From rescinded offers to a job he loves: Jonathan's story
Jonathan received three job offers in four months, but the offers were all rescinded because of his criminal background. With the help of Honest Jobs, he found a job which he loves and from which he is planning to retire. Learn more about Jonathan's experience in the video below:
Read the full interview here:
What was your job searching experience like before you found Honest Jobs?
Jonathan: “I just got out of prison for the third time in January, so four months ago. I was in prison for possession of drugs. I got hired about three times and then I couldn't get past the background. Temp agencies won't take me because of my record, any temp agency. It was really hard because you're trying and you just can't get hired. If you don't have anything to do, you are more susceptible to going back to making money how you used to make money, which led you to prison in the first place. It’s a cycle.
When they get out, let’s say they don't make parole and they don't have a halfway house, they just let you out and you take off walking with a $100 bill. So like 80 or 90% of people don't know what else to do. Some people steal, some people sell drugs. It’s a cycle. If they had it [a job] right off the rib, then it would be way less people going back. I went to the WorkSource and I specifically told them I needed a job for felons. That's when I heard about Honest Jobs."
Tell us about your new job!
Jonathan: “I’m a full-time welder now at Kawneer. Most people get a raise after around 90 days or so. Honestly, I'm just so grateful that they gave me a shot, and that they put me in. I haven't missed one day. I'm never late. I'm taking care of my daughter with the money.
Okay, the benefits: Me and my daughter already have all the insurance. We got dental, vision, health. I got a 401k. I've never done that. I haven't had insurance in like 10 years or something. I just love the job. I love it. I'd like to just stay there until I retire, probably."
Would you recommend Honest Jobs to other formerly incarcerated job seekers?
Jonathan: “I tell everyone I know that has a record and can't get a job about Honest Jobs. You can just be 100% honest about your record. You don't have to be scared to tell them that you had an assault charge. You all legitimately get felons jobs right out of prison. I would've just called you on my very first day. They're just really awesome over there.”
Do you have any tips for justice involved job seekers?
Jonathan: “My advice to job seekers would be just keep on trying. You have to have a reason to change, if you’re not sick and tired. I changed my life for my daughter. I have a five-year-old daughter. I decided that missing four years of her life for a drug was totally not worth it. The drug was not worth it. The money was not worth it. Basically, I'm not doing [any] more time of my daughter's life in a room blocks away from her. So my advice would be to just find your reason, whether it’ a job, or a child, or or just not doing time in jail [any]more. Just find your reason.”