Getting a good job as a felon will empower you to accomplish anything you set your mind to. Now you just have to maintain it.
If you love what you do
Finding and maintaining employment with a felony conviction is becoming increasingly challenging due to non-felons leaving their jobs voluntarily or facing termination. Consequently, non-felons are compelled to seek new employment opportunities. The pool of job applicants has expanded, resulting in heightened competition. Unfortunately, felons have limited prospects for securing a job and face an uphill battle in retaining one. Presented below are several job strategies aimed at fostering long-term success in the workplace for individuals with criminal backgrounds.
Professional sports can be punishing. Some of the most incredible feats have only been accomplished once or twice in the history of that sport. For example, winning back-to-back Super Bowls in the salary cap era. Or scoring a quadruple double in an NBA game. Winning a calendar Grand Slam in pro golf or tennis. Winning the Triple Crown. And finally, pitching back-to-back perfect games in professional baseball. To achieve this, you have to be hyper-dedicated, talented, and lucky all at the same time.
Getting the job
A very similar undertaking is getting a job as a felon. Yes. It’s that hard. To get that job, you have to be dedicated, you have to be the best at what you do, and in the felon world, you have to have a lot of luck. Is it impossible to land your dream job? No. Anything is possible. But you have to want it. You have to train for it. Your resume has to be undisputed. Uncontested. If you’re the number one candidate, the number two candidate has to be so far behind that the hiring manager doesn’t even think twice. Felons have been stereotyped into food service and construction jobs for far too long. You get out of jail or prison, and they hand you a shovel or an apron. No one on this planet can convince El Camino Creative inc that the 20 million felons in this country are satisfied with entry-level jobs. Here are some tips to land that good job as a felon:
Before we talk about how you’re going to keep this job. Let’s talk about how most employers view felons. The more you know the more you know what to expect.
Some will not hire felons. Period.
You have to put yourself in the employer’s shoes. Many are simply protecting their business and won’t take the risk. You say thank you and go to the next one. You don’t want to assume you know their history with felons. They might have had good or bad experiences. Do not take this personally.
The “felon” label may follow you
The stigma of being a felon can be challenging to overcome. Felons may be labeled criminals and treated with suspicion and distrust. If you are hired, you’re already behind the 8-ball. Most likely, they will be keeping tabs. They will be keeping tabs. Remember, your boss might have to answer to someone else, and his ass is on the line too. Or he convinced his boss to hire you.
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Put the blinders on. You are here to work.
The way that society treats felons can have a significant impact on their lives. Felons may have difficulty surviving. Know what your limitations are, as every felon and situation is different. Being in survival mode can make it difficult for felons to reintegrate into society. Let your employer know that you are ready to change. You have to be the one to change. Do not expect them to change their ways of doing things for you. Adapt and do not complain.
You deserve a second chance.
It is important to remember that felons are people too. Felons have made mistakes, but they deserve a second chance. By treating felons with respect and providing them with the support they need to succeed, our recidivism rate will plummet. It’s hard. It might seem unfair. So work with what you have. Do your best, and you will be rewarded. By showcasing your value as an employee through your skills, work ethic, and commitment to personal growth, you can increase your chances of earning respect and acceptance in the workplace.
Now the hard part. Keeping and thriving at your new good job. It will be challenging. It won’t be easy. Why? Because felons are sensitive individuals. They can get mad at a drop of a hat. Stay Calm.
Demonstrate reliability and professionalism:
Show up to work on time, dress appropriately, and maintain a positive attitude. Be dependable and trustworthy, and fulfill your job responsibilities to the best of your ability.
Build good relationships with colleagues:
Cultivate positive relationships with your coworkers and supervisors. Be respectful, friendly, and willing to collaborate. Building a supportive network can help you navigate challenges and create a more enjoyable work environment.
Continuously improve your skills
Seek opportunities for professional development and training. Enhancing your skills and knowledge can make you more valuable to your employer and increase your job security.
Clear and open communication is vital. Keep your supervisor informed about your progress, challenges, and any potential issues that may arise. Be proactive in seeking feedback and addressing any concerns that your employer may have.
Take responsibility for your actions:
If you make a mistake, take ownership of it and work towards finding a solution. Learn from your errors and demonstrate a commitment to personal growth and improvement.
Manage stress and personal challenges
It’s essential to take care of your mental and emotional well-being. Find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as exercise, meditation, or engaging in hobbies that you enjoy. If you face personal challenges, consider seeking support from counseling services or support groups.
Focus on your goals:
Set personal and professional goals for yourself and stay focused on achieving them. Having a clear vision for your future can provide motivation and help you stay committed to your job.
Be informed about your rights
Familiarize yourself with your rights as an employee, including any legal protections for individuals with criminal records. Understanding your rights can help you advocate for fair treatment and address any potential discrimination.
Show them what you’re made of
Remember, maintaining a job requires dedication, perseverance, and a willingness to learn and grow. By demonstrating your value as an employee and continually striving for improvement, you can increase your chances of long-term employment success.
The respect and acceptance a manager or employer extends to a felon can vary greatly depending on the individual and the company’s policies. While some managers may have biases or reservations about hiring individuals with a criminal record, others on the other hand may be more open-minded and willing to give them a chance. It is important to remember that respect and acceptance should be based on an individual’s qualifications, for instance, work ethic, and demonstrated commitment to personal growth and improvement rather than solely on their criminal history.
Maintaining a good job is hard when you’re a normal human being, however, being a felon makes it more difficult because the stakes are higher, the margin of error is lower, and the stress is immense. Felons have lived without rules for so long that adjusting to something different is hard. This is why they need their supervisors to be super hero’s and try to understand where this individual is coming from. As every felon is different and has a different story to tell, their employer must have some form of empathy to allow the felon to adjust with no strings attached. This way, there will be a mutual understanding between the two, and they can move forward openly and establish a working relationship based on reality, respect, and results. You worked, studied, and practiced your craft for so many years, as a result you finally got what you wanted. Keep it that way. Why? Because the more felons we have with good jobs, the fewer criminals there be hurting our community.
What do we do?
We are a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit charity organization that helps the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated get valuable in-demand tech certificates. We teach web design, graphic design, and content creation. We operate on public donation and grants.