The Journey on the Road to Success

Orange County Rescue Mission’s primary goal is not simply to provide a roof or a meal.  It is to bring lasting change and transformation to someone’s life so that they will have the tools and resources to remain self-sufficient even after they leave us.  One of the most important factors is employment: both finding and maintaining a job.

So what does it take to transform someone who once was homeless and broken into a confident and successful employee, that would be an asset to any company?  I have learned that it requires many steps, details that many would just overlook. But our program believes on giving people every tool possible to become employable. And it works!  Take a look at some of the tips and skills we teach Rescue Mission residents through our Road to Success employment workshop.

Here are a few of the steps our residents learn in the Road to Success: A Job Readiness Workshop:

From day one on our campuses to the start of job search, the transformation is undeniable. With only 7 seconds to make a first impression, maintaining a professional appearance while job searching is essential. Moreover, part of your success in an interview is based off of how you are perceived by the employer. With that in mind, it is important to always look your best throughout your job search journey, dressing one step above your targeted position.

  • Clothes: Avoid tight fitting or transparent clothes; as well as low cut shirts, and short skirts. Also avoid wearing sweats and clothes that are too big and baggy, as they create an impression of untidiness. Jeans are never considered professional attire and make sure to iron.
  • Shoes: Make sure your shoes are clean and polished. Do not wear tennis shoes; however, your shoes should be comfortable enough to walk with ease.
  • Hair: Your hair should be neatly combed and styled. Avoid a hair style that requires you to constantly brush or flick your hair back during a job interview. Remember to remove sunglasses and avoid pushing them up in your hair.
  • Makeup & Fragrances: Wear understated makeup. Heavy and dark makeup can be distracting for the interviewer. Avoid wearing fragrances to interviews.
  • Tattoos: Before your job interview cover up tattoos as much as possible.
  • Hands: Make sure you have clean and trimmed fingernails. Opt for an understated, natural colored nail polish.
  • Jewelry: Wear understated jewelry. Don’t wear flashy jewelry, including big, dangling earrings and jangling bracelets. Take out all body/facial piercings, including earrings if you are a man. Men should avoid wearing necklaces or bracelets; no more than one ring per hand and a watch.
  • Hygiene: Maintain good hygiene. Be sure to shower and have fresh breath. Never smoke prior to meeting with an employer or before submitting an application in person

Learning how to dress professionally and create a positive first impression is just one valuable lesson our residents learn through the Road to Success workshop.  Throughout this workshop, our residents are able to work through old, unhealthy work habits or perspectives that may be hindering them from moving forward professionally.  It is truly a special time as these individuals realize not only are they employable, but they are uniquely valuable.

I want to give a special thank you to Working Wardrobes, one of our non-profit partners that helps to provide our residents with professional attire. With so many people going through Road to Success each year, we would not be able to provide residents with the ability to dress for success without Working Wardrobes!


Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.

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