PARTICIPANT EXPECTATIONS

    Let’s get to work!

Welcome to Cara!

We want to take this time to share what your journey with us will look like and what you need to do to be successful at Cara. Cara has lots of tools and trainings to help you be successful with your job search efforts, however, the expectations mentioned below require some due diligence from you. And remember what you put into your success is what you will get in return. YOU are the driver of this vehicle which will lead to your lasting success!

Early Steps | Let’s get started!

For all of your early steps at Cara, a staff member will reach out to you through email or text. Please check your email and texts daily and respond so you can complete these steps!

  1. Complete a drug test with the Recruitment Team
  2. Fill out documents and forms sent to you by email
  3. Attend Cara Orientation, held every other Tuesday
  4. Complete a stability assessment with a Cara coach
  5. Complete an Employment Services Assessment to discuss your job goals and experience
  6. Sign up for your first Training Workshop

Ongoing Steps | Let’s keep it going!

You drive your ongoing progress at Cara. Log into Cara Central weekly to sign up for trainings and opportunities. Keep checking your email and texts daily!

  • Log into Cara Central at least once a week
  • Become Send Out Eligible
  • Schedule and complete at least 3 mock interviews
  • Sign up for and attend at least 6 training workshops
  • Schedule and complete at least one more Skills Assessment

Drug Test | Let’s get to requirements!

As we shared above, one of your early steps at Cara is completing your drug test.

Cara is a drug-free environment. In your first month, you’re required to complete a drug test. We’re aware of the new laws about marijuana use and ask that you‘re honest when discussing your usage (if any). If you test positive for marijuana, you can still participate in Cara. Our Recruitment Specialists will reach out by email and text to work with you to schedule your test at a convenient location. Please check your email and texts daily and respond.

Documents & Forms | Let’s get official!

Within your first week at Cara, you’ll begin to fill out documents and forms, all of which are important so you can keep progressing at Cara. Some are required for our grants and allow us to provide free services to Cara participants. Others are required if you go on to work for one of Cara’s businesses, Cleanslate or Cara Connects.

All of these documents and forms are personalized to you and will come through your email. Check your email daily and look from emails from Cara staff and Conga Sign (sign@na1.conga-sign.com). Conga Sign is a tool we use so you can securely fill out and sign important documents. Not completing these documents may result in you not be eligible for Cara services.

  • Check your Welcome Email for a link to submit documentation
  • Look for a Conga Sign email to fill out your Recruitment packet
  • Later, you’ll receive Conga Sign emails to fill out Contracts and Financials packets
  • If you work for Cleanslate or Cara Connects, you’ll fill out an Onboarding packet

Assessments | Let’s get to know each other!

Two important early steps at Cara are a one-on-one conversation with one of our Coaches for what we call a Stability Assessment and a one-on-one introduction to a member of our Employment Services Team to discuss your job goals and experience.

You’ll complete at least two skills assessments with a Cara staff member, one within your first month with Cara. You’ll schedule the second one later on. These are to check your understanding of certain skills needed in the workplace. There are no right or wrong answers; they’re based on how you’d handle certain scenarios or situations.

Participation | Let’s stay engaged!

We want you to benefit from the full services offered by Cara. Our staff will give you the content you need to start building your skills and growing your perspectives. We expect you attend at least six workshops either virtually or in-person, whichever your schedule allows.

Our training workshops focus on a combination of personal transformation and workplace skills: teamwork, time management, conflict management, professionalism, and communication. You can register for these through our platform called Cara Central. You’re required to log into Cara Central at least once a week to remain active with Cara. Learn more in the Cara Central section of this webpage!

Resumes & Interviewing | Let’s get prepared!

We want to make sure you have the tools needed as you interview for jobs, so we’ll have someone work with you on your resume. We ask you to attend these virtual sessions with our volunteer portfolio coaches, they’ll help you with building and improving your resume. You’re also expected to attend three or more mock interviews (practice interviews) to enhance your interviewing ability. You’ll be able to monitor the feedback in Cara Central. This feedback could be used as you prepare for actual interviews.

Gainful Employment | Let’s get to work!

Searching for employment is a job in itself. What you put into it is what you’ll get out of it, so your dedication and determination is important! Throughout your job search, you’ll hear the term Send-Out Eligible (SOE). This is a term used often by Cara staff and refers to when our Employment Services Team will begin circulating or sending out your resume with our network of hiring partners. Learn more in the Send Out Eligibility section of this webpage! Your independent job search is also expected even before you reach SOE status.

Your journey may also include working at one of Cara’s businesses, Cleanslate or Cara Connects, to get work experiences and put your skills into practice. In Cara Central, you can view the jobs you’ve worked, read performance feedback, and request help in updating your resume as you gain experience.

Community

Like so many others, the Cara community is continuing to navigate an increasingly virtual world, and, as a member of our community, we’ll walk beside you as you do the same. Our programming is available in a variety of formats, including phone sessions, virtual trainings with video, and small group in-person trainings. We utilize texting and social media. Early in your journey, we’ll ask you about your technology access and your preferred way to be contacted. We’ll do our best to contact in the way you prefer and help you increase your technology access and get comfortable using technology tools.

Send Out Eligibility

Throughout your job search, you’ll hear the term Send-Out Eligible (SOE). This is a term used often by Cara staff and refers to when our Employment Services Team will begin circulating or sending out your resume with our hiring partners. Your independent job search is also expected even before you reach SOE status.

There are ten parts that make up Send Out Eligibility at Cara, and many of the steps towards Send Our Eligibility get completed naturally as you meet with Cara staff. More details are below.

Early on with the Recruitment Team, you’ll complete:

  1. Background check
  2. Drug test

During your Stability Assessment with a Cara Coach, you’ll discuss your:

  1. Health
  2. Housing
  3. Childcare

Through assessments, workshops, and your overall participation, you’ll demonstrate and build skills in:

  1. Time Management
  2. Communication
  3. Professionalism
  4. Teamwork
  5. Conflict Resolution

In addition to all of these steps, a working resume is required to become Send Out Eligible.

Cara Central

Cara Central is our online portal that allows you to input and view data related to your career journey. Cara Central is where you can monitor your own progress with Cara and where Cara staff will monitor your commitment and dedication.

You can learn more about how to use Cara Central by attending one of our trainings on Tuesdays. You’re required to log in at least once a week to remain active with Cara. If you can’t log in because you don’t have tech access, we can work together to arrange contact with a staff member by phone instead.

If you don’t do this, you’ll receive write-ups and then become inactivated from Cara. See below for frequently asked questions.

Access Cara Central

HOW DO I ACCESS CARA CENTRAL?

Cara Central is accessible 24/7 at cara.secure.force.com/caracentral

You can access the website via phone or computer. All you need is your 5 digit participant ID!

WHAT IS MY PARTICIPANT ID?

Your Participant ID was included in your Cara Welcome Email from the Recruitment Team.

Can’t find your ID? Email Christine Allen at callen@carachicago.org or call/text at 312-628-5902.

WHAT INFORMATION CAN I FIND ON CARA CENTRAL?

Enroll in virtual and in-person trainings. View your Send Out Eligibility (SOE) status. Input self-directed job applications.

Review mock interview, career coaching, and Cleanslate evaluation feedback. Refer to documents and a Cara staff contact list.

And so much more!

WHAT ARE MY NEXT STEPS?

Log into Cara Central at least once per week to remain engaged with our program.

If you have any questions about your self-directed job search or Cara Central, join Christine’s bi-weekly office hours on Tuesdays from 3:00 – 4:00 PM.

Our Employer Partners

Questions?

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at the link below.