Second Chance Work for Ex-Convicts
A felony arrest record, by itself, is not an instant disqualification from employment in many companies, but you do have to find them. Many businesses will have official or unofficial policies against hiring convicted felons, even though this practice may be illegal under EEOC rules. The nature of the conviction, and the amount of time since the crime took place, may determine the type of work you can get, and unfortunately there are some felony categories that will make it impossible to get a job with a typical employer.
For felons, finding a job after incarceration can be quite difficult, especially if one of the conditions of your release is not to associate with other felons, so you may not be able to work in some industries like trucking if other former felons are in the same field. Often the positions of your parole dictate that you find gainful employment within a few weeks of getting out, but it can be tough to get meaningful work in many positions outside the day labor and unskilled work market. However, there are agencies who will place felons in the employment marketplace. Additionally, your parole officer or other counselors may be able to point you in the right direction.
Some Charities Help
You don't have to do your job search alone, as there are many state agencies and charities that work to place ex-convicts in the working world. These programs are designed to reduce recidivism and offer a helping hand to those who would otherwise experience difficulty on the job hunt by themselves. Reaching out to specialized job hunters may get you placed into training and work programs that can help you re-start your life with less difficulty than pounding the payment. Unfortunately, some places like banks, financial services companies, and human services jobs may exclude you from employment even if they are not obligated to do so.
Employment Tips for Ex-Felons
The requirement for disclosure is always a tough one for people with a checkered past. Some jobs, where hiring is not contingent on a background check, and may be for a small business, might not even ask if you have a record. Unless you are required by the terms of your parole (or other laws) to disclose your conviction, you may be able to get work and move your way up. Some states allow convicted felons to start their own businesses, so you could conceivably do odd jobs through your own company, or through a company started by a family member. Once again, the terms of your release may preclude you from working in some environments, and that is something you must be aware of. Under no circumstances should you break the law, especially since you know where that gets you.
If you have to disclose your record, it helps to be able to explain the criminal record. Practice a few times, and get friends or relatives to role-play the interview. If you have a well-practiced explanation of the nature of the crime, you are more likely to get past the interview process, especially if you can show genuine remorse.