A Mixed Job Background Plus a Criminal Conviction: Next Move?

Anonymous writes:
Here is the situation. I’m a former police officer who was recently (wrongly)
convicted of a white collar crime. I have
a two-year degree in business and have had about three years of previous
restaurant management experience before becoming an officer and about
3 years in the radio industry. First question how do I answer this question
on an application? Secondly I really don’t know which way I can turn
career wise from this point.


The Career Doctor responds:
Well of course you don’t need to broadcast that you have a record;
however if asked you not only need to come clean but you need to
adjust your attitude. What’s the punch line to the joke — something like
80 percent of people incarcerated in prison are innocent (or so they say).
Employers are often willing to work with someone who appears to have
learned from a past mistake but are very leery of job-seekers who seem
to have learned nothing from the experience. And even if you are one of
the few innocent people convicted unjustly no employer wants to hear it.
Once you’re ready to face the issue discover the lesson you learned so
that you can have a positive spin on the conviction if and when it arises
during the job application/interview process. Just remember to not raise
the issue unless asked about it. But never lie about it smooth it over
or argue the conviction.
As for your career and where you go…that’s the next thing you need to
figure out. You obviously have a lot of valuable skills and experience and
should be able to package that nicely in a resume once you determine
your career direction.
What is it you want to do next? If you truly have no clue take the time to
conduct some self-assessment. First spend some time reviewing all your
experiences (work hobby etc.) and make two lists — one with activities you
enjoy and one with activities you never want to do again. You could also
consider taking one or more assessment tests many of which you can find online.
Once you have a better picture of your likes and interests the next step
is researching careers that closely match your profile. Take the time to
do this important career exploration. There are a lot of online and print
resources that can help you in this process. My favorite is the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Once you’ve identified a career path (or paths) the next step is finding
employers in that field — and developing a strategy for breaking into it. In
any job market but especially in this job market your key to success is
building a new network for your new career. Find and join professional
organizations in your new career field use alumni networks to find
people in your new career field.
Use the Career
Exploration Resources
section of Quintessential Careers to help you.
And learn more about networking in the The
Art of Networking
section of Quintessential Careers.
And all sorts of great resume-writing tools can be found in the
Resume Resources section of Quintessential Careers.

;

Anonymous writes:
Here is the situation. I’m a former police officer who was recently (wrongly)
convicted of a white collar crime. I have
a two-year degree in business and have had about three years of previous
restaurant management experience before becoming an officer and about
3 years in the radio industry. First question how do I answer this question
on an application? Secondly I really don’t know which way I can turn
career wise from this point.


The Career Doctor responds:
Well of course you don’t need to broadcast that you have a record;
however if asked you not only need to come clean but you need to
adjust your attitude. What’s the punch line to the joke — something like
80 percent of people incarcerated in prison are innocent (or so they say).
Employers are often willing to work with someone who appears to have
learned from a past mistake but are very leery of job-seekers who seem
to have learned nothing from the experience. And even if you are one of
the few innocent people convicted unjustly no employer wants to hear it.
Once you’re ready to face the issue discover the lesson you learned so
that you can have a positive spin on the conviction if and when it arises
during the job application/interview process. Just remember to not raise
the issue unless asked about it. But never lie about it smooth it over
or argue the conviction.
As for your career and where you go…that’s the next thing you need to
figure out. You obviously have a lot of valuable skills and experience and
should be able to package that nicely in a resume once you determine
your career direction.
What is it you want to do next? If you truly have no clue take the time to
conduct some self-assessment. First spend some time reviewing all your
experiences (work hobby etc.) and make two lists — one with activities you
enjoy and one with activities you never want to do again. You could also
consider taking one or more assessment tests many of which you can find online.
Once you have a better picture of your likes and interests the next step
is researching careers that closely match your profile. Take the time to
do this important career exploration. There are a lot of online and print
resources that can help you in this process. My favorite is the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Once you’ve identified a career path (or paths) the next step is finding
employers in that field — and developing a strategy for breaking into it. In
any job market but especially in this job market your key to success is
building a new network for your new career. Find and join professional
organizations in your new career field use alumni networks to find
people in your new career field.
Use the Career
Exploration Resources
section of Quintessential Careers to help you.
And learn more about networking in the The
Art of Networking
section of Quintessential Careers.
And all sorts of great resume-writing tools can be found in the
Resume Resources section of Quintessential Careers.

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