With the help of Honest Jobs, Billey now has the chance to support himself and work towards his ultimate career goal of becoming an industrial organizational psychologist. Learn more about his experience in the video below:
What was your experience looking for a job before you found Honest Jobs?
Billey: “From 2014 to 2022, it was my time incarcerated. I was in there for armed robbery. I was in there for a violent crime. So I know there's a stigma of people who first come out of incarceration. They [employers] don't know how they are. They believe that we might have PTSD, they believe that we might have a criminal mindset. They don't know how exactly we're gonna act, they don't know the exact type of person we are. There's a stigma behind it and it's kind of hard. But then slowly and surely I will do my best. You know, incarceration for eight years is a long time, but it has made me become the person I am today. It's not something I'm trying to hide. It's more like I want them to see me for me first.”
What was your experience looking for a job after you found Honest Jobs?
Billey: “It was actually pretty amazing that I was able to find employment so fast. Target reached out to me and they wanted to give me an interview. My boss who did my interview, he was just telling me about himself. He didn't ask me about my history or anything, but then I guess he could tell that there was a gap in my experience. You know, eight years is a long time. I felt very connected with him, so I felt like this is something I need to tell them. Like “You know, I just actually got done doing eight years”. He still saw me as a human, you know? He did not look down on me. It’s all out in the open. He knows exactly the type of person I am. And it was just very powerful to me. Like “Oh man, he still accepts me as a person”. Literally, it was a game changer in my mind at that moment.”
Tell us about your new job!
Billey: “I work at Target. My job title is Target Security Specialist. Now my pay is $18.95 an hour.”
What are your career goals?
Billey: “Actually, I am attending San Francisco State University and my major is psychology. I plan to get my Master's in Industrial Organizational Psychologist. So I believe that the workforce would change dramatically in the future, and I would like to be on the front end when that happens to help mediate in any type of way that I can.”
Would you recommend Honest Jobs to other formerly incarcerated job seekers?
Billey: “I would. Honestly, I already have. I know my friend asked me how I found a job so fast. How am I a security guard when I committed a robbery? And I was just like “Man, I just applied through Honest Jobs. I signed up for the job site, I put in my resume and I started applying. And they just called me back. Easy as that.”
Do you have a message for job seekers?
Billey: “Just don't give up. It's hard being a felon, but we did what we did. It's not good to play the victim. We made our mess. We got to work a little bit harder. I made it harder for myself. Nobody else.”
Do you have a message to employers?
Be open-minded. Not everybody that comes out of prison is gonna be like me. There are people who will have PTSD. There will be people who have that criminal mindset still. But you have to be able to see through all that and see that they are still trying to change. A lot of us come from dysfunctional families. A lot of us come from dysfunctional lives. A lot of us have done drugs. Just because we came out of prison doesn't mean that we're not willing to work hard though. There are people who have committed crimes and don't go to prison and have not gone through the criminal justice system. Just because they don't have a record, you'll still hire them. No matter what, you're hiring all different types of people, but it's just that one person is marked and the other person isn’t.
Join Honest Jobs
If you're an employer who believes in second chances, or a person who needs one, head to www.HonestJobs.com to create more experiences like Billey's.