Yes you can! A misdemeanor is not as serious as a felony, and most companies are willing to hire you despite having one.
If you find yourself with a misdemeanor on your record your chances of getting a job are still very good. Most employers are more concerned with felonies.
If you find yourself in this situation, this article will answer some of the questions you may have.
What Would Employers Even Ask?
It is likely that employers will ask about your criminal history on a job application or in an interview. They could ask only about felonies, misdemeanors, or both. It depends on each employer.
When asked these kind of questions, honesty is always the best policy. You should still mention your criminal history, even if they don’t ask.
Most employers will run background checks on all their job applicants. A misdemeanor offense will definitely show up on a background check.
Being honest and upright shows that you are making changes to become a better and more productive member of society. It lets your employer know that you have nothing to hide, and you are applying to better yourself as well as the company.
Communicate to your employer about your past mistakes. Tell them how you were able to overcome them and how you have been able to grow into the person you are today. Honesty and ambition are the kind of qualities employers look for in potential employees.
Now, just being honest about your past doesn’t mean an employer will hire you. It is still their decision to make. There isn’t a law requiring employers to hire a certain amount of convicted people.
Don’t think they won’t hire you because of your past. There are many reasons for an employer to not hire someone. If you don’t get hired right away, don’t assume it is because of your misdemeanors. Most job seekers apply to a lot of jobs from different companies before they get their first job.
It can be easy to get discouraged after getting rejected. Keep a plan in your head of what to do if one company rejects you. There are plenty of companies in the world, and just because one doesn’t hire you it doesn’t mean the next won’t.
So What Kind of Jobs Can I Get?
For the most part employers are more willing to overlook misdemeanors, but it could also depend on what your charges were. You may have trouble getting a job at a school if you had committed crimes against a minor.
With a misdemeanor, your chance of getting a regular job are still very good. Apply to some of the jobs that you would apply to if you hadn’t gotten a misdemeanor. If those jobs won’t hire your or you don’t like the work they do then you expand your search.
Skilled labor (plumbing, electrician, brick mason), administrative office work, digital media, food industry, and renewable energies may be a good start in your job search.
If you need money or a job right away, working in the food industry at a restaurant is almost a guarantee.
As you begin working you will get experience and skills. You can use these skills on future resumes. Everyone starts at the bottom, even in restaurants.
You may also want to consider getting a GED or a college degree. This is a way to build up qualifications that could make you look more appealing to employers.
Some employers have time restrictions before you can apply. For example, a company may say “No Misdemeanors in the Past 7 Years” on their application. Even if you can’t work for them right away this doesn’t mean you can’t in the future. You could work at a different job for 7 years, and then apply when your time is up.
If you like doing things your own way, you could always start your own business. Being an entrepreneur can be much harder than working for a company, but you get to set your own work hours and rules. Plus, you’re your own boss! Nobody will care about your criminal history if you work for yourself. You could even hire other people with your similar situation to come work for you.
How to Start Your Job Hunt
First, take some time to yourself and find out what it is you want to do. Think about your passions when you were growing up. Think about what you liked to do in your free time, or what kind of people you looked up to and why.
Try to get it in your head of what your “ideal” job is. You may surprise yourself with what you enjoy doing. It could be completely different than what you thought you like!
Next, figure out what kind of qualifications you need to get that ideal job. Put your past aside and imagine what kind of qualifications or abilities you need for the job. Some jobs may need you to do a specialized training. Others may want higher education degrees. If this is the job that you want to do, then make a plan to get it.
Make yourself the best applicant for that job. Your ideal job may ask that you are good at certain kinds of computer programs. If you don’t know these programs well then you may have to take some classes to get better at them. Your job may need you to be good at public speaking. If this is the case, go out with your friends and practice giving speeches to them.
Apply for those jobs online or in person. Most companies have websites where you can apply online. From there you can submit your resumé and cover letter.
You may find hiring events or job fairs in your town. This is where companies will come together to set up a booth and get to know the people looking for jobs. This gives you the chance to talk with people from the company and make a good impression on them.
Staffing agencies are also worth considering. Staffing agencies work to provide companies with employees in a specific field. Most of the time they do administrative work. The companies then look to the staffing agencies to provide them with workers.
After you’ve applied for your jobs, you wait to hear back. Some employers can take 1-2 weeks to let you know about a job, while others can take a couple of days.
If they liked your application then they will ask you to come in for an interview. After the interview is when you find out if you got the job or not.
One thing to remember: you will more than likely have to apply to more than one company before you get a job. You’re likely not the only one who is applying! There may be more qualified or more experienced applicants who want the job. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get a job on some of your first attempts.
Being Proactive About Your Misdemeanor
A misdemeanor is not the end of the world. Everybody makes mistakes and you’re not the first person with a misdemeanor to be on the job market. Getting a job and gaining valuable work experience is one of the best ways to move up and advance in your career.
Misdemeanor or not, you still have to work hard to get what you want in life.
As you move up in your career don’t forget that some misdemeanors can get expunged. To get a misdemeanor expunged means to remove it from your record. When you get a misdemeanor removed, you no longer have to mention it in job interviews.
There are plenty of attorneys and agencies who are willing to help you and get rid of this mark on your history. Research online about how to get misdemeanors expunged and see what you have to do. Make a plan and work towards that goal. It’s easier than it seems.
All Summed Up
You can still get a decent job with a misdemeanor on your record. Be honest about your past and show your employer how much you’ve grown and changed because of what happened.
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get a job based on your past. Keep searching for that ideal job and go after it. Sometimes it may mean doing something you don’t want to do at first, but the benefit in the long run is worth it. Work every day to make yourself a better and more well-rounded person.