Is the "Job" Pool Shrinking? Returning Citizens are saying "Yes!"
Entrepreneurship is the new Re-Entry Plan
Finding work with a criminal record is not an easy task. Although the majority of citizens returning from prison are at the right age, and fully capable of taking up new employment, the success rate of applying is low. This is especially concerning as finding a job is an important part of re-integration back into the community, making new connections, and establishing a new way of life.
The entry level, non-skilled job pool, is only going after candidates with recent relevant experience. Even if the guys coming home from prison successfully secure an interview, thanks to the new Ban the Box legislation, it is not uncommon for the employer to go quiet if background checks are performed.
Furthermore, there is the issue of being behind the latest technology used in the current workforce. A prison is a place with very little internet or computer accessibility. Spending years behind bars means you have a lot of catching up to do when released. With technology always changing and new products being released into the market every month, it can be very challenging to adapt for re-entry. The lack of experience with advanced software and electronics equipment is often considered a liability in the employer’s eyes, which works to ex inmate's disadvantage.
While this may seem like a hopeless situation to some, there is a way to overcome it. The solution is simple, although it may require a lot of determination and persistence.
What to do, when nobody will hire you? Hire yourself. There are thousands of opportunities to become an entrepreneur. Choosing to start your own venture means you don’t need to wait for anybody to say “Yes” to you. You can start working today.
To somebody who has never before thought about being a business owner, it may seem like an intimidating idea. However, with the right training course to get you up to speed, it is more than possible to become entrepreneurs. There are case studies of returning from prison citizens who began with having no business knowledge or experience, and got themselves to the point of running a company. These success stories prove how wrong the belief is, that you need a special background or large bank of money to begin working for yourself.
Most people who venture into entrepreneurship start small, and find a way to scale it after they become knowledgeable in their field. What's needed to start is a will to learn and some entrepreneurial training. By enrolling in a course of business, the newly reintegrated individuals are investing in the most solid foundation for their future.
Becoming an entrepreneur doesn’t need to be reserved for people with an exact vision of what company they want to build. Returning citizens have the capacity to build something big, by starting with something basic. By dedicating some time to training and new skill development, you can learn how to take even the simplest skill and start working on turning it into a business opportunity. It could be anything from offering data entry skills online, to writing, or re-selling things found in auctions.
Whether you have a skill that can be leveraged online or offline, it can be a beginning of a new business. The market is vast and with some pointing to the right direction, anybody can find a place in it for their idea.
In the world where it is getting significantly harder for returning citizens to find a job, becoming an entrepreneur is the new re-integration plan. No system ever works overnight, and trial and error may be expected, but getting yourself back into the society by creating your own job is worth the effort in the end.