After serving time, getting back into normal life can be a serious struggle. Beyond that, finding reliable employment is often an even bigger struggle. If you are feeling anxious about your options or qualifications for careers after your release, consider these ways of overcoming employment obstacles.
Learn How to Market Yourself
Having a record may make you a liability for companies. During the interview or application process, you need to market yourself to potential employers in a way that demonstrates your abilities as a worker, your potential for and dedication towards growth, and your trustworthiness. Tell your story! Be humble and accept responsibility for your actions, but explain your circumstances then and what you have learned since. Talk about what motivates you now, what your goals are, and what you have to offer as an employee—employers are particularly impressed by interviewees that demonstrate determination, loyalty, and a good work ethic.
Expunge Your Record
If at all possible, try to expunge your record! This allows you to apply for any job without the stress of disclosing that you have ever been arrested or even convicted. Expungement can be achieved by working with an attorney. The process can be long and strenuous, but having a clear record in the end will alleviate much of the stress and remove the impediments that a criminal record can cause for your job hunt. It’s worth at least looking into!
Look in the Right Fields
Apply to the right positions. Don’t devalue your skills and experience—consider what you have worked at in the past, and use that to your advantage. You likely will not be able to jump right back into a high-level position like you might have been in before, but you can start on a lower rung within that same field or similar, and work your way up from there. Entry level positions are well worth the patience required to prove yourself and gain more experience, skills and recommendations that will move you into higher paying, higher status jobs. Make your search as broad as possible… you never know what beginning will lead you to your best success! Apply to a wide variety of jobs that are still relevant to your skills and interests. Network as much as possible and focus on building relationships of trust.
Once you’re released, there are plenty of obstacles to overcome. But getting a solid job doesn’t have to be intimidating, and it certainly isn’t impossible. Be patient, be understanding, work hard, and look for the right avenues that will get you where you want to go!
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