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Will I ever find work after jail?

A young letter writer is scared that he’ll never get work after a past misdemeanor.

Our elder has some words of reassurance.

Dear EWC

I am 20 years old and I am feeling lost with life. My mother passed away when I was 17 and my father is an alcoholic that lives out of state and he doesn’t talk to me very often. When I was 18 I was convicted of sexual misconduct with a minor (a misdemeanor) and sentenced to 30 days and jail. I had just turned 18 and the other partner was 15 and a half. I was a senior in high school and she was a sophomore. People will forever look at me differently when I tell them that, and I’m scared I won’t be able to find work in the future like my life is ruined. My passion is to be a music artist but I know that’s not the realistic and most stable career to go down. I don’t know what to do. I need guidance but I don’t have anyone to go to. Any words of advice would be amazing, thank you.

Murphy replies

Do not allow yourself to give up. You are only 20 years old and despite your misdemeanor charge, you still have a lot of opportunities to live a fulfilling life.

I am not saying it is going to be easy. Even for folks without misdemeanors, finding your way in the work world can be hard. You have to be willing to take chances, apply for all kinds of jobs, take rejection and get back out there.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be a music artist. You are allowed to dream and no one can say it will not come true. Again, it is up to you to make it happen. It may not, of course, but you may find in your search a career just as rewarding.

If it were me, my first step towards living a life that I am comfortable with would be to get a job. I am no expert in misdemeanor charges, so I do not know if you have to disclose this on job applications or not. If you do, then yes, it could make things a little harder for you, but not impossible.

I would start with my local or state unemployment office. They can provide you with a list of current jobs that are out there. You can go in person or check it out online. I realize you need a computer or smartphone to go online, but if you do not have either of those, your local library has computers for use.

Another suggestion is to check out jobs in your area by going to their sites online. It is true that you have to apply for most jobs online these days, but you can also get information at your community centers, or churches.

In addition to finding a job, of course you probably would or should have a support group to help you through this difficult period. Again, there are numerous online websites that provide information for support groups.

I really am sorry that you have had to endure the loss of your mother and dealing with an alcoholic father. On top of that, you are also dealing with your misdemeanor. It may seem like you are not going to be able to be successful at this point, but I am here to tell you that you absolutely can become whatever you want to be in this life. It will be hard, but you can do it. Many others have been in far worse situations and they have succeeded. So can you.

Please feel free to write to the EWC any time.

Letter #: 438696
Category: Self-Improvement

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