Meet our latest guest writer, Ex-Felon Girl! She’s here to share her real-life experiences on finding a job, succeeding at work and rebuilding your life after a felony offense. If you like her advice, be sure to let us know – we’re here to help you with the information you need to succeed!
The number one tip I can give anyone who is trying to find a job with (or without) a felony on their record is that it’s much easier to find a job when you have a job.
When I was first released from jail I had no job and $300 to my name. I applied for jobs that I really wanted and knew I was qualified for (call centers and customer service). But as many applications as I put in, and as many follow ups as I did, I never got past the interview process.
That’s when I knew I was going to have to start at rock bottom. I put my pride on the shelf and applied at a certain 24-hour chain restaurant famous for its hash browns. I was asked to start the next day working 3rd shift, and I accepted.
After working there three months I decided I should start applying for better jobs. It took a while, but I was offered a job at a cell phone company after working six months at that restaurant. I had applied for this cell phone company position before, but never got an offer. Having that first job made it possible for me to get the next one.
The cell company was a great paying job and I loved it, but after only five months they told us they were closing the doors, and I had a month to find another job. It only took me two days to find a job at a women’s clothing store. Even though it did not pay well and was not my first choice, I knew it would get me to something bigger and better. After working there for over six months I applied at a more upscale retail location, and to my surprise was offered a job after three different interviews.
Today, I have been working there for almost two months and I am the top sales associate for my department. I work on 100% commission, but I make more than my mother (who is a teacher). If someone had told me I would be working here one day, I would have looked at them as though they were crazy.
Don’t give up, start at the bottom and work your way up! Look for more job search tips from me next week.
We know that job seekers with a criminal record face special challenges – if you have a question you’d like Ex-Felon Girl to answer, leave it in the comments below!