Having a felony on your record can make it very difficult to find steady employment, and often ex-cons can go for months without income.
One option to consider is to look for part time jobs. Often, part -time jobs are more felony friendly than full time positions and there are many more job opportunities available.
Part time employment is available in a wide range of industries, including food service and delivery, warehouse, customer service and communications, construction, landscaping, trucking, package delivery, ride sharing services, and many others.
While a part time job pays less than a full time one, its still a source of income, as well as a stepping stone towards the kind of job you ultimately want to have.
With a felony, its also great to have ANY job on your resume, even if its just part time. This allows other prospective employers to see that you are a responsible person who genuinely wants to lead and honest life and to work hard.
Here is a comprehensive list of felon-friendly part time work opportunities that pay well.
Part-time work opportunities
Part time employment is defined as being less than 35 hours a week. Today, there are over 27 million Americans that hold part time jobs. About 17% of the entire work force in the US consists of part timers.
The job outlook for part timers is very good, as there are many positions open in a wide range of fields, and require different levels of education, from a high school diploma to a Masters degree or higher.
Here are some job opportunities that you can consider if you have a felony conviction.
Drive for Uber and Lyft
Ride sharing services continue to grow throughout the US. Today Uber and Lyft employ thousands of drivers that work part time. Average pay is $12-15 per hour depending on where you live. The greatest perks of becoming a Lyft driver is that you get to set your own hours and work as much or as little as you want.
Many large companies such as UPS, Walmart, Amazon and others are always looking to hire part time drivers to deliver packages. Pay is about $10-13 per hour.
Perhaps one of the easiest part-time gigs to land is becoming a delivery driver for a small mom&pop restaurant or pizza shop. Here you will most likely be able to get the job without a formal background jobs. Typically, deliveries will be needed during evening hours. Some busy restaurants in large cities require drivers to be present during lunch, or specific peak hours. Average pay is $9-11 per hour.
If you don’t mind doing a lot of manual labor, there are plenty of warehouse jobs in most locations across the US. Many companies like to hire part time or seasonal employees for warehouse jobs. Companies such as Amazon, Walmart and Home Depot all have a history of hiring felons for warehouse positions. Pay is $9-11 per hour.
Construction and landscaping
Many small and medium size local construction companies (roofing, gardening, masonry, general construction, etc) are always looking for workers. Often these jobs are part time, or seasonal. However, if you do a good job and work hard, there is a very high chance that the owner will hire you for a full time job. If you stay long enough in the field you can be promoted to be a foreman and can even one day open your own business in the field. Average salary: $10-15 per hour.
Getting a job as a sales associate can be easier for a felon compared to other types of more skilled work. Many big stores such as Costco, Lowe’s, Macy’s, Home Goods, Walmart, and many others have a history of hiring ex-cons for seasonal or part-time sales positions. Keep in mind that you may get turned down in one location, but may get lucky in another location of the same store.
If you have technical skills or are willing to learn, there are many freelance online jobs that are part time. These include: coding, programming, content writing, graphic design, marketing, and more. You get to be your own boss, set your hours, and take on projects that you are good at doing. There is no criminal background check in the world of online freelancing, so more and more felons are getting in on this new job market.
Other job ideas to consider:
– Data entry
– Virtual assistant (VA)
– Truck driver
– Pet grooming
– Custodial / cleaning services
– Pet sitter
– Food server / waitress
– Moving services
– Parking attendant
– Personal assistant/shopper
Where to look for a good paying part time job
When doing a job search, your first stop should be Craigslist.com. Felons consistently report the highest rates of success in landing jobs from this website. There is a part-time jobs sections that you can browse in your local region. Many listings there are posted by individuals or very small businesses. This is exactly why ex-cons have an easier time getting those jobs, as opposed to applying to large companies or franchises.
Another great resource for felon-friendly jobs is Ziprecruiter.com. Simply type in “felon-friendly” as well as your zip code and you will get a list of positions, where employers have indicated that they are open to hiring individuals with a felony record. There are hundreds of listings available in a wide range of industries. The average pay is $21-30K a year.
Moreover, don’t forget to apply with local temp agencies. These can be a great source of a various part-time opportunities. The great benefit of a temp agency is that they push your resume to multiple employers at once, which makes your job search much easier and faster. Temp agencies are also known for having a lot of different part time positions. Thus, your chances of getting a job are much better if you go through a temp agency, than if you contact different employers on your own.
Criminal background check
Many felons make the wrong assumption that if a job opening is part time, there will be no background check.
However, this is not true, as most employers, especially big companies, such as Amazon, Home Depot, Pizza Hut, etc, have a corporate policy of conducting a standard background check on all prospective job applicants.
Only a small business or an individual business owner may choose to waive the background check.
This means that you should be ready to disclose your criminal history, as you will most likely be asked about it both on the application and during the preliminary screening interview.
Remember, when it comes to landing a job, any job, honesty is always the BEST policy.
Benefits of working part time
While you may not want a part time job because of low pay, there are certain benefits to this type of employment.
1. You can enroll into college Working less than 30-40 hours can enable you to enroll into a college degree, certificate or training program. This is really the best way to ensure that in the long-run you will be able to get a high-paying job that can be a real career.
2. Its a great way to get your foot in the door. Many large companies, such as Walmart, like to promote from within. This means that if you land a part time job, you have a greater chance of being promoted to a full time position, than if you were to apply for that same job as an outsider.
3. You are earning money in an honest way. While the pay you get from a part time gig is very low and most likely not enough to pay your bills, its still a step in the right direction. You are getting a legal income instead of engaging in criminal activities that can put you right back in prison.
4. Getting a job is a confidence booster. As an ex-con you know how painful and hard it is to look for work and be constantly turned out, even from the crappiest jobs. This can easily lead to depression where you give up, stop looking for work and go back to committing crimes just to survive. Landing a job, even if its just 10-15 hours a week can give you a major self-esteem boost, as well as the energy to keep looking for better employment.
5. Improves your resume. If you have no work to show for after getting out of prison, many employers will be hard pressed to give you a second chance. However, if you have a real job from a reputable company on your resume, others will be much more willing to hire you. This is why, you should never turn down any work opportunity that