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How can a person get a job if he or she has a felony?

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You Asked:

How can a person get a job if he or she has a felony? — Mike, Winnsboro, S.C.

Marshall Brain Answers:

As discussed in this post, most employers now do a criminal background check on job applicants, along with many other checks. In the following video, one employer talks candidly about what a felony on your record does for your chances of employment with a police department:

Two points from the video bear repeating: 1) It pays to keep your record clean, and 2) There is a chance of getting the item expunged as described in this post (but it doesn’t always work).

If you do have a felony conviction on your record, here are several things to consider:

1) Consider getting training in a field with very high demand. If demand is high enough, it might lead employers to overlook certain problems. Corollary: lower paying jobs are likely to have fewer hurdles than higher paying jobs.

2) Consider jobs where a felony conviction might not necessarily be seen as a problem. For example, it might be that a Bail bond company or a Repossession company might be more sympathetic. Key word there is might

3) Consider asking the military about possible recruitment options.

4) Create your own job. Just as an example, I recently talked to a guy who washes cars at people’s homes and offices. He had a trailer with a big water tank and a pressure washer. People would call him from work and he would come wash and detail their cars in the parking lot. Since you are your own boss, you are not going to face a background check.

Perhaps other readers will have ideas that they leave in the comments.

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