As a Career Development Facilitator at the Job Connection Toni has the pleasure of meeting new people every day. She recently met a man named Philip who came into the Job Connection for assistance in finding employment, and cried as he told Toni his story. Philip explained that he’d recently been released from prison, where he’d spent the last 20 years for drug related charges. Toni asked him about his employment history, and he was embarrassed to admit that he’d never had a legitimate job. He said that he’d started selling drugs as a teenager and was arrested in his early 20s.
Philip was not convinced that anyone would ever hire him. He talked about the effects his choices had on those he loved and how the consequences of his actions would affect future generations in his family. He told Toni that he is a father now and that his mother continues to be his biggest fan. He said he wanted to support her and his family; instead they have been supporting him. He made no excuses for his actions, and said that he willing to work hard if given the opportunity.
Toni was sold. She believed him and told him that he had exactly the right attitude that it takes to find a job. She coached Philip on what to write on job applications and how to talk with employers about his past. She told him that she was 100% sure he would find a job, and that people would feel his remorse, sincerity and determination to make things right. He looked at Toni thoughtfully, and made her repeat herself so he could be sure that he’d heard that correctly. Then smiled, sat up a little straighter and told Toni that she was alright.
A week later Philip returned to Toni’s office and told her that he’d found a job. He told her about how he’d asked the person interviewing him if they believed in second chances, and said that he wouldn’t have had the courage to ask, had Toni not told him that he deserved one. He explained to her that before he met Toni, he didn’t feel worthy of living in society. He’d thought people would never see him as anything but a criminal. Philip said he really wanted to be someone that his family could be proud of, and thanked Toni for helping him get his shot. It’s what we do…
If you know anyone who is looking for a job, please contact the Job Connection near you. Click here for a list of locations.