Finding employment after being released from prison can be one of the most difficult tasks a felon faces. No one wants to hire you but parole terms require you to have a job or go back to jail. Even if you do not have parole requirements, you have to support yourself and face the question on every job applicatrion:
“Have you ever been convicted of a felony?”
Over 80% of all employers use some form of background check today which greatly limits the job paths available to convicted felons and even those convicted of misdemeanors.
Here are some jobs that are available:
#3 Start your own business
This is one of the best options for ex-cons because you never have to go through a background check and never have to worry about being fired. The best businesses are low cost start-ups. Look for something you can do at home, on your computer, or something where people want to pay you to come to them. This avoids renting a storefront or office.
Windshield repair – People pay you to come to their house and repair dings in their windshield. You can purchase a kit, practice on windshields in a junkyard until you are good enough, then offer your services through your local free newspaper.
Locksmith – There are many places where you can train to be a locksmith, even home study courses.
The big advantage of starting your own business is that there are no background checks. I recommend you buy some books on starting your business and a book on creating a business plan. Some books on marketing your business and the difference between a sole-proprietorship and a corporation would also be a good idea. This is a huge topic and much too complicated to go into here but you must do some research and understand at least something about running a business before jumping in. The important thing to do is research and study business books first. Most businesses fail because the person who starts it knows nothing about business. They hope to hang out their sign and the money will come in. It never happens that way. You will need a plan and you should start small.
#2 Medical Tests
It may not sound glamorous, maybe even scary, but it pays real money and they do not ask any questions other than health related ones. There are many medical studies going on around the country. These are not all for cancer or heard disease either. Somewhere a company has a new product that heals scars. They want people with scars who will try their product and let them photograph the results.
Some company has a new tattoo removal system and they need people to test it on. Some of these jobs are outpatient type jobs where they pay you a few hundred dollars a month. Others are in-patient where you are kept in a hospital and monitored. These pay the most and may involve testing new drugs, anti depressants, or they may simply want to see how a healthy person reacts to an anti-inflammatory drug. You may even be one of the people who receive the placebo drug that does nothing and not the real drug. Check the Internet or if you have a local teaching hospital or research center they may be able to help too.
#1 Recommended Job – Online Freelance Work
This is the best job for a felon because it requires no background check, no drug tests, no psychological tests, no certifications or anything else. You are hired based on what you can do and nothing else matters.
I am talking about remote, work at home type jobs. Not the fake jobs you see on the Internet like those assemble-junk-at-home jobs or copying names from the phone book type jobs, or stuffing envelope jobs, those are all scams. There are no such jobs in existence. There are however many legitimate work at home opportunities where small companies hire you online and pay up-front. These jobs may last a day, a week, or a month. You can work multiple jobs at once if you want or you can take a break or vacation anytime you feel like it. If you only want to work one day a week, you can do it. You have complete control over how much you make and when you work and you never have to go to a job interview again.
If you are good with computers that helps but it is not necessary. These jobs vary depending on what the company needs. You work for one company of a few days then work for the next company. The jobs range from computer programming, to data entry, webpage design, editing and proofreading, recording voicemail welcome messages, editing video, doing web research, forum marketing, writing sales letters, and anything else that can be done remotely. These jobs are posted on special Hire-Me Network sites by companies. You look through the listings and pick a job you want, then tell the company what you want to be paid and when you can complete the job.
Some other options are
#5 Delivery Driver
Many companies are willing to hire felons as delivery people as long as you have a clean driving record and no DUI’s. UPS has been known to hire felons.
#4 Join the Army
You can find a link to the US Army policy on hiring felons below.
#7 Telephone Customer Service
Many companies are willing to hire felons to handle phone based customer service.
#6 Temp Agency
Temp agencies are a good option. You will have to explain what your conviction was for and convince them it will not affect your work. Many companies that would never consider hiring a felon full time, will hire people from a Temp Agency or even short term contract people without a background check.
#5 Family Business
You may be able to work in a family or friend’s business.
#3 Truck Driver
It is a myth that all trucking companies are willing to hire felons. It is also difficult because special licensing is required for larger trucks. If you are on parole this kind of work may not be possible because the job will likely require you to go out of state. If you are not on parole then this would not be a problem. Truck driving jobs are not a sure thing and if you lack experience it is unlikely you will be able to drive an 18 wheeler, maybe smaller trucks.
This is a small section taken from the book Jobs For Felons which is available at Amazon for $6.95 but you can also download a free copy on the web. These are the top 10 jobs but there are many more and the book also explains more about the #1 recommendation, freelance work. This is only a few of the listings available plus you can find many agencies that specialize in helping felons find jobs, how to answer the question “Have you ever been convicted of a felone?” during an interview so that you are not immediately out of consideration and much more.