We all know people that have had problems in the past. Maybe they got into legal trouble at one time, or have been addicted to drugs. They've paid their dues and are now ready to get out there and take life by storm!
I know quite a few myself. They WANT to live a good, honest, hard-working life now. But the odds are against them. They often lose hope and go right back to the only life they know. It's so terribly sad.
Back in the day, if you were looking for a job, you would walk into an establishment and fill out a paper application. The first person you met was the receptionist or Administrative Assistant. Maybe the business owner themselves if it's just a small business.
First impressions mean everything. You can bet the receptionist ran right to the big guy and told him how you were dressed and if you had funky jewelry or rainbow colored hair. If you were kind and polite and smiled or not. The first impression can be the deciding factor whether you get that interview or not.
Fast forward to today. Everything is done via Internet. Leaving home is not required. Just sit on the laptop in your jammies, hair in a messy bun and fill out applications. You may never get that opportunity to leave a good first impression. Your application could be thrown out of the mix in the matter of minutes.
If an applicant has ever been incarcerated or addicted to drugs and tells the truth on their application, they will most likely be eliminated from the hopefuls because of certain "buzzwords" the software has picked up on.
Questions such as "Have you ever been convicted of a crime" (some say felony) are loaded questions.
If you have been convicted of a crime, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. Tell the truth and your application is eliminated. Lie and you will most likely be found out at some point. If you explain the truth during your interview, chances are you will be thought of as a liar. Unless you're extremely lucky and are talking to someone with a kind and compassionate heart.
Same goes for addiction. If you were a non-working addict, or spent significant time in rehab, how do you explain the lapse in employment? Again, the chances are that the software is going to pick up on certain buzzwords such as "addict", "rehab" if you do explain, or pick up on the blank spaces (a no-no on applications) and throw your application out.
Another loaded question: Do you have reliable transportation?
For one reason or another, applicants may not have a car or a license. They may have lost their license due to unpaid fines, back child support (how do you pay when in jail?), sold their car for drugs, their car was impounded, yadda, yadda.
The point is, they have to depend on others, if they even have anyone to depend on. That principal goes against the tough love theory and it borders on co-dependency. But they need the help to eventually become independent.
So where do they find this help? Granted, there are services that teach you how do write a resume, how to fill out an application, etc. They might even be able to help you smooth over those non- working months or even years.
But it's not going to help with software picking up on certain words, and it's not going to get them from point A to point B. Around here, the cost to take a bus from town to the city is quite expensive and can really eat up some time. Where does a new employee get money for a bus?
But that is putting the cart before the horse. They need the job first, which for many feels overwhelmingly impossible.
There has to be a way but how?
For those of you trying to make positive changes in your life, I challenge you to get out there and meet some new, positive people. Be proactive! The more people you know, the higher your chances for a "Big Break."
Of course, if you are without wheels you will have to stay within your community.
Attend church (you might have to try a couple to see where you fit in)
Take a class in something you're interested in. It could be for education purposes or pleasure.
Volunteer- it gets you out there, you can learn some new skills, and you will have something AWESOME to add to your resume.
Reach out........you can always try writing a letter to a business asking for a chance to work for them. Be honest and sincere. Let them know you are willing to start at the bottom, as long as you know there are opportunities to prove yourself and move up.
And for the rest of us
Do you own a business (I'm NOT talking Direct Sales here) and if so, would you be willing to take a chance on someone in one of the above situations? To be an employer, mentor and a friend?
Let's band together and help encourage and support those who are trying to get their life together.
Are you in?
P.S. I've never been in jail nor rehab but I know people going through this very situation. And honestly, I am a bit as well. I'm in my 50's and have some lapses in employment - playing wife and mother. Its tough to rebuild!