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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: seanohara on July 16, 2018, 10:30:51 PM

Title: Literally Unhireable
Post by: seanohara on July 16, 2018, 10:30:51 PM
As the subject suggests, I am unemployed. Further suggested by the subject, I have a criminal record. Don't write me off! I graduated highschool with a 4.5 GPA, but the daredevil that I was, I was arrested and charged as a sex offender for streaking a year outta college. Don't ask me why. Anyways, that's in the past now..... Thank goodness for the money made from selling our house this winter (about 180k)This is from a fix-up and flip we owned for 2 years. This was good luck among much misfortune. So, currently with about 170k in the bank, yet no foreseeable income, and no transferable skills from my previous career, how do I continue to provide for the future of my family?   

Location arbitrage? Move to Tonga, Costa Rica, etc and start fresh? Honestly not sure if that would be any easier with no income coming in. Probably last 5-10 years but we desire growth, stability, community, etc.
Entrepreneurship? I am probably the only person who would hire me and I really can't do low-wage, easy entry manual labor because of a major back surgery and the likelihood of re-injury. I have zero street smarts and not a single entrepreneurial gene in my body :/                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
Real estate? Investing, landlording? Where to even start with no proof of income?                                                                     
So, fellow mustachians. Do I just go all in on Black? I am feeling a bit of brain fog over the limited, yet innumerable possibilities my life can take. Yet, not a clue as to which path would get my family and I back on track for FIRE. We have built up an etsy shop selling wood signs and worked very hard at it for more than a year now. Yet, when we look at the numbers- we're working for well below minimum wage making $1500/month. I made the leap to pay for a year of adobe illustrator yet find it difficult to fathom how long I would dink around with the program until I make any kind of entry level graphic designer wages. Sure, I'm a complainypants and I know it, maybe a new shiny Tony Robbins inspired "mindset" will fix everything; maybe not. Guide me, you wise push-broom faced sages.       Edit: Oh yea, and my credit score is 815! weeeee (if that matters at all)
Title: Re: Literally Unhireable
Post by: Frankies Girl on July 16, 2018, 10:51:41 PM
What kind of criminal record, and what did you use to do for work? Some stuff isn't a huge deal in many types of workplaces. And there are jobs out there even for those with a record, you just need to seek out advisers that help rehabilitate former criminals and see if you can locate a way to get back into the workforce to earn a living wage. Without steady employment, former felons would have no reason to go straight, so I find it hard to believe that there is no job out there you could do if you were once gainfully employed and have any actual job skills/training. Contact places like Goodwill and other charities (and churches) that have job training and placement services.

And you say "we" so I assume you have a spouse/partner? Did they also end up with a criminal record, because otherwise they should be working hard at moving up the ladder into a well-paying career if so. Plenty of couples make a great living with only one working spouse, and it doesn't have to be you if you really can't find a job. 

You won't make a go of being a designer by "dinking around" in Illustrator; I was a highly paid one, and you need creativity, skills and lots of luck to make a living at it. Entry level designers don't make much - you'd be better off working at someplace like WalMart for the amount of work you'd be doing and paid for.

ETA: you just updated with the info about what the criminal record was... dude, that is nothing. I'd disclose that on any job application if asked, but don't supply the info unless asked and/or they tell you they're going to run a background check. It is embarrassing, but not an offense that would make you unhireable if you tell them (if they ask you on any application): I have a criminal record from my college age for getting caught streaking on campus. I have no other offenses and feel silly and embarrassed about the incident, but I do hope you will still consider me for this position in light of the time lapsed and as it was a non-violent offense that was due to immaturity, not criminal behavior." I would not phrase it as "I am a convicted sex offender" either. I'd tell them exactly what you did (Like: I got caught streaking after a few drinks out with some friends. They got away, I didn't, and unfortunately the cops decided to arrest me.) and then say you have a criminal record because of the incident.

I would also see a lawyer about getting that expunged from your record. Getting labeled as a sex offender for a stupid college kid stunt that hurt nobody should be something you can get reduced or removed I would think...
Title: Re: Literally Unhireable
Post by: Finances_With_Purpose on July 17, 2018, 01:01:28 AM
Check out Wealth Well Done (  The author there started with a (rough) criminal record after a jail sentence for a big college mistake and is now financially independent.  It can be done. 

