Finding a Job after Incarceration Begins in the Mind

I had a conversation with a dear friend of mine, Rhonda Lewis, about getting employed after being in prison and how it relates to being positive and the law of attraction. Rhonda is an aspiring entrepreneur who enjoys cooking. She got her first job the day she was released from prison. Here’s part of her story, in her own words:

I went out with a group of friends to a local sports bar. I only had my prison I.D. because I hadn’t had an opportunity to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles for a State issued I.D. The bouncer at the door reluctantly let me in with my prison I.D. and I remember clear as day that we ordered some chicken wings. They were horrible. I couldn’t help but voice my dissatisfaction to the manager. He asked with an attitude, “What you think you can do better?” All of my friends fell out laughing. The manager asked, “What’s so funny?” One of my friends replied, “She’s a chef.”

The manager told me to see him about employment before I left, and I was hired on the spot. I remember the next day I had to call my parole officer and tell her that I was offered employment and I begged to reschedule my first visit. She quickly agreed. I was surprised at how easy it was to convince my parole officer to work with me and my schedule. I learned that the myths I heard about reentry were not real. Getting a job was not as difficult as some people implied. In fact, I have been employed several times in the five years since I’ve been home. Each job has afforded me an increase and allowed me to develop new skills and build on what I already knew. I’m happy, but this parenting this is a challenge. My children often attempt to hold me hostage to my past, but I tell them repeatedly that they need to get over it. I know that if I give them a million dollars I cannot compensate for the void I left in their lives when I was incarcerated. In that case there is no point in them trying to emotionally blackmail me. It’s not gonna work. Not today.

Rhonda and I have come to a consensus that the tendency to successfully obtain employment is largely based on one’s mindset. Chances are if you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you can’t. We speak at length about the fact that we have the capacity to create the conditions we want for ourselves by controlling the way we think and by believing in ourselves. Employers recognize these qualities in us and the results are life changing.

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About Lashonia Etheridge-Bey

Lashonia Etheridge-Bey is a Public Speaker who can candidly and articulately speak to the consequences of youth violence, the effects of incarceration and the challenges of reentry into society. Read Lashonia's Full BIO Here 


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