Learning to Find Work Flexibility with a Felony

Welcome back reader, let’s dig into part two of after felony work flexibility.

Find Work After a Conviction

I attempt to be very upfront with companies even if they don’t run background checks. (I know I mentioned this before, but I gotta repeat it – it boosts your honesty reputation even if the boss isn’t a huge fan – it takes guts to share and sometimes that will win the offer right there…. so seriously – be HONEST….)

Dealing with Interview Questions

At every single interview, I will bring up the fact that I am a felon, what my conviction was, and what I’ve done since my conviction. Now, half the time, it bites me directly in the arse. I won’t lie about that either. A good portion of people that were ready to hire me on the spot immediately withdrew their hand or waved me off impatiently as if I had wasted their time. (No consideration of the expenses I’d made toward fuel for traveling to the interview, my own time, and the often suffocating feeling of defeat they dealt me, mind you.)

However, it’s also won over a number of hiring managers, and they’ve been willing to put their arse on the line for me. This technique, a disposition toward being open and honest, has by far given me the most job opportunities. And thanks to the steadily shifting job market, I have had repeated opportunities to test and re-test this method.

Learning New Skills

As for the jobs that I have held over the years, they include the first post-conviction mystery job (ha, thought I was going to tell didn’t you?), waitressing, bar-tending, and then an intensive dive into the automotive industry.

My most stable positions have been in the automotive industry by far, as I personally have the knack for it (all three, [yes, three] parents were aviators and both fathers were mechanics with histories of being mechanics in their heritage). Getting your hands dirty runs in my family – and I learned how to keep my own cars running long past expectation (my last vehicle reached 400,000 miles).

I’ve also found that many call centers and transcribing jobs are generally willing to work with felons (thanks to very strict rules within the call centers for credit information – no phones, no papers, no writing utensils at all in the office, under a special security protocol to prevent fraud and such). They’re hell on the psyche – but they will get the bills paid.

More recently, I just ended my two-year employment with a local blind vendor (these guys have programs in every state by the way!). It was a great job, but my car crapped out so I’m back to freelancing (see my Extra Work from Home post for more on that!)

Temporary Labor Builds Your Resume

I also highly recommend attempting to get your work history built up through temporary labor agencies when you have one available to you. They are not the greatest jobs by far, but they will provide an income, and more importantly an avenue to better jobs to come.

The more experience that you can get in any sort of employment, the more you can give to the next job that you really want. Some of the day labor places will require a very intense dedication, as some places get clogged with substance abusers who will start a line at the door at 4 am (when the door doesn’t open until 6 am, just to get the jump on the day’s list of needed workers. And even if you do get in line early, you may not be asked to take a job for over a week, and still, you’ll have to come into the agency each morning until you get to know the dispatchers behind the desk.

Other labor agencies will add you to a larger compiled list of possible employees, and once they get to a job that you might be matched with, they will call you. This is a safer investment of time (since you aren’t waiting in line every morning), but it may take much longer to find work that works with you through those guys.

Additional Tips

Try to build a plan of attack for your job applications – fill in a lot of applications that require waiting, while you’re waiting – go to day labor services. If you get temp work – great – try to hold it down until you hear from (or call up) a better employer that makes an offer to hire you. If you don’t get temp work – get online and build your skills with free courses – they’re everywhere – check out Udemy for a variety of skills you can learn easily.

That’s all I can think of, for now. But keep checking back for more!

Love and Peace,
Aza

 

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