Career Research

Finding your first job upon returning to your community can be daunting and may present some tough challenges, but preparation and persistence will pay off. Between resources to help you prepare and help from folks who work for Idaho’s support services organizations, you can find opportunities, prepare compelling application materials, prep for interviews, and land your next job!

Career Search Information

While the first job you get after release may not be your ideal job, getting started somewhere builds confidence, employment history, and momentum for your future. Despite the fact that a felony conviction might mean certain jobs aren’t available to you right away (or permanently) there are education and career opportunities that will help you rejoin the workforce.

For example, citizens who have re-entered their communities have had success starting in roles such as:

  • Retail salespersons
  • Warehouse workers
  • Laundry and dry-cleaning workers
  • Helpers trade assistants
  • Construction laborers
  • Waitstaff
  • Food preparation and serving-related persons
  • Maids and housekeeping cleaners
  • Janitors

Helpful tips:

  • Don’t go it alone! Throughout the state, there are resources available to help you find education, training, and jobs. Explore the support services section of this website to find the resources and help near you.
  • Be realistic about the types of jobs you can get, at first. Your first job may not be your forever job, but it will help you get started in your career. Explore career pathways for ideas on the kinds of jobs that may be good starting points.
  • Be prepared to talk about your conviction with your future employer. Explore the Preparing for a Job section to learn more about how to address and move past prior convictions on your record with potential employers.
  • Don’t let discouragement convince you to give up! It may take a few tries to find the right job fit.

Job Search Tools: Idaho Department of Labor & Idaho Works

Idaho Works, a website run by the Idaho Department of Labor, is a key resource for finding jobs, connecting with potential employers, and preparing for your next job opportunity. In addition to the resources available online, the Department of Labor also offers personalized help from career planners in its local offices. A career planner can help you find job openings, prepare your application materials, and help you prepare for interviews. They can also help you find job training opportunities and resources to help cover the cost of training if you qualify.

The Idaho Department of Labor and Idaho Works offer:

  • Current job listings for communities across the state
  • Job search assistance, including search tips, creating a resume, and much more
  • Job market information
  • Job search workshops (availability varies by region))
  • Career guidance
  • Connections to many other community and government resources

Skills & Interests Evaluations

Skills and interest assessments or evaluations help you take stock of what’s important to you, make a list of your technical or workplace skills, and identify things that interest you. Using your answers, these online tools can help you figure out what might be a good career fit.

Next Steps Idaho

From figuring out what kind of career might interest you to understanding how much salary you’ll need to make to live the lifestyle you want, Next Steps Idaho has interactive tools to help you plan for your future.

  • Take the Future Finder quize to see how your skills and interests might translate to a rewarding career
  • Research career clusters learn about industries/types of careers you may not have considered
  • Connect to Idaho Launch to find local / online training opportunities and get the skills employers are looking for
  • Use the Plan Smart tool to estimate how much you need to make to pay your bills

Idaho Department of Labor

Explore additional skill and interest evaluations available through the Idaho Department of Labor and Idaho Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, who have curated a list of some of the best national online assessments. Like the tools available at Next Steps Idaho, you’ll answer questions about what you like and don’t like and what your skills and values are to narrow down and match you with some potential career options.