Just Because You Have A Criminal Record Does Not Mean You Are Destined To A Lifetime Of Dead End Jobs
Having a criminal record of any kind can be devastating on so many aspects of your life. You may find during your incarceration or even during your time performing community service that your friends and family may no longer be on your side. Even if they are, the shame and guilt associated with this time in your life can leave real scars on your psyche. You may find it very difficult to move forward. It is common to also feel as if the entire world is still making you pay for a crime you have already paid for in the eyes of the law. It is also common to let these emotions prey on you to a point where you too believe you are unworthy of a second chance.
Once you have finally accepted that you have indeed paid back your debt to society, you have to believe you are worth the investment and can have a successful future before anyone else will be willing to take a chance on you. Getting to this important step of really seeing yourself as a success after a conviction, is vital to ever achieving any of the dreams you may have had before you were convicted of a crime. While you may now want to go out there and jump into the workforce, your past will inevitably follow you.
Seeking traditional employment in the private sector can be challenging even when you really do deserve the chance. Some states will actually limit any certifications or promotions you can actually achieve based on your criminal record. You may find that every time a potential employer does a background check, they drop you off the short list regardless of how much you may now deserve the job. This frustration and lack of genuine opportunity can be so debilitating on ones self esteem, it makes it easier to see why so many ex-convicts go back to criminal life after freedom.
One unique and intelligent way to beat the odds of re-incarceration is to seriously consider being your own boss. This is harder than it sounds, yet makes perfect sense. You can take a break from chasing dead end opportunities or begging potential bosses to give you a chance. Use this time to investigate your start up business opportunities. Your probation officer and certain non-profit organizations can put you in touch with members of the community willing to help you fine tune a stellar business plan. They can also help you dress the part of a soon to be small business owner. Looking professional and having a comprehensive business model in hand can open so many prospective doors. Unfortunately, it does take more than these two components to get a start up business off the ground and any cash in your pockets. You may find bumps in the road also if you apply for a small business loan at certain banks. Some, despite any extenuating circumstances, will not even consider giving a small business loan to anyone with a criminal record. Others will give you a chance if you have other aspects of your life in order. They may take your community standing and length of residency in the area into consideration. They may also take into account if you own a home and if you have never been in any trouble legally since your conviction. Even if you get a loan, getting insurance on your business with a criminal record can be another obstacle to making your dreams a reality.
However, even with all of these obstacles in your way, you can still make owning a start up business possible despite your past. Do your best to re-establish any contact with respectable members of the community and your own family. They may be your best hope of start up funding if the banks won’t help. You can turn to alternative start up resources such as government grants and personal loans. Leasing rather than buying any equipment or retail space is also an option if you can not secure buying these items from the start. Do your best to pool any resources together to take on the competition and win over customers based on the quality of the service you can give. If your start up business plan and execution of that plan are really well done and you can provide a service to the community unlike anyone else around, you will succeed despite any past indiscretions.
It can be difficult for others to see beyond your criminal record. You may have to work ten times harder than the average small business owner to get established and get the trust of others in the community. But, if you truly want to move beyond your past and prove your life can still be seen as a success, you will do the extra work and begin to repair your reputation. Don’t let one chapter of your life ever tell the full story and block you from your full potential.