Managing your time and finding potential employers
Make the most of your time
Your full time job is finding a job, so you must spend at least 35 hours per week on your job hunt. Maintain a daily routine and stick to it. Get up every morning at the same time, and sit at your desk, your kitchen table or any other place you’ve set aside to work. Act just as if you were going to work, because you are. This helps you focus and keeps you on track. Jerry Seinfeld has a very effective technique called “Don’t Break the Chain”. Check it out. It really works!
If you’re not sure what kind of work you’d like to do, you can find occupations that are in-demand, along with the skills and education needed to obtain those jobs at Explore Careers. This site is free to use and very helpful. Skip this step if you don’t feel the need for this exploration.
Make sure your job hunt includes all potential employers
From a recent survey sited in a Bureau of Prisons report of more than 1,200 employers, only 8% reported that they would not hire an ex-offender. Since most employers will consider ex-offenders, feel free to look for work from any legitimate source. Limiting yourself to employers that you believe hire ex-offenders can limit your wages and job prospects. You should try to find employers who are a good match for your skills, experience and career goals.
It might be best to apply the 80/20 rule to your job search. Larry Robbin, a nationally-known expert in the area of workforce development, has done research that indicates that 8% of employers will hire an ex-offender, 12% might hire an ex-offender and 80% won’t. Even if you were to be less optimistic and assume that 80% will say “No” and 20% will say “Maybe,” that’s still 20 out of 100. Those odds are definitely worth pursuing, and your job is to find employers that will say yes.
Begin by making a list of 100 employers in the area you’d consider working for, and go after them
Remember, especially in a tough economy, many employers don’t place job ads. In fact only about 10%-15% of all job openings are published. Those are the visible jobs. Look for the invisible jobs, which you will find them by seeking them out. Make lists of employers. Call at least 10 a day, starting off the conversation with your 15 second elevator pitch, and repeat the process each week until you get a job. Get in the rhythm, and keep calling. It’s a numbers game. The more hiring managers you call, the greater your chances of finding one who might hire you. Employers are desperate for enthusiastic and motivated employees!