A person who has a criminal background, will find it extremely difficult to enter the mainstream society again. He might be a reformed man, after serving his sentence, but no potential employer is easily ready to buy it. In such circumstances, what should a felon do to secure a good job, so that he too can lead a life of dignity, financial independence and respect? See the below suggested ways for finding a job with a criminal record.
For finding a job with a felony, one of the most useful things that you can do is to complete your education and upgrade your skills. So, if you have studied till high school, apply for a college degree. If you have not completed high school, get a GED. These days, there are many online schools, from which you can obtain a degree, while still at prison. Remember, the more educated you are, the more prospects of jobs you will have.
Another thing that you can do is to take up certain vocational courses, which will equip you to get a job in a particular field. There are some non-profit organizations who actually conduct such courses for ex-convicts. So, if you search carefully, you will find such organizations. There, you can train yourself and prepare for a job in the future. Sometimes, various government agencies too come up with such courses, so be on a lookout for them too.
As mentioned above, getting a job is not easy for felons. To make the whole process less time-consuming, have a good look at your education and skills and only then search for jobs that match your profile i.e. which you think you can do well. Do not aim for jobs that require people who are more qualified than you.
- To streamline your job search, apply for jobs in companies who hire ex-convicts. There are certain companies who have an arrangement with the government, wherein they hire felons and in return they get tax exemptions from the government. You will find a list of such companies on the website of Employment Development Department, USA.
- Army is another place where jobs for felons are easy to get by. This is because, army has been quite open in hiring ex-convicts in the past few years.
- Many social service organizations, such as the salvation army, offer voluntary jobs to ex-convicts. Although, such jobs may not pay you a lot, yet, with the work experience in such organizations, you can get some good, respectable jobs in the future.
- Online jobs are a good option for felons. With so many people these days depending on the Internet for shopping, work and socializing, online jobs such as online selling, can prove to be very lucrative. The job mainly involves buying products at a cheaper rate and then selling them off with a profit. This is an easy job, which anyone, even those who are not much educated, can take up. Other Internet jobs for convicted felons are online surveys, Internet affiliate marketing, online writing and data entry.
- For those searching for offline jobs, restaurants and local departmental stores are the right places. An ex-convict can work as a customer service person, delivery boy, waiter and a cook. If an ex-convict has the required permission and licenses, he can work as a truck driver. For those convicts who have good communication skills, telemarketing jobs are a good option. With the required skills, a convict can work as a carpenter, electrician and take up other manual jobs such as a construction worker too.
During the interview, an ex-convict should make sure that he comes across as an honest and reliable person. He should steer clear from displaying any kind of negative emotion, be it anger, bitterness or sadness. He should tell the employer, both verbally and through actions, that he is a changed person, who wants to start a new life. It would do good, if the ex-convict does not hide his past from the employer, as any which ways, through background checks, he will come to know of it.
From time to time, the government comes up with certain policies and rules, which improve the chances of an ex-convict to secure a job. One of such initiatives is giving the felons a "Certificate of Good Conduct". So if you are able to get this, you will become eligible to apply for a number of jobs. In the end, it can be rightly said that, for getting a job with a felony record, a person should upgrade his skills, search for the right jobs and keep himself updated on government policies which affect ex-convicts.