Any job seeker who has a criminal record knows the pain of how difficult it is to get back on track. Looking for a job is a hard process when you decide to try and get back into the workforce. At a time when employers are cautious as to whom they hire, there is no greater difficulty for job seekers than finding that first job.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to give yourself a better chance of getting a job.
Know Your Rights
There is no better weapon than knowing what you are entitled to. Sure, you made a mistake and now have a criminal record, but this doesn’t mean that employers can deny you employment when you are clearly qualified for the job. The justice system has come a long way in helping people with records.
Consult with an attorney to find out what are your rights regarding employment. Each state has a different set of rules, so only a qualified attorney can help you with this.
When you speak with an attorney, you should also try to find out everything about your records. Ask if it is possible to have your records expunged or sealed so that only a select few can have access to your records.
Use Your Time Wisely
Going to prison may be a bad thing, but that doesn’t mean that you are not able to do something good with your stay. Consider studying or taking vocational training; these programs may also help you get employed once you get out.
Look at Volunteering
One way to lessen the stigma of your record is by volunteering. Look at places where you can be productive and improve your skills. Try volunteering for organizations that are willing to help you get back on track. Volunteering opportunities are also a great way for you to get references.
Consider Your Position
As someone who has a criminal record, you will have to endure tough times, especially on your search for your first job. This is why it is also important to understand your current state. There are only a limited number of options available for you, and you can’t be picky with what you get. Accept the first offer you get; even if it may seem dissatisfying, use the opportunity to build your credibility.
The first job you get is an important stepping stone as you work your way backup the career ladder. After you get past the first job, it will only get easier for you.
Focus on Your Circle
Talk to your family and friends; ask them if they know someone who can help you start getting back on track. A friend is more likely to hire you than some stranger. You never know what connections they may have until you ask them for help.
Perhaps the best way to go about your job search is to be honest. There will be unwelcoming people along the way, but don’t let those bumps on the road stop you from getting your life back on track. Talk to prospective employers about your records and how you regret those experiences and have since made yourself a better person.
If you don’t choose to be honest, this may come back to haunt you in the future. It would be better to come clean with an employer and find someone who would welcome you with open arms and help you.
Do not let failures get you down on your job search—everybody deserves a second chance. If you keep working hard, you will eventually find the perfect opportunity on your job search. When you do get that opportunity, don’t waste it. Prepare for the interview properly, and soon enough, your dreams will become a reality.
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