Seeing AjaNai's happiness motivates us to keep fighting for justice-involved job seekers. After facing the collateral consequences from her conviction and being denied her license to sell insurance, AjaNai now makes $25 per hour at a company that genuinely cares about its employees, regardless of their background. Her story shows that your background should not stop you from aiming higher and finding a job that you can see yourself doing for a long time. Learn more about her experience in the video below:
Read AjaNai's whole interview here:
What experience do you have with the criminal justice system?
AjaNai: "It started as a juvenile, mostly petty stuff like stealing from the grocery store with my friends. The biggest charge that has kept me back is disorderly conduct. Me and my children's father had gotten into [a fight], and I was charged with domestic violence. It was a pretty high charge. At the time, I was in school to be a dental assistant. So my lawyer was like, "Oh, you're not going to be able to do anything with this charge. We gotta work something out". So, I was going through the court system for about two years, trying to plead it down, trying to get different charges. Currently, I believe my background check does say disorderly conduct, and then the second one is a violation of a protection order."
What was your job search experience like before you found Honest Jobs?
AjaNai: "I was actively job searching. But I was searching for something that was going to be more career stable. Right before Honest Jobs, I had gone through all the training to try to get my insurance license, to do health insurance in Colorado. And I completely got through the test and everything. It got to me going through a background check, and I got denied. My capabilities have never been my issue in receiving a job. It's usually always my background that holds me from that. So minute! And it can define you forever."
What was your job search experience like after you found Honest Jobs?
AjaNai: "Someone reached out to me to make my profile, and they kind of spoke over my resume with me. So once I got in the door, I want to say total probably about a week and a half [until I was hired]. It's so friendly. It's so open, honestly very transparent too. I love that you guys kept me in the loop a lot about the steps of my profile and the steps of my interviews. Even checking up after my first day and stuff, I'm like, "Oh, how sweet!" This was really a great opportunity. I really, really do thank Honest Jobs a lot. Because I probably would not have come across Checkr ever in my life if it wasn't for you guys."
Tell us about your new job!
AjaNai: "I work for Checkr. They are a background company. So they run background checks on candidates. I personally am a Tier 1 Customer Support Representative. It's been three weeks now [since I started]. My pay rate is $25 an hour. Benefit-wise, they care about us. They care about their employees. It's an employee-first company, and I really like that. Checkr knows that we do benefit them. So they want to make sure that we are their frontline, they keep us happy, and I really, I really do appreciate that. This is what I've been looking for my whole life. I don't see [myself] going anywhere. I see myself trying to build within the company and move up as I go. I see myself at Checker for a long time."
Would you recommend Honest Jobs to other formerly incarcerated job seekers?
AjaNai: "You guys responded quickly, and you guys are very timely. You keep in contact. I love that. I love that Honest Jobs is the doorway, the entryway to giving people these opportunities. Because, like I said, if it weren't for Honest Jobs, I would have never come across Checkr. So, thank you so much, Honest Jobs!"