How Can Ex-Con Get Career Back on Track?


Anonymous writes:
I have been in the information technology field for the last 13 years because
of some weird circumstances I was sent to jail for the past 6 months and
now I’m out on parole. How do I get my career back on the right path?
How do I tell potential employers about my parole but not hurt my
chances of landing the job.


The Career Doctor responds:
Probably the most important three elements to your success are realistic
expectations patience and practice.
Be realistic. Unless your skills are in high demand don’t
expect employers to jump at giving you a second chance. The good news
for you is that your incarceration was for such a short time that your skills
and experience are current. It’s much harder for job-seekers who served
much longer jail terms to regain the edge in their former careers.
Have patience. It doesn’t help that today’s job market is still so bad
and that information technology job-seekers without a record are facing
long job searches. You may get lucky but be prepared. And you might
take a look at smaller companies which are often more flexible than
larger ones. But keep in mind that you may need to take a survival job
switch careers or get additional training or certifications before you land
another full-time professional job.
Practice your pitch. Remember that you never want to bring up your
record but you must be prepared to explain it when it does arise. Use
mock interviews to practice explaining the facts behind your situation.
Be honest — with yourself and the prospective employer — and be sure to
focus on what you’ve learned and why it would never happen again .
I would also recommend reconnecting with your network of contacts working
with a career counselor (perhaps from your former college) and working or
volunteering part-time to get new experience on your resume and dissolve
that 6-month gap of prison time.

;

Anonymous writes:
I have been in the information technology field for the last 13 years because
of some weird circumstances I was sent to jail for the past 6 months and
now I’m out on parole. How do I get my career back on the right path?
How do I tell potential employers about my parole but not hurt my
chances of landing the job.


The Career Doctor responds:
Probably the most important three elements to your success are realistic
expectations patience and practice.
Be realistic. Unless your skills are in high demand don’t
expect employers to jump at giving you a second chance. The good news
for you is that your incarceration was for such a short time that your skills
and experience are current. It’s much harder for job-seekers who served
much longer jail terms to regain the edge in their former careers.
Have patience. It doesn’t help that today’s job market is still so bad
and that information technology job-seekers without a record are facing
long job searches. You may get lucky but be prepared. And you might
take a look at smaller companies which are often more flexible than
larger ones. But keep in mind that you may need to take a survival job
switch careers or get additional training or certifications before you land
another full-time professional job.
Practice your pitch. Remember that you never want to bring up your
record but you must be prepared to explain it when it does arise. Use
mock interviews to practice explaining the facts behind your situation.
Be honest — with yourself and the prospective employer — and be sure to
focus on what you’ve learned and why it would never happen again .
I would also recommend reconnecting with your network of contacts working
with a career counselor (perhaps from your former college) and working or
volunteering part-time to get new experience on your resume and dissolve
that 6-month gap of prison time.


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