Michael Brundidge, Manager of Business Services at The Fortune Society

5 Steps To Becoming “Job-Ready” With A Criminal Justice Background

Monday, July 20, 2015

What makes a person “job-ready?”

Many would think just having a resume, a bright smile, and the willingness to work is all you need to be job-ready. But, in truth, it requires much more.

In today’s economy — where the scarcity of employment opportunities has led many to fluff up or downgrade their resumes (adding or removing years of work experiences or fudging advanced degrees) —  those with criminal justice backgrounds have to be equipped with more than just a generic resume, a firm handshake, and the willingness to work.

Being job-ready requires the following:

  • Having the knowledge of what type of work fits you best. What are you good at?
  • Having the necessary skills to perform the work you want and the knowledge to do the job. (For instance, do not apply for a pilot’s job if you never operated a plane before). There is nothing wrong with making a career change if you are willing and able to develop the skills and knowledge to help you move into the career you want. But it may take time, so have patience.
  • Having the knowledge to perform a job search to find the work you have the skills/knowledge to do.
  • Being able to maintain your job. For some, it’s not about getting a job, but keeping that job that can be the challenge. Going back for further training keeps your knowledge and skills up-to-date thus keeping you relevant in your field.
  • Being aware of personal challenges that can hinder your ability to secure and sustain meaningful employment (like being hot-headed or substance abuse). Having the skills to effectively manage those challenges is what will help you remain employed.

Remember that “life happens.” If you trip over a rock and hit your head, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, use those same hands to reach out for the help you need. There are great programs that specialize in helping you put together the broken pieces of your life, such as those at The Fortune Society.

Fortune’s Employment Service Career Development program offers a two-week workshop that assists individuals who have had brushes with the law with technical assistance in securing employment. For more information, please contact Fortune’s Resource Coordinator/Mentor Hubert Lila at 347-510-3686.

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