How Does a Felony Conviction Affect my Job Search?

Getting back on your feet after serving your time for a felony conviction can be challenging. You feel as if no one will ever trust you again. Even with the best criminal defense attorney on your side, you may lose some of your civil liberties, and for the rest of your life, you will have to disclose your criminal record on applications for jobs and other opportunities. As you try to find stable employment, you are probably wondering, how a felony conviction might affect your job search.

It may feel unfair that people treat you like a social pariah because of your criminal record. Sure, you made a mistake, but you paid your debt to society, and now you want to work a job and have a good life, just like anyone else. You wonder if you will ever have a normal life and get treated with dignity and respect. It will be more difficult to get a well-paying job with a felony conviction, but it is not impossible. There are some jobs you are unlikely to ever get because of your record, but you do have other viable employment options.

Background Checks

Background checks are a routine aspect of a job search, but not all positions require them. Even positions that require a background search may hire you despite your felony record, depending on the type of felony it was. Some industries that are more willing to hire ex-felons are truck driving, construction, and customer service. Tip: some experts say that part-time work, particularly in the evening as opposed to day shift, tends to be less likely to require a background check.

Get a job – any job.

Your best shot of getting a job is to already have one, because that will show that you are employable. Although it sounds like a Catch-22, you can use this fact to your advantage. You will likely have to take a job you do not want in order to get your foot in the door, because the people hiring for the jobs you want will not want to take a chance on you until you have shown that you are reliable.

The way to demonstrate this is to get a job, usually an entry-level one. With time, you can slowly work your way up to better and better jobs. You have to prove yourself again, and rebuild their trust in you.

Second Chance Programs for Ex-Convicts

Many companies and even government agencies will hire former felons, depending on the type of felony. Some participate in second-chance programs for ex-convicts. The theory behind these programs is that an ex-convict is far less likely to commit another crime if he or she has a job.

Federal bonding program

Some employers may really want to hire you, but want protection in case you commit a crime while working for them. They may require that you post a bond that will cover their losses if you cause them financial harm, for example, by embezzling from the company. Because many private bonding companies will not sell bonds to convicted felons, there is a federal bonding program available to help ex-convicts.

Self-employment as An Option

If you are self-employed, you will not have to fill out a job application form that makes you tell anyone about your criminal record. You are spared the embarrassment of telling people your private information, spared the looks and the whispers. Of course, being self-employed means that you must have marketable skills that you can parlay into income.

Many self-employed people work from home doing technology sector or other jobs. If you have skills in areas like mobile app development, information technology (IT) support, web design or development, writing, or graphic design, you may be able to set up shop for yourself and rebuild your life and finances.

If you are facing a felony charge, you need an attorney on your side. Call us today to schedule your confidential case consultation.