Blog | 03 April 2023

Goal setting and career coaching: the first step to reaching your goals is to set them

Goal setting is like a roadmap. It’s the process of finding (and then taking) active steps to get where you want to be – in your career, or other parts of your life. Getting your life back on track after a conviction can be a challenge but, setting yourself goals and getting some support can really ease the pressure.

Crystal was determined to find work after being released from prison but despite applying for job after job she found that she wasn’t hearing back from employers. Within weeks of being in touch with Working Chance, Crystal was invited for two interviews and accepted a role working with a charity. It’s been five years and she’s still with the organisation. Lots of women who come to Working Chance have similar stories – with a little bit of the right support, things click into place.

Getting started

If you’re looking for a job with a criminal record, goal setting can be pretty intimidating. Too many women tell us that they feel like they should be grateful for any old job, or that they might never work again following a conviction. But with a few sessions of career coaching, you might find yourself feeling more positive and inspired about your future!

We often think of achieving a goal like tasks on a to do list. Like completing a job application or attending an interview. But it can be helpful to instead consider the first step to be your willingness to believe in yourself and try, even if you’re not convinced you’ll get there!

Why do women struggle when looking for work?

Women are overall less likely to have a criminal record compared to men, but when they do receive a conviction, they are more likely to face barriers when looking for work.

There are many reasons for this, including the fact that women are more likely to be applying for jobs that require enhanced DBS checks, disclosing their spent conviction to employers.

I remember vividly the day I was convicted and sent to prison. The feeling of hopelessness having lost my job, my freedom and the shame and guilt I felt. I wondered what world would be waiting for me when I was released. Who would employ me?

Working Chance client

But having a conviction doesn’t automatically stop you from getting a job. At Working Chance, we’ve supported thousands of women who have convictions to find meaningful employment and thrive. Setting goals when you feel your options are limited because of your conviction can be disheartening, but we can help you to break things down into smaller manageable goals that work for you and your circumstances.

What works for you?

Although women with convictions share similarities, everyone’s journey will look a little different. That’s why we tailor our unique support offer to fit you. Whether you’re looking for voluntary, paid, part-time or full-time work, we can support you to get to the next step. And if that means disclosing your conviction to an employer, we can support you to practise it, so you can do so confidently.

At Working Chance we meet you where you’re at, which means we’ll work closely with you to assess where you are on your journey to employment, and then help you set goals that are meaningful for you.

Coaching and goal setting

Career coaching at Working Chance consists of one-to-one meetings with your Employability Coach, to help you identify and work towards whatever goals you want within your career. It’s mostly just a chat about what's important to you in life and work, what might interest you in the short and long term, as well as identifying your transferable skills. You may be surprised to learn that some qualities you have disregarded are incredibly valuable in the workplace. Whether you’re looking for a job to earn an income and gain skills, if you’re already in work and want support thinking about your next career move – we can help.

So, what next?

Being ambitious can feel a bit daunting. But the first step to achieving your goals is setting them. Simply reaching out to organisations like Working Chance for support with how to go about things is a step you should give yourself credit for. It’s a brilliant start!

If you’re a woman with a conviction and want support setting and achieving your career goals – get in touch.

Get support with your goals

Find out about how we can help you find that perfect job.