You are one of the approximately 10% of U.S. adults living with a felony conviction. You have served your time and are now seeking employment, only to encounter roadblocks every step of the way. What gives? As it turns out, many job applications require applicants to disclose their past troubles with the law. Yet, so many Americans have either a misdemeanor or felony conviction on their record that there is a robust movement to push back against “the box.” Though the Ban the Box campaign is gaining traction, as someone with a felony on his hands, you will likely continue to struggle to get your life back on track for some time. With these tips, you could have a better chance at securing stable employment.
#1: Know Exactly What your Criminal Background Looks Like
Not every scrape you’ve had with the law will show up when a potential employer runs a background check. By knowing exactly which of your offenses will be revealed, you won’t have to disclose more than you have to to your (possibly) future employer.
#2: Apply to Smaller Companies and Local Businesses
Local and small businesses may not have the means to conduct thorough background checks on every applicant they receive. If you find out about an opportunity at a local shop or an up-and-coming business, be sure to introduce yourself to the owner of the company and show your interest in the position. Being friendly and professional can keep you at the top of the owner’s mind when looking for fresh faces. If they do not mention that they will need to run a background check, it won’t be necessary to reveal your past.
#3: Work as an Independent Contractor (Self-Employment)
Businesses large and small may seek skilled workers who do not add to their company payroll. As an independent contractor, you provide services to businesses but are not technically considered an “employee.” As such, you won’t encounter the dreaded background check.
#4: Consider Remote Work Opportunities
Technology has rapidly advanced to a level that many businesses can operate outside the office. These businesses employ independent contractors because it is cheaper than leasing an office space and providing benefits. Though you won’t have your taxes withheld and will be responsible for your own health insurance, working remotely or from home offers flexibility and independence.
#5: Start Your Own Company or Go Back to School
Going back to school to pick up a trade or advance your knowledge in your area of expertise is also a smart move. There are education grants for felons that can help you support yourself through school.
You deserve a fresh start after you have served time for your mistake. The best way to improve your chances of being able to start a new life is to speak with an attorney like Eric G. Johnson of The John D. and Eric G. Johnson Law Firm to see if there is any possibility of clearing your record. Eric has worked with those accused and convicted of felony offenses for over 24 years and holds a favorable reputation as a criminal defense attorney in Louisiana. Call 318-479-0562 for a free consultation to discuss your options.