5 Ways Being Sober Has Improved My Professional Life

When someone’s addicted to alcohol, it’s hard for them to ever imagine life without alcohol; let alone a better life without alcohol in it.

However, I’m sure anyone who’s ever got sober would agree that being sober has changed their life for the better.

One way in which your life will improve drastically is your professional life.

Here’s a list of ways in which your professional life will improve dramatically if you give up alcohol for good.

1. Increased Presence at Work

When someone’s addicted to alcohol, they struggle to attend work or meetings on time, and when they do, they struggle to stay present and ‘in the moment.’

This is because a common side effect of alcohol addiction is a lack of concentration. Individuals, therefore, struggle to stay interested and productive at work.

However, when an individual gains sobriety, they’re now able to attend meetings on time, show up for work and tend to have a lot less sick days.

They’re also able to stay concentrated and more productive throughout the day. As a result of this, they’re trusted and liked once again by colleagues.

They may even be given more responsibility at work due to their increased productivity.

2. Increased Confidence at Work

Down to their increased productivity, their confidence will also increase.

When an individual is consumed by alcoholism, they tend to lose confidence in many aspects of their life, including their work.

Some people might even lose their job due to their alcoholism. After this, they might lose all confidence to go to apply for other jobs and even attend interviews.

An individual might be worried about returning to work once sober, in fear of being labelled ‘the alcoholic’ or ‘addict.’

However, once the individual becomes sober again, they’ll become more confident to not only return to work but do a good job too.

Here is a list of ways you can remain confident at work without the use of alcohol [1]:

  1. Take a deep breath, as it calms the nervous system.
  2. Accept yourself for who you really are. A big part of feeling confident in understanding that everyone has flaws and that that’s okay.
  3. Exercising is a great way to feel more confident.
  4. Stop any negative and self-destructive self-talk. You should stop doubting yourself and try to frame everything in a positive light.
  5. Look after yourself by pampering yourself and dressing in clothes that YOU want to wear and that you think you look good in. Whether it’s for work, a social gathering or just a walk down the road. By looking your best, you’ll also start to feel your best too.

3. Better Memory

What’s most interesting about recovery from alcohol is that the brain itself actually changes in structure when it recovers from addiction [2].

A part of the brain called the hippocampus (which is partly responsible for memory) increases when you abstain from alcohol for a long period of time [2].

Over a period of time, this is known to increase your long term memory function.

Additionally, it’s been proven that sustained alcohol sobriety increases the tissue in the brain in the cortex, which makes you better at decision making [2].

Increased memory will improve your professional life exponentially.

4. Increased Streams of Income

One unexpected benefit of becoming sober is being able to use your experience to give advice, speeches or write about your experience in order to help other people.

Whilst many people simply want to volunteer their time to tell their story, some individuals who have entered recovery are now using their experience to make other sources of income.

Whether this is through your writing, giving talks or webinars, people can make a nice source of side income from themselves whilst helping other people.

5. Discovering Sober Workmates and Colleagues

Another unexpected way in which being sober improves your professional life is discovering that other people at work are also in recovery or sober too.

Obviously, you have to be open about your prior addiction, recovery and sobriety in order to open up the topic of conversation with people.

However, once you do, I guarantee someone else would have had a similar experience to you too.

This will not only make you feel more comfortable and confident at work, knowing that someone else has experienced an addiction problem too will allow you the chance to open up to them and gain any advice.

Steps to Sobriety

Below we’ve listed the steps you can take in order to help you achieve long-term sobriety.

1. Understand and Admit that You Need to Sober Up

One of the hardest steps to getting sober is understanding and then admitting that you have an issue and an addiction.

This can be really hard, as lots of people addicted to alcohol or drugs struggle to leave the denial stage of their addiction.

However, there are a number of factors that can help an individual understand and diagnose that they have an issue [3].

  • Unable to control how much or for how long you drink
  • No longer keeping promises, managing responsibilities or relationships
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms
  • Experiencing cravings for alcohol
  • Continuing to drink whilst suffering from other health issues (these could be mental or physical)

2. Ask for Help and Support from Friends, Family and Colleagues

If you’re considering entering recovery, you should know that it’s a lot easier with the help and support of your friends and family.

They’ll be able to help keep you on track and keep you motivated, especially when times are tough and you’re experiencing withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

However, you need to communicate clearly to your friends and family when and how you’ll need the help.

You might even want a family member to attend meetings with you in the early days of your recovery.

Or you might ask them to come out to an event with you as moral, sober support.

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to include all your friends and family in your recovery. You should pick individuals wisely and carefully.

You should understand that not all of your friends and family members will be supportive.

Therefore, you should pick individuals to help you who you know will be supportive, open-minded and patient.

You might decide to distance yourself, permanently or temporarily from people who also have addiction issues.

3. Look to Helplines and Medical Professionals

If you don’t have any close family, friends or colleagues that are able to support you throughout your recovery, then you can always seek support and help from medical professionals.

Not only are they able to offer help, advice and support, but they can put you on the right treatment for you, including therapy.

With support, treatment and guidance from professionals, you’re much more likely to stay sober.

4. Find the Treatment Plan that’s Right for You

Every person’s addiction is different, and so is their treatment plan.

Therefore it’s important that you seek help from a medical professional so that they can put you on the best course of treatment for you.

There is a lot to think about, including how long the individual’s been addicted for, their readiness to recover and the level of addiction they’re currently qualifying as.


[1] https://hellosundaymorning.org/2018/05/01/confident-without-liquid-courage/

[2] https://www.recoveryanswers.org/research-post/neuroscience-of-recovery-the-brain-in-recovery/

[3] American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th ed. Washington, DC; 2013.