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Preparing for Professional Changes

Kevin Phelps Feb. 12, 2022

A criminal record will almost certainly impact your professional life following or even during your conviction and sentence. Knowing how your professional life may change can help you best prepare—mentally and practically—to overcome the potential barriers that present. Here are a few of those potential changes and how to best handle them.

Limitation on Opportunity

Business owners reserve the right to know their employees’ criminal history. This protects them from unwittingly making their sensitive information vulnerable to individuals who have, in the past, proven untrustworthy (or been accused of untrustworthiness). This may limit the opportunities or acceptance you find in employers, meaning your job search might take more time and require more patience. You might also be required to start at a lower-level job than you are normally qualified for.


Character references can be a huge help in getting employers to feel comfortable with you as an employee. These individuals should be people who have known you for a substantial amount of time, and should be able to attest to your upstanding character, providing real and honest narratives of experiences and examples of you serving, interacting with others, and performing at a high quality and reliability. Check with these individuals to ensure that they are comfortable providing these references! Once you have their “okay”, ask them what the best way to contact them is and give them a couple points of guidance for qualities you would like them to emphasize in their references to you!

Networking and Working Your Way Up

Getting back into the workforce to the level that you are qualified to be at, or in a field that you are qualified to be in, can be hard when your options are limited. Some of your best opportunities will be found through networking with family, friends, acquaintances and professional contacts. Word-of-mouth can be a great way to find out about jobs, and your personal connections to those jobs add a value to your application that you wouldn't have otherwise. In addition, while you may have to start out in a low-level position upon hiring, feel optimistic about your chances to climb the ladder, proving yourself to your authority figures and gaining their trust.

You may also find that you need the help of a defense attorney to compile appropriate and effective evidence of your ability to perform at a professional level. Contact us at Dave Clark defense, and we can direct you to creating an application that will impress and invite the confidence of employers.