Recently released from jail or prison and not sure what kind of work to look for?
You’re not alone.
Many people who have been out of the work force for a while – or who have never really been in it – may have a difficult time trying to figure out the job that might be suitable for them.
There’s an excellent resource to help you in your efforts. CareerOneStop, a free career counseling service sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Labor, offers the CareerOneStop video library, a collection of hundreds of videos where you can learn about careers and industries and the skills and abilities they require.
Videos divided into clusters based on type of work
The videos are divided into 16 clusters that include similar types of work — from agricultural and natural resources to architecture and construction, hospitality and tourism to transportation and logistics. Each cluster has an overview video and then videos for particular types of jobs.
Each video is just a minute or two and gives an overview of a type of career, what’s required in terms of ability, how to train for it and what workers do on a day-to-day basis. All of the videos also have transcripts.
A few examples from the CareerOneStop video library
- Take for an example a wind turbine technician or wind tech. The video explains that people with this job install, repair and monitor wind turbines. They also do maintenance. Most people in this field earn a certificate at a technical institute or community college.
- How about the possibility of a flooring installer? This is someone who lays and finishes carpeting and tile, linoleum and wood flooring, although a person would normally specialize in only one of these. Most people learn on the job but there are some formal apprenticeships available. This is an excellent choice for someone who wants to have their own business.
- Or you might be interested in getting into the hospitality industry. A good start is to work as a hotel or resort front desk clerk. This job requires excellent people skills, since clerks are the first person that guests usually deal with. It’s a good learning experience and could lead to a hotel management position.
- Another possibility, among many others, is a home health care aide or someone who provides in-home health care services to the elderly, or those who are sick or disabled. They may administer medications or help clients get dressed or bathed. They may also prepare meals or do light housekeeping. This job usually requires a high school diploma and some sort of formal training and certificate.
Information on pay and job opportunities also included
Some of the pages where the videos are displayed also include average pay, a job outlook rating – or how many job opportunities should be available in the future – and a link to a searchable database of training programs across the U.S. And there’s an entirely separate section of videos in Spanish.
So if you’re unsure what direction to take work wise, spend a few hours exploring the website and its clusters of videos, and watch as many as you can. Afterwards you’ll have a better idea of the kind of work you may be qualified for and interested in doing. Then you’ll be able to use the site to find a training program near you, if one is required. With a bit of initiative and perseverance you may soon be training for or finding a job that will help you with your new life.