What to Know Before Joining Cara

Cara Staff

Need help finding a job? Cara provides job search support and training to help participants find quality jobs. Here are 5 things to know before joining.

Before reaching out for help finding a job, here are five things you should know

Since 1991, we’ve been helping people affected by poverty find and keep the job they want. Not only do we help people get jobs, but we also assist in unlocking opportunities for them, their families, and their communities.

5 Things to Know Before Joining Cara

1. We’re not your traditional job-readiness training program

Although we are dedicated to providing the resources and tools necessary to help land a full-time position, it’s not just about getting a job. Cara participants receive highly personalized job training that focuses on personal and professional development. Following job placement, they meet with retention and financial coaches as well. They also develop meaningful relationships with our staff and community members. Through five core workshops focused on the competencies all companies look for in their employees—conflict management, team building, professionalism, communication, and time management—participants develop essential employment skills including public speaking, effective communication, and professional workplace conduct. We also offer additional workshops to help improve self-confidence, build trust, and teach forgiveness. Through this comprehensive program, you’ll gain a much deeper understanding of yourself.

2. This is an unpaid program

While Cara participants don’t receive monetary compensation, the resources, training, and experience you get in our program make participation a worthwhile investment in your future. By putting time and effort into yourself and your employment skills, you gain a much higher earning capacity and the ability to transform your life. For reference, if you signed up for a single workshop somewhere else and paid out of pocket, it could cost anywhere from $300–$2,500. But in our program, participants receive quality training and individualized mentoring completely for free.

Other benefits include free transportation through a weekly Ventra card, complimentary lunch, professional clothing, and temp opportunities along with free workshops for both personal and professional development. Best of all, you won’t be alone on the journey—we will be there to support you every step of the way.

3. Be prepared to fully commit

Cara participants are expected to come in and actively participate from 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Here, you experience the ups, downs, highs, lows, and everything in between offered by a career while also having the chance to take a step back, digest, and reflect after each workshop and interaction. Meaningful engagement requires an open mind and the faith that staying committed will result in job placement. Of course, we all have bad days, but the key to making the most of this experience is remaining optimistic.

That’s why Cara is a full-time commitment you have to be ready for—it has to be your choice to embark on this journey. You must feel in your heart that you’re ready for transformation and that you want to be the one to make it happen. Taking on this challenge will prove positive change is possible—even long after the program has ended. After all, we’re all about creating long-lasting results that will positively impact you, your family, and your community. 

4. More often than not, delayed gratification is the key to success

As our Chief Program Officer Bob White puts it, “At Cara, we celebrate all instances of progress, understanding that the journey in the right direction is just as—if not more—important than a final destination.”

Real change doesn’t happen overnight, but we still make sure to celebrate the small steps forward—such as your first interview or reaching 90 days on the job. Like most good things in life, launching an entirely new beginning for yourself and establishing a career takes time. It’s normal to feel discouraged if change doesn’t happen as fast as you want it to, but by sticking to your goals and reflecting on the growth you’re making, success will eventually come. 

5. It happened for them, and it can happen for you

We’d like to introduce you to a few very special people: Annietha, Regina, and Willie. Their stories help us all realize that no matter where you start or who you were before, believing in yourself and taking action can bring about the change you’re looking for. From moms of seven earning a second chance to father/son pairs going through it together, our incredible Cara alumni prove that any obstacle can be overcome. 

Revel with us in the little wins. Let us share the big ones. If you need help finding a job and are ready to do what it takes to transform yourself and your life, apply to join Cara today.