If you are constantly scrambling to find a job or working for minimum wage because of a felony, consider getting into freelance work online
This may be an “outside the box” solution to all your employment struggles because the freelancing job market is HUGE and continues to grow every day!
There are literally thousands of online jobs from home available in a wide range of industries, requiring different skills, and educational backgrounds.
Best of all: THERE IS NO BACKGROUND CHECK, so your felony will not be an obstacle to employment.
In freelancing – your “salary” mostly depends on your skills and attitude, and having a felony conviction does not stop you from being successful and making money. This is simply because “employers” don’t ask you if you are a felon – all they care about is that you deliver good product, and charge reasonable rates for your work!
If you have never considered this option, here is a quick rundown of the benefits as well as a guide on how to get started.
What type of jobs can online freelancers do?
For the most part freelance jobs are those that you can do remotely, online, on your computer (so you need a PC/Mac and internet connection). For the most part this work is concentrated in the fields of:
– apps/mobile programming
– web design
– graphics design
– content writing / blogging
– web marketing
– virtual task assistance, such as remote scheduling and other things
Don’t get scared though if you can’t program or do graphics or write well. It is EASY to learn – check out our Skills section.
Note – I learned programming at a community college, when I was 33 and had my second kid on the way. But now I learn all new skills online, with video courses. There are many college degrees that you can get and use, even if you have a felony conviction.
Here are some of the biggest reasons why someone who has a felony should consider working online:
1. No Background Check Required!!! this infamous background check is the Number 1 Reason why someone with a felony gets turned down from a job.
2. No Employment Interview Required: simply create an online profile on freelance sites of your choice, apply/bid for jobs. You will of course have to convince “employers” to choose you over other contractors, but here you are on even grounds with people without felonies.
3. Higher Salaries: most skilled online jobs pay between $15-25+/hr or more (depending on the project, level of skill required, and how fast you work). Some freelancers charge as much as $30-50/hr or by the project. For example, if you charge a flat fee of $750 to design a website and you complete it in 20 hours – you make $37.50/hr. Now, if it takes you only 10 hours to do the job, you are making $75/hr!
This beats working for or below minimum wage, and being afraid that any day you’ll get fired because of your felony.
4. Work Remotely: you can work from anywhere in the world, all you need is a laptop or computer and access to the internet. If you do not have internet at home, you can work in a local library (most offer free internet access).
5. Flexible Payment Plans: you can look for jobs that pay on an hourly basis, or upon completion of a project.
6. Limitless Jobs: you can try to get as many jobs/projects as you think you can handle at one time. There is no limit, as long as you are meeting deadlines on the projects you signed up to complete.
7. No Prior Experience Necessary: many jobs are entry-level and don’t require you to have years of experience.
8. No References Needed: no one is going to ask for your references. You will be considered based on the skills you list on your profile, as well as samples of your work (more on that later).
9. You Can Still Have a Regular Job: while you are just trying out being a freelancer, you don’t have to quit a job (if you have one). In the beginning, you may only get to work a few hours a week. However, if you are persistent, continue to improve in your skills, and get positive reviews for your work, freelancing can become your main source of income.
10. You Can Make It BIG! If you become really good at a particular skill that is in high demand, for example, coding, and establish yourself as an expert, you can make well over $100,000 a year, all from the comfort of your own home. You will be your own boss, with total control of your finances, and you will never again have to be rejected from a job for having a felony.
What Skills Are In Highest Demand Online?
Here are the top skills that are in great demand in the online world (there are a lot more out there than what is on this list):
Don’t see your desired skill? Search 1000s of different video courses on Udemy – many costing $15 for the entire course with lifetime access!
I have taken over a dozen courses there, and am now working on my own course (yes I will be TEACHING on Udemy).
What If You Don’t Have The Skills????
You may be sitting there, thinking: “This sounds like a great idea, I want to try this, but I don’t really have any useful skills, so this path is not for me”. This is NOT true. If you currently don’t have any skills that would be in high demand, you can learn them on your own, even without going to college!
There is an online educational website, called Udemy (online video learning). There are literally thousands of courses, including ones in: web development and design, 3D modeling, marketing, data analysis, statistics, entrepreneurship, etc.
These courses are usually inexpensive (under $75), easy to understand (they are written by pros), packed with practical knowledge as opposed to bull shit, and you can learn at your own pace. Once you download a course, you can listen to it as many times as you want.
Moreover, Udemy often has sales on many courses, so you can pick them up for $15-25+ and it is actually pretty easy to follow and learn something new!
How To Get Your First Job
Getting your first online job as a freelancer may be easier and faster than you think. Here are the steps that you need to take (once you have needed skills):
Get familiar with the world of online freelancing: take a look at the top platforms, such as Guru.com and Upwork.com (also known as Odesk/Elance). Browse the jobs that are posted, what skills are required, what the pay is, how long the project takes, etc.
Sign up: create a profile on 2-3 of the top platforms (see the list at the end of this post). Creating a strong profile will be the key to getting work. We strongly recommend to first look at a profiles of other freelancers with similar skills (in a job category that you want to target), who have many completed jobs and good reviews. Take a look at what they write about themselves, what skills they list, what type of work samples they provide. Your goal is to create a similar profile for yourself.
Upload work samples: having samples of your work is critical to getting hired. This is what prospective employers look at when they evaluate different candidates. If you don’t have any work samples, such as graphic or logo designs, writing or coding samples, take time and create 3-4 samples. Again, take a look at the work samples on other people’s profiles and use them as a guide to create your own.
Start looking for work: once you complete your profile, websites like Upwork will actually deliver current job postings that match your skills. Additionally, you should search for jobs yourself through a websites search engine, and apply. We recommend to apply to as many jobs as possible to increase your chances of landing a project.
Be persistent: just like in the real world, you will face stiff competition. There are thousands of people who are also looking for online work. However, in the online world, you have the great benefit of a level playing field: no one will turn you away because of your conviction. All that matters is your skills and ability to do good work in a timely fashion.
Have a routine: regularly check for new job postings.
Be Prompt: respond to emails from potential employers right away. As mentioned before, if you are not on top of it, someone else will grab the job from right under your nose.
Experiment with your profile: if after 2-3 weeks of persistent efforts you still have not landed a project, try editing your profile. Perhaps add or delete skills, change your intro, etc. Many local libraries and community centers offer help with resumes. This is your online resume, so ask for help writing and editing it.
Remember, becoming an online freelancer is NOT a get rich quick scheme. The internet is full of fake ads for how to become a millionaire without actually working. STAY AWAY from them!
Top platforms will give you access to good pay and real work. This means you have to try hard, do your best work, and in return, make a decent living.
Once again – working online from home is a much better option than slaving at Walmart or UPS for minimal wage, and constantly worrying if you will get the pink slip today, because of your conviction.
You can make much better money and work when and where you want. You just have to be good at what you do. And if you don’t have the skills – you can learn them cheaply and fast.
So stop kicking doors at $10/hr companies and being rejected because of your felony – start working for yourself!
About The Author
Joe is the founder of HireFelons.org. Having had friends and co-workers who have a felony conviction, Joe Hunter decided to use his expert knowledge in starting a successful business to launch HireFelons.org and teach as many former felons as possible how to earn a decent income, when finding a traditional job is simply not an option.