One of the biggest challenges facing returning citizens is finding a job. For many reasons, it can be an arduous, lengthy, and discouraging task. Not only are many companies disinclined to hire returning men and women, but many times it can be challenging to overcome other barriers that are in the way to land and obtain a job.
Getting that first job – There are many things that can affect getting that first job after coming home. One of these challenges is the long gap in time an employer sees on a returning citizen’s job history. Many employers see this as a risk factor to a potential employee’s hire-ability. Job-seekers should be aware of this risk factor going into an interview and should consider settling for a temporary less-than-ideal job to rebuild their work history.
Dress for Success – Although not all jobs have a dress code, dressing professionally for an interview will show the interviewer you take the interview seriously. In addition, coming to the interview early and being prepared to answer relevant questions will help your chances.
Be transparent – As discouraging as it is to share about your past in interviews, being honest in your interview will avoid future complications to your employment with the company. Some returning citizens make the mistake to not disclose that they have a felony in their background. When a background check comes back revealing this information, these workers are forced to be terminated from that company.
Every day more companies are adopting prison reform policies. These policies are allowing more and more returning citizens to obtain employment at more and more organizations. With this in mind, it should be encouraging for job-seekers to be transparent about their past. You will need to trust that someone will give you a second chance and embrace honesty in the hiring process.
Pursue a staffing agency – Another great way to get a jumpstart while job seeking is to connect with a staffing agency. These companies will help seek out a job on your behalf. Although they have their own vetting process, it is usually less involved than a job interview. When it comes to your dream job, you may not find it in a day. In the meantime, a staffing agency can help get you in the door.
Start where you are at – It may not be intuitive, but many small companies have more lenient hiring policies than corporate organizations. They will also be more likely to hire new employees on a case-by-case basis. These are advantages to seeking out a job in your local area.
For your next interview, be sure to take these into consideration and put your best foot forward. Don’t allow anything, including your past, to keep you from seeking out a job. A positive, energetic job-seeker will go a long way towards creating a good impression with the company.
One last thought: For some, there are opportunities to expunge some or even all of their record. Seek out legal counsel for more information on this subject.
For more info, check out stoprecidivism.org