Hey Readers! Thank you for stopping by again! As always, I have a lot in store for you!
I have a really neat interview with Lisa Forbes coming up, where she will talk about the factors that played into her conviction, and how she has turned her life around, and how she defines her success as a reformed recruiter. I am quite excited to hear her story and learn from her experiences, how about you?
Now, while we wait for the interview, I wanted to let you guys know that there are affordable certifications that will help you improve your employability (apparently I’ve made a new word – according to Google spellcheck anyway) after a conviction.
Easy Employment After Conviction
I am all too familiar with the fact that life gets turned upside down now and again (sometimes it feels like it’s upside down every day… I get that too), and having these little additions to rely on can mean keeping your room over your head versus ending up homeless (or homeless again – goodness knows I’ve been there a few times). While not every place will require these certificates – it will not hurt to have them.
These little employment certificates are the Basset license (basically a responsible bartender) and the Food Handler license.
Now, with these easy employment certifications, you’ve got lines to pretty simple and always hiring – if tedious and people filled – work. And if you’re serving food or drinks – you can go home with cash in hand daily. Which is always awesome. Especially when you’ve been totally broke for a while. The people part can be difficult – especially right after release from supervision, jail, or prison. But – this kind of work forces you to hone your people skills really quickly and will push you to be more social and can even help you build an interesting network of people in your area that can vouch for how awesome you are beyond that little note on your rap sheet.
Bartender and Food Handler Experiences
I completed the Basset training in about 4 hours just yesterday evening by watching video after video on the certification website, answering the practice questions, and then completing the final exam. I paid around 14 bucks for it, and now I can be hired at any bar in my state. Of course, not all states have a full requirement of a licensed server, but even if they don’t require it, it may be a good idea to invest in it, because it will show that you will go above and beyond the basic expectations and that you’ll be a responsible seller. The tips are pretty awesome too, especially on busy nights.
The Food Handler license will help you gain cooking and waitressing jobs too, and I’ll be taking this course soon as well – I’ll make an update when I have more information on the cost and the type of course that is offered online. (Update: I paid only $7 for mine, it’s the lowest level one – it’s all I needed as I was serving and not helping cook – although food manager’s licenses seem to run up to $500 around here – if you’re looking to get into cooking full time with a manager’s wages – be prepared for an investment)
Neither course has mentioned performing any sort of background check, and I haven’t found a bar or diner yet that runs a check for hiring purposes (maybe my area is a bit BFE though – let me know if your locale is different), so if you’re a people person and know how to defuse the situations that can come up in a bar, you might consider becoming a bartender. (Note – this isn’t great for anyone that struggles with addictions – between the alcohol being served and the likelihood of cannabis being on the grounds somewhere *because food service workers would explode without it honestly* – the bar/diner scene can get out of hand for some. Be sure you’re not putting yourself in situations that you aren’t ready for or just don’t need in your life.)
The cash tips are often pretty decent – especially if you’re lucky and get the ever coveted weekend evening hours (don’t get your hopes up for winning those shifts straight off – service vets are necessary on busy nights), and that’s money you can typically take home each night on top of the weekly paycheck for your hours. Tip based jobs are sort of awesome in that way, even if they are ‘lower income’.
Bonus Budgeting Tip for Tips
Once you’ve gotten your first check from working the hours, begin hiding all of your tip income from yourself if you can – at least put back a few dollars each day if that’s cutting the budget too close.
After a month or two – check what you have and invest it in something you’ve been needing for a while. I add this because I also know how easy it is to spend that tip money on things that aren’t necessary – extra snacks during slow shifts, one dollar lottery tickets on the way home, and buying Camel Wides instead of rolling my cigarettes for the day. When I started hiding my tips from myself – I was able to invest in this very blog and make it easier to find – thus making progress on my bigger goals instead of feeding my cash to my personal consumption habits.
That’s all, for now, guys, come back soon and find some inspiration in Lisa’s interview, and keep rising above!
P.S. – If you’re looking for a certificate to help you overcome your background – you can find it in my books! I did a ton of research on every state and put it all together in a nifty little manual for you! Print version HERE, and ebook versions at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords – see the sidebar for links. Thank you so much!