A New Start – Overcoming a Criminal Background

””Nearly everyone who has ever looked for employment has faced some kind of barrier or obstacle in their job search.

This can especially be true for someone with a criminal background. For this person, the key is to not sit around, feel sorry for yourself or blame society for the obstacles and barriers you encounter. Here’s what you can do!

Do what is necessary to quickly find (steady) employment, even if it isn’t in your desired field. It’s not easy to find work, but it is possible – even probable – if you’re persistent. Those individuals who waste no time finding employment are the ones most likely to stay out of trouble and make a new life for themselves.

The following are useful tips for overcoming employment barriers:

Build a Support System
Solicit the support of family, friends and community/government organizations. No individual can exist as an “island.” The stronger your support system, the easier it is to navigate the ups and downs of today’s tight job market.

Identify Your Skills
Employers seek workers who know what skills they possess! Employers want to know how those skills can impact their business. Here’s a tool to help with performing a self-assessment.

Customize
Tailor (and practice saying out loud) the qualifications, skills and specific examples/experiences you can share with employers to demonstrate what you’ll do for their organization. This will require you to assess your skills, and it will make you do research on the target employer.

Work Hard
There are no off-the-rack solutions or procedures that can guarantee you a job. Hard work and preparation are your recipes for success.

Employers look for people that display the competitive skills necessary to fill in-demand jobs. They may be willing to overlook your past if you can prove your value.

Remember, individuals who waste no time finding employment are the ones most likely to make a new, successful life for themselves.

Carolyn Kennard is a Regional Facilitator for Workforce Solutions in the Houston – Galveston area. She conducts job search skills seminars throughout the 13 county Gulf Coast region. Before embarking on a career in workforce development, Carolyn achieved success in marketing and training with a major oil company. Carolyn holds a B.A. degree from Virginia State University and an M.A. degree from Prairie View A&M University.



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