Convicted felon chances of landing a good job
I have a felony conviction. What are my chances of landing good IT job?
Mike Petras comments:
Here are a couple of good resources for you to investigate:
Here are other things you can do:
- Talk with an attorney to see if you can either have your felony conviction expunged or reduced to a misdemeanor. This may take awhile because the legal system is painfully slow. Even if it takes a long time, it would be worth it because you will likely change jobs a few times in your life.
- Don't bring up your past in an interview unless you are asked. Most employer applications ask if you've ever been convicted of a felony. Obviously you have to answer this truthfully, but if you get the felony reduced to a misdemeanor, you can honestly check the box, No.
- The Internet Technology field is pretty liberal and open minded. So, you're in a career environment where it might be easier to get around your convictions. So, don't give up. It's best if you know someone inside the company who can vouch for your character. I know someone with a felony who was hired at 2 different companies with strict "no felony" policies because a friend called the manager and explained the situation. Because of this reference, they relaxed the policy for this person and hired him.
- Go down to your local unemployment office and ask to speak to a counselor about companies in your area who will hire people with past convictions. Often times these counselors have a list of companies who make exceptions or they will refer you to someone they know who might give you some ideas or even open a door for you.
- See if you can work on a contract basis through a temp agency or just work as a sole proprietor at an hourly rate.
- Go out to Linkedin.com, and set up a free account. Network with as many people you can think of who may be able to refer you to someone or offer you a job. There is a lot of power in networking. For example: Let's say you know Joe, who has a good job with a company you'd like to work for. Joe says his company doesn't have any openings, but he has a friend (who you never met) who works for XYZ company who might be hiring. So, you call this friend and tell him Joe sent you. Because of your connection with Joe, this new referral might go to bat for you because of his respect for Joe--even though he doesn't even know you.
The secret to networking is drilling down as deep as you can go beyond just the people you know.
Over 50% of all hires come through referrals.
There is an old saying in networking: "Somebody knows somebody who knows somebody...who is hiring and can help you." It's human nature to help others, but you often have to ask to get.
Hope this helps a little. Remember...
don't define yourself but what you did. Your past behavior is not who you really are. You are not doomed to never work again because you made some mistakes. You just have to find the right connection to open a door for you.
Also, we're still in a tough economy and there is a lot of competition out there for jobs. Keep beating on doors, networking, and pushing forward. Something is bound to happen for you if just persist.
All the best, friend.