A felony is a serious offense that can stay on your record for life, and if you have a felony, it can be challenging to find a job. Many employers will not hire people with a felony. However, don’t despair; there are things you can do to get a job even if you have a felony on your record.
10. Be Realistic
If you have a felony, you need to be realistic about the types of jobs you can get. You will likely not be able to get a job in specific industries, such as healthcare or education. But there are still many other kinds of jobs that you may be able to get, such as customer service, retail, or food service. Don’t waste your time applying for jobs that you know you won’t get when looking for a job. It’s better to focus your efforts on assignments for which you are more qualified.
9. Ask for Help
One of the most important things you can do is ask for help. You might be surprised by how many people are willing to help you out if they know that you require a job. Many community groups, organizations, and businesses have programs for helping felons get back on their feet. The more people you contact, the better your chances are of finding a job. Some of the programs that you might want to look into include the following:
- The Federal Bonding Program: This program offers bonding insurance to employers willing to give someone a second chance. It covers theft or other forms of dishonesty and provides the employer with insurance if things do not work out.
- The Work Opportunity Tax Credit: This program offers a tax incentive to employers willing to hire someone with a felony. It might not cover all costs, but it can help employers reduce their costs.
- The Veterans Employment and Training Service: This service offers assistance to veterans, including those who have a felony on their record. It can help with federal career opportunities and other employment programs for veterans.
- The Reentry One-Stop Career Center: These centers help ex-offenders find jobs. They provide job search assistance, job readiness training, and job placement services.
8. Look Out for Scams
There are a lot of job scams out there that target people with criminal records. Be very careful when looking for a job, and make sure you research any company or individual you're thinking of working with. There are a few things to look out for:
- Promises of easy money: Be wary of anyone who promises you a high-paying job with little or no experience.
- Upfront fees: Be careful of anyone who asks you to pay a fee upfront, especially if they guarantee you a job.
- Out-of-state offers: Be cautious of anyone who gives you a job that requires you to move out of state.
- Unrealistic claims: Be wary of anyone who promises you a job without interviews or applications.
- If you're careful and do your research, you can avoid many scams that target people with criminal records.
7. Learn a New Skill
If your felony prevents you from getting the job you want, it may be time to learn a new skill. This can help you get a job in a different field or open up new opportunities. There are many ways to learn new skills, including online courses, community colleges, and vocational schools. To learn a new skill, start by considering your interests and strengths. Are you good at working with your hands? Do you enjoy working with computers? Once you have an idea of what you’d like to do, research training programs that can help you get started.
6. Work with Your Hands
Appearance is a massive factor for employers, especially those looking to hire people with records. If you can’t afford to buy clothing that will make you look presentable, consider doing some manual labor. Please work with your hands to show that you’re not afraid of getting them dirty and willing to put in the effort. Many employers will respect this and see it as a good sign that you’re ready to work hard.
5. Secure References
You can not get a job with a felony conviction unless you have at least one reference. Yes, even if you work on the family farm with your dad, you still need references as they will ask for them if you are applying for a job. References can be anyone credible. You will often want to pick successful people, such as managers and supervisors from previous jobs. But other options include teachers or coaches from your past or community leaders. If you do not have a solid list, start by asking former employers for references. They may not have a reasonable opinion of you, but that may be your only option.
4. Join the Army
One option that many people with a felony conviction may not consider is joining the Army. Although this method involves an intense and lengthy application process, it is an excellent way to get your life back. The Army will provide you with a steady income, benefits, and structure to help you find your way after prison. Additionally, you may be able to use the Army as a stepping stone to finding other opportunities after you have served your time. To get started, speak to a recruiter in your area. They can help you understand the process and whether or not you are eligible to join.
3. Expunge Your Felony
Expunging your felony is one of the best things you can do to increase your chances of getting hired. If your felony is deleted, it will not appear on your criminal record. This is important because many employers will not hire you if they see that you have a felony on your record. Plus, you will have a better chance of getting the job you want if it does not appear on your record. Below are steps to follow to expunge your record:
- Step 1: Get a copy of your criminal record. You can do this by finding the courthouse with jurisdiction over where you were convicted.
- Step 2: Complete the petition.
- Step 3: File the petition and pay a filing fee.
- Step 4: Go to court on your day in court.
2. Start Your Own Business
A business is a great way to keep your mind occupied, show off your skills, and make money. When done right, owning your own business can provide you with enough income to support yourself and your family. It can also help you avoid situations where you’re likely to get into trouble, such as living in a bad neighborhood. The best place to start is by looking online for business ideas. Many websites offer advice on starting your own business. You can also find books at the library or bookstore to provide you with valuable information. When deciding on a business idea, it’s important to consider your skills and interests. You should also think about the amount of time and money you’re willing to invest. Once you’ve settled on an idea, it’s important to create a business plan that outlines your ideas and strategies. Finally, you will need to get the necessary licenses and permits to set up your business. This will involve working with local authorities and ensuring that you comply with all regulations. With the right planning, hard work, and determination, you can start your own successful business.
1. Get a GED
Having a high school diploma or GED is a must if you want to get hired for most jobs. Education, including vocational training and college, can open up opportunities that might not be available to you otherwise. Additionally, many employers prefer to hire people with a GED over those without one, so having one can increase your chances of getting hired. If you do not have a GED, start by creating a study schedule that you can stick to and sign up for classes. Many resources are available to help you get a GED, so take advantage of them and see what steps you need to take to get yours.
Being convicted of a felony does not mean that you will never find a job again. With the right approach, you can get hired and start climbing your way back up the career ladder. To improve your chances of getting a job with a felony, focus on securing references, building relationships with potential employers, and working hard on your job search. With patience and persistence, you can get hired and rebuild your life after getting out of prison.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson