My Story—Sean MacGregor

I was released from prison, and I was going to the halfway house. The guys there were already attending the job center.

I was like, “I need a computer. I need to get online. I need to look for some work and do some stuff.”

And they were like, “Come down [to the job center]. You can use the computers, and they’ll help you. There’s people that will help you with your résumé, and they’ll point you in the right direction.”

I had a lot of holes in my story. As I was filling these applications out, I wasn’t sure what to say, I didn’t know what I was legally bound to say, and I didn’t know how to actually word it correctly so it didn’t sound odd.

The ladies down there were so helpful. They were like, “Look, this is how we do it.” They actually did my résumé with me. They sat down with me and by hand did it. It would have taken me a couple of days to do it. We sat down there for an hour and went over everything. We went over my background, went over the holes of where I’d been locked up. It made my résumé and my history flow smoother. I went there for a few hours every day for three or four days.

I would do on-foot job searches and physical applications with the résumés they helped me print up and hand out the résumés for a few hours each day. And then I would go back [to the job center] and get online and do online applications and online submission of my résumé, which was right there on the computer. They made it really simple and really easy. Not only was it simple and easy, but it looked really professional.

It wasn’t just submitting applications. It wasn’t just submitting résumés. It was following up. Whenever I got any kind of lead, any kind of opening, I wrote it down and followed up the very next day with a phone call.

“Hey, so you told me yesterday there was a possibility. What’s the possibility today?”

If they said call back at noon, I called back at noon. If they said show up, I showed up. The job I got, I actually showed up physically four times and then called three times.

On the third call, he said, “Hey, how are you doing today?” I said, “Well, I’d be doing a lot better if you told me to show up in my uniform for work tomorrow.” He said, “Great. Because that’s what you need to do.”

The job center was a great resource for me. Not only just to get this job. Now I’m comfortable knowing that if anything happens with this job, I know immediately where to go and what to do.

I’m grateful it was there. I’m grateful those resources were there for me. I’m a lot less stressed. There’s a lot less anxiety, and things seem a little more hopeful.