Here's the situation (a mess in some ways...good in others);
I'm 52 years old, white male, MBA in Finance and MIS, BS in Computer Science and Marketing...worked in Mortgages with Village Bank and Credit Card Decisioning, Billing, and Marketing Websites with The Miller Bank (Star Bank).Village Bank and The Miller Bank/Star Bank both went out of business due to the economy. I've been unemployed for a while, since March 2008...there have been a few jobs thrown in here and there since then but they didn't last (Funeral Sales and Sr. Manager with a consulting firm).
The funeral sales position required me to be licensed in Life, Accident, and Sickness. I was completely honest during the interviews and application concerning past and a recent shoplifting arrest. I cleared the background check and was hired. I was denied a temporary license to sell insurance due to the shoplifting incident. The company fired me...yes, even though I passed their background check and the fact that they own the insurance company. Confusing, but true.
I have 6 children and the financial pressures are mounting. I have the following on my background...
- A DUI from 1989...I was slapped on the hand with an ARD sentence but the charge was not expunged.
- In 1992/1993 My boss told me to take home the following...a water cooler, a fax machine, and a word processor because we were getting new equipment. I was arrested for "theft by taking" and "receiving stolen property"...both misdemeanors. I plead guilty because the company wasn't backing down. My ex-boss later married my ex-wife. Still, the charges are on my record.
- Since I've been in Georgia in 1996...I married a widow and there have been domestic violence arrests but all "nolle prosse".
- Also since 1996 in GA...In 2007 a shoplifting incident that was handled via a first time offender conviction..."nolle prosse", but not expunged.
- And last year (2010) in Florida...another shoplifting incident that was handled via a guilty plea in absentia...adjudicated guilty. Since this was not "adjudicated withheld" I am not eligible to have this case expunged...ever. I have completed all probation and restitution requirements (fines and community service).
So...you can see when my background gets pulled there is a ton of things that show for me...all misdemeanors...all ugly.
I'm always honest on my applications and in interviews. With the state of the economy it appears I'm too big a risk...plus I know my age is a factor. So, I'm fighting a sketchy past and an age issue. I feel there is no hope.
But, you mentioned The United Way in your blog. I am a true professional from head to toe. Look as polished as any attorney or CEO during interviews. I know I can be of value to a corporation in some capacity. Do you think The United Way is my best place to start to rebuild myself and get back to work?
I hate to see convicted felons (aka sports stars like Michael Vick) return to society after having served their time and paid full restitution move back into society like nothing occurred. How does the little guy do that?
I'd appreciate any all information you may have for me.
For most ex offenders and felons looking for jobs the United Way is a great place to start. The United Way supports a number of organizations that have contacts to open positions. Perhaps a more polished professional like yourself may be better served by contacting your local S.C.O.R.E (Service Corp of Retire Executives) office. As the name implies, there are retired executives who serve communities in many ways. Perhaps you may find valuable contacts that could help you locate your next opportunity.
Another suggestion I often make ex-offenders and felons looking for jobs is to apply with cover letters and resumes. Often when applicants apply directly to employers this way, the question of a criminal record never comes up. Take a look at the video below. It outlines how ex-offenders and felons can use resumes sent with well written cover letters as a way to get interviews. This will let prospective employers the opportunity to meet the person before meeting the criminal record.
I hope this helps.