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Elisabeth (Harney) Sanders-Park
Thursday, March 18, 2010, 10 am Pacific, 11 am Mountain, Noon Central, 1 pm EST, 7 pm Istanbul, 8 pm Zurich
Helping People with Criminal Records: From Self Sabotage to Landing a Job
Everyone has barriers, but people with criminal records have more fear to deal with and more explaining to do. Get proven and practical tips from a career expert who specializes in individuals with workforce barriers. These tips can be transferred to individuals with a variety of workforce barriers.
View speaker's powerpoint presentation:
You are welcome to visit us at the CAREERWELL table at the DOWD Conference April 6 and 7 if you are planning to attend.
Elisabeth (Harney) Sanders-Park will be a KEYNOTE SPEAKER at the conference!
Upcoming Careerwell Speakers
- 4/8/10 Roberta Neault, Capitalizing on Career Management as a REcruitment and REtention Strategy
- 4/15/10 Shawn Rosenmoss, Senior Environmental Specialist with the San Francisco Department of the Environment, Promoting Social and Environmental Wellbeing.
- 4/22/10 Eves Lemusi, Using Technology and Research and Neuroscience to get Feedback on How You Are Doing at Work.
Careerwell will publicize for subscribing organizations onsite speaking engagements of past and future Careerwell speakers. Send announcements to info@ careerwell.org.
Scenarios for Discussion
Scenario #1: Janet was in prison for 5 years for a violent assault against a family member, and was released 7 months ago. Her parole conditions require that she meet with you and find work. You've seen some veiled evidence that she wants to believe you can help her, but from your initial interactions she has been removed, even resistant. She misses appointments, arrives late and unprepared, expects you to do the work, and avoids activities that could move her forward, including failing to make a call you arranged with a potentially helpful contact, and not attending the job fair you prepared her for. Her constant mantra seems to be that none of this matters because no one is going to hire her anyhow.
Consider the core issues at play here, and where your conversation and services should begin. Also consider conversations, issues, activities, and goals you might remove from your interaction at this time.
Scenario #2: Two years ago, Michael was a securities broker earning a 6-figure income. 21 months ago, he picked up his 5th DUI in a 10 year period, and was charged with a felony. He served 15 months in prison, and lost his certification (which he hopes to regain within 2-3 years, assuming the certifying body becomes convinced he is no longer a risk). Since his release, he has become active in AA and maintained his sobriety, and has worked various jobs, none in his previous field, all paying a small fraction of his previous income. He thinks he wants to reenter his previous field even before his certificate is reinstated.
Consider the questions you would ask and the issues you would clarify to help Michael choose a direction, and determine how to explain in an interview what has happened.
Scenario #3: Bart is a sales trainer, and a good one. His long and successful career was interrupted 9 years ago when he was charged for fleeing the scene of a hit and run and served almost 2 years in prison [no one was critically hurt]. Shortly after he was released, he networked his way into a new job with an old colleague's company where he worked successfully for 4 years until he was recruited into a job where he worked for almost 3 years until the company lost 2 major contracts and laid-off his entire division. He is unsure whether and how to explain the 2 year gap and why he left his job 9 years ago.
Consider the options you see for expressing this series of events on a resume, on an application, and in an interview, and how he might prepare his references to represent it.
Activity: Watch Your Language!
Certainly as employment/career professionals we have a responsibility to both the individual job seekers and workers we serve, and to employers. That said, the hiring process is two-phased, and phase one is all about screening out lots of people for reasons big and small, so language is very important... key words, profiles vs. objectives, the screen name, and more. When working with people who must address a criminal background, language takes on an additional importance.
Consider the difference between honesty, full disclosure, and appropriate disclosure.
How might you re-language the following allow employers to understand the truth of a situation but not get stuck on the language or immediately writing the candidate off?... went to prison... breaking and entering... arrested... parole violation... embezzlement... aggravated assault... released... mandated... grateful recovering addict...
Also, consider how you term the title or relationship of key people. For example, with their permission, 12-step sponsors may become friends, and parole officers and case workers may be referred to as mentors.
Elisabeth (Harney) Sanders-Park has a passion and proven talent for helping people make tough career transitions – from diminishing industries, incarceration, parenting, addiction treatment, college/university, government dependence, mental instability, and even homelessness. For nearly 15 years, she has influenced the field of career development as a practitioner, the President of WorkNet Solutions, a highly-sought trainer, and co-author of more than 50 publications, including ‘L.A. Times Top 10 Career Book of the Year’ No One Is Unemployable, and soon-to-be released The 6 Reasons You’re Not Getting Hired (October 5th!, Penguin). She is the resident 'Tough Career Transitions' Expert for the Career Thought Leaders Consortium, and the ‘Working with Tough Clients" columnist for the CPAD NETWORK. She has trained more than 20,000 employment and career development professionals, helped establish more than 150 programs, and impacted the lives of nearly 1,000,000 job seekers across the U.S. and Australia.
Opening Instructions for Listeners
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This is Dr. Sally Gelardin with Careerwell Tele-Interviews. Our speaker today is Elisabeth (Harney) Sanders-Park. Elisabeth is a walking encyclopedia about helping people with criminal records and other barriers find jobs. She has trained more than 20,000 employment and career development professionals, helped establish more than 150 programs, and impacted the lives of nearly 1,000,000 job seekers across the U.S. and Australia. She is co-author of more than 50 publications, including ‘L.A. Times Top 10 Career Book of the Year’ No One Is Unemployable, and soon-to-be released The 6 Reasons You’re Not Getting Hired (October 5th, Penguin). Elisabeth is a keynote speaker at the upcoming Defender/Offender Workforce Conference (DOWD) in Dallas April 5-8. I shall be exhibiting at the Careerwell table, so drop by if you are planning to attend that sold-out conference.
Welcome Elisabeth! My first question is, "One in 10 American adults has a criminal conviction. What are the ramifications to the job seeker?"
Here is your list of Interview Questions:
- One in 10 American adults has a criminal conviction. What are the ramifications to the job seeker?
- What are the ramifications for the employer?
- What kinds of jobs do adults with a criminal conviction usually get?
- What kinds of additional opportunities do you see?
- What kinds of opportunities for those 18 - 25 with criminal records?
- In applying for a job, what do individuals with criminal records need to know?
- Are there particular strengths that are unique to individuals with criminal records that they bring to the job market?
- Every year, for the next 10 years, 650,000 people in U.S. will parole; they will be out in society. What can career development providers do to support this population to be contributing members of society?
- How did you get into working with people with criminal backgrounds and other barriers?
- Why do you continue working with people with barriers?
- How is working people with criminal backgrounds similar to working with other clients?
- How is working with people with criminal backgrounds dissimilar?
- Over the years, what have you found most helpful to working with individuals with criminal backgrounds?
- What are you doing personally to help support the employment of people with barriers?
- What tools do you offer for individuals with criminal backgrounds and for those with barriers in general?
- What resume and application tips can you recommend?
- How can listeners find out more about your book, website, and tips for ex-offenders and other individuals with employability barriers?
Questions from Listeners
- I work specifically w/ offenders & felons assisting them in securing employment. Their number one frustration is not knowing how to explain their backgrounds at the interveiws. What do you offer them, regarding how best to explain their background? How do they account for significant gaps in the resumes?