The thought of getting a job after being convicted of a crime can be daunting. One may feel like they will never find any work again. The job market is tough, and it can be even more challenging if you have a criminal history. But there are ways to get past this obstacle and land a good job that will help turn your life around. The following are tips for getting a job if you’re a felon.
9 Tips to Find a Job as a Felon
1. Finding a Lawyer
An individual who has been jailed, incarcerated, or otherwise punished for a crime/felony may want to seek employment from an organization that will not ask about past felonies. Suppose the jailed, incarcerated person wants to work at an organization that would bar them due to their criminal history. In that case, they will need to find a lawyer who specializes in expungement. It is essential that an individual not do this alone because they may be unaware of every complication that could arise with the hope of getting employed, which makes it mandatory for them to have legal counsel.
2. Getting an Expungement
Getting charges dropped completely isn’t always easy. Expungements can be an excellent way for an individual to increase the likelihood of gaining employment. An expungement is an order from a court that seals and destroys records related to someone’s criminal history, making it as though they were never convicted. The first step an individual must take is getting copies of their criminal record from the county or state where they were convicted. Then, they must have a petition for expungement drafted by a local expungement attorney specialized in fulfilling petitions of that nature.
3. Seeing a Therapist
If you find that your felony conviction is affecting your work life, consider seeing a therapist. Many therapists are familiar with the problems facing felons and can help you figure out how to cope with them. It’s also important not to let anger or resentment build up inside of you about your conviction. If it becomes an unhealthy obsession, you may want to consider talking with a therapist as well.
4. Start a Business
Many entrepreneurs with criminal backgrounds have found success by starting their businesses. This can be especially useful if you’ve been in trouble for expensive items such as drugs or firearms since these types of sales would only increase the likelihood that you’ll end up back in jail. If your record is less severe and there are no other restrictions on your rights, you can start a small business with a minimal upfront cost.
5. Check Court Records Regularly
If you’re applying for jobs, especially those with fiduciary responsibility, your background may be checked several times throughout the hiring process. If you have an alert set up with court-reporting websites, you can find out if there are any new developments in your case that may be disqualifying.
6. Explain your Conviction
Suppose your conviction is preventing you from finding gainful employment. In that case, it’s always best to be honest about your past trouble with the law, especially if you’re applying for a job that requires handling other people’s money. The company may decide that you aren’t the right person for the job, but at least you’ll have the opportunity to be straightforward about your conviction.
7. Network with Others who have Changed their Life
Working with others who have faced similar legal problems can give you insight into how organizations perceive felons, and it’s easier to find jobs when employers know you’re not alone in your situation. If there are local support groups for individuals just out of prison, consider attending a meeting to meet potential employers and other felons.
8. Research the Job Market
Before you start sending out job applications, do some research about the employment market in your area. Knowing that you’re not alone with your felony conviction and that there are opportunities for felons can help you find work. It’s also essential to research the job you’re applying for so that you can tailor your résumé and cover letter to include relevant experience.
9. Get a Business License
Doing business with a felony on your record can be difficult. Still, by getting a state-issued business license, you’re showing employers that you’re actively trying to overcome the legal ramifications of your conviction. A business license will also show that you’ve taken the necessary steps to obtain government approval for your business.
A person may have a felony on their record, but that doesn’t mean they are incapable of success. With the right mindset and attitude, anyone can find success after serving time for a crime.