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Meet Ricardo

He’s transforming his life at Cara, thanks to your support.

What was your life like before Cara?
My work history was many many different types of jobs – local government, Cook County, City of Chicago, Chicago Housing Authority, the post office…just a bunch of “job hopping,” so if you look at my resume it’s a year here, three years here, a year-and-a-half or less. I just kept switching jobs. I also had a lot of family commitments and obligations…a lot of poor health so I spent most of the past year dealing with that. So after these family obligations, I was unemployed with no clear direction.

What surprised you about Cara?
My goal was to find help in finding a job. I’ve been to the unemployment office and found very little help, if any at all. I was looking for a place where I could rebuild my life and start a career and that’s really what I found in Cara.

What was an important lesson you learned at Cara?
Another takeaway was professionalism. Basic professionalism is being on time, and being well-dressed, but Cara also teaches that your behavior has to be professional, like taking account for your actions and being responsible for others around you. That was probably the lesson that had the biggest impact on me – being responsible for basically a stranger that I barely know. It’s the idea that you are responsible for your office, your coworkers, and your company. It had been so long since I was part of a large group and had a role like this.

If you could go back to your first day of Cara and give yourself any piece of advice, what would it be?
Just relax and go with the flow because they know what they’re doing here.”

What’s your go-to song for the Motivations circle?
I do a lot of classic rock like “Sweet Home Chicago.” My favorite was the song from the Jungle Book “I Wanna be Like You.” I try not to be too rehearsed.

What’s your dream job?
I really don’t know. There isn’t a specific field in mind. I feel that I perform well when working with others, which ironically wouldn’t be my first choice for a job – but Cara made me realize I work best in a group with others.

What does the word motivation mean to you?
For me, motivation has to be internal. It has to come from within for it to work. That’s how I am able to fully commit to what motivates me.

Ricardo is transforming his life. Learn how you can help him unlock his power and purpose by getting back to work.