequences of your substance abuse
  • Identifying and communicating with professional references
  • Setting realistic goals and objectives
  • Maintaining perspective in terms of the role of work in your recovery

Get started, call today: 888.302.6790