He probably has suggestions pertinent to your situation at the very least, and I'm sure there are at least comments in some of his posts that address this. 
Title: Re: Literally Unhireable
Post by: frugaliknowit on July 17, 2018, 04:45:42 AM
For seeking a job, I would focus on small businesses that have trouble competing with larger businesses for candidates.  For example, I work for a small IT consulting firm.  We HAVE considered candidates with a record (with an explanation).  From what I know, though, as far as large companies, fagetaboudit, they have their process.

Entrepreneurship is the way to go.  If you can't do manual labor (lawn maintenance is a no-brainer), try to think of something you can do and would enjoy.  As someone mentioned, do EVERYTHING YOU CAN to get it ex-punged (I would think it's possible...).

One other suggestion is that if you know where you and your SO want to live, consider buying and living in a multi-unit.  You'll have lower (net overhead) and less pressure to earn big money.  It would be somewhat of a part time job.  Good luck!
Title: Re: Literally Unhireable
Post by: seanohara on July 17, 2018, 05:34:41 AM
@Frankies Girl Misdemeanor, but now a sex offender- which is worse than a felon. Can't work in the medical field doing patient care as I used to. That's great you were a successful graphic designer! I have a friend who currently works for youtube Kids making well over 100k a year. He believes I can actually make a living with this stuff but I find it very difficult to make time at home to learn with my wife and kids(3 and 1) around. So my spouse actually was in a very lucrative career before we had kids. We're done with kids but trying to be apart of their lives as much as possible until school aged. She could get hired back anytime actually. The reason we aren't jumping right on that though is because it's a verrrrry demanding sales job where she has to commit nothing less than 60+ hours a week and would do a ton of traveling. She needs to be apart of our kids lives right now, and I support that despite our current stresses.                                                                                                                                 @Finances_With_Purpose  Thanks I'll check it out! Although considered a non violent crime, it seems that sex offenders have a much harder time finding employment than felons. Which makes sense really. Also, the problem with entrepreneurship is that my business can lose public support at any moment word gets out about being an offender. Since my face and name would be online, including my home address, I doubt I can just pop up a successful coffee shop or something.                                     @frugaliknowit Yes, I do believe small businesses would most likely hire me, even possibly without a background check. I hope I can call myself more than a wantrepreneur someday. So many options and possibities- decision making has not been my strong suit. Real estate makes sense; when I first injured my back we Airbnb'd out a bedroom of our house and it payed our mortgage those months! I think rather than get into a multiunit, I could see us more getting into something with rental potential like a detached studio or master. Or even just renting the whole home while we do a few camping trips a month or something. Probably not going to get us to FIRE though... I need to read some books or something. I finally just found the Biggerpockets blog, just starting to get my feet wet. It all seems a bit more complicated with no job security or income.                                           Thanks everybody for the advice and encouragement.
Title: Re: Literally Unhireable
Post by: chemistk on July 17, 2018, 05:35:59 AM
I, too, have a criminal record for something stupid I did in college. It hasn't stopped me.

I think 2 things are bugging me here:

1) As others pointed out, you have a partner, but make no mention of whether they are employed. You say you make $1500 a month selling wood signs? Is it possible for your partner to get a job and for you to focus on the wood sign business? I imagine that the combined income from both would be very decent.

2) You're unemployed - have you always been? Were you recently laid off because of downsizing, relocation, or your company went out of business? Or, were you fired (and if so, did your background play into it)?

Also - you made a tidy profit from flipping your house. Would you consider becoming a contractor?

Edit: you posted your reply as I was posting my questions. My top line still stands. Your life has given you oranges so don't expect to make lemonade. Responding to a point in your reply - right now your kids are depending on you and your spouse to earn an income. It's hard to hear but if you aren't employed at the moment, she needs to be (at least part-time). Between your Etsy shop and a part time job, there's plenty of time to be had with the kids.
Title: Re: Literally Unhireable
Post by: seanohara on July 17, 2018, 05:47:11 AM
@chemistk ah good questions.. So I have been unemployed since January. My trial was continually delayed for about 4 years! Since I thought the charge was ridiculous and the DA charging me didn't she never gave a plea deal and I stalled jury trial as long as possible. We are moving across country in a few weeks, we've been living with family in the midwest trying to build our sign business and  really just mentally recover from the loss of a 4 year legal battle. After moving she'll probably get at the least a part time job, and I hope to streamline the signs a bit better. On the side, I definitely want to learn more about realestate investing, flipping, etc. I would consider becoming a contractor, maybe for the fine details and design aspect of things. Yet, because of my back injury, I know I would have to hire out any heavy lifting- which would definitely hurt the profit margins. Also, currently doesn't seem like a good time to buy a house anywhere remotely close to where we and all our family live (Washington, Oregon, California). Thanks for the reply, I know i'll get past the criminal record roadblock, I guess I just feel a little aimless still. Thanks again!
Title: Re: Literally Unhireable
Post by: Mon€yp€nny on July 17, 2018, 06:28:27 AM
Question: are you allowed to work as a self employed private nurse/ caregiver? Maybe they won't hire you now but what if you were self employed?
Self employed contractor, plumber, electrician? Those people have been fully booked at the moment. We are trying to hire them. My toilet will be replaced in August (which is better than October), we haven't been able to use it for a month now. We can't find a contractor to replace a roof before fall and we are still waiting to hear back from others for another project.  Business has been slow when the economy wasn't doing well but it's booming now.
Title: Re: Literally Unhireable
Post by: ReadySetMillionaire on July 17, 2018, 07:00:45 AM
I'm in a rush here, but have you looked into your state's expungement process? I imagine that's more complicated given the alleged sex offense at issue, but you may want to talk to an attorney about this.
Title: Re: Literally Unhireable
Post by: GuitarStv on July 17, 2018, 07:02:26 AM
Question: are you allowed to work as a self employed private nurse/ caregiver? Maybe they won't hire you now but what if you were self employed?
Self employed contractor, plumber, electrician? Those people have been fully booked at the moment. We are trying to hire them. My toilet will be replaced in August (which is better than October), we haven't been able to use it for a month now. We can't find a contractor to replace a roof before fall and we are still waiting to hear back from others for another project.  Business has been slow when the economy wasn't doing well but it's booming now.

I'd wager that trying to land a gig as a private nurse/caregiver with a history of being a sexual offender is a tough sell.  It would instantly disqualify you in most cases I can think of.
Title: Re: Literally Unhireable
Post by: Retire-Canada on July 17, 2018, 10:58:56 AM
I'd make sure you had copies of all the court documents so that if you are talking to a potential employer and the issue comes up you can quickly re-frame the discussion from being a sex offender to exercising poor judgement when you decided to streak.  Hopefully there was alcohol involved and if there wasn't say there was just so you have an excuse to blame the incident on besides being a moron. Because as unattractive as sex offenders are to hire....morons aren't all that appealing either.
Title: Re: Literally Unhireable
Post by: skeptic on July 17, 2018, 10:16:23 PM
While I admit this is a significant setback in a job search, you are painting the situation far worse than it actually is. I am speaking from experience.

The question is _not_: what can I possibly do to get any kind of appropriate job?

Instead, just go through the normal process of figuring out what you would like to be doing and/or are suited to do, with the expectation that you may have to cross a few ideas off your list and/or start from a less advantageous position. You probably still have somewhere between 10-50% of the options someone without a record has, which, even if it's 10%, is still a LOT of options.

Others on here have given good specific advice. Working for a small business, in any field? Solid. The owners will be much more likely to overlook "streaking one time while young and drunk." And even though you say you aren't entrepreneurial (and I will take you at your word, despite your success in real estate and Etsy), the work-as-a-contractor angle is solid too. You may already be familiar but just to spell it out: say there is a type of work you want to perform, but you can't get hired as an _employee_. Instead, you pitch for some entity (a small business?) to hire you as a contractor, which means technically they are hiring your BUSINESS to do that work. That business, which you own, hires you to do the work. You are an employee of your own business. It sounds complicated but it really isn't. Technically you would become a business owner but you don't ever have to risk your capital or do anything more than hire yourself if that's all you want to do. Anyway that's just one approach. Finally there are lots of resources for ex-offenders and returning citizens, most focused on obtaining employment (or at least there are in my area). I don't think they are required for success, but it you're having trouble, search them out and make use of them if possible.

This is doable even for people who have done reprehensible things. In your case of youthful hijinks, it's a very surmountable problem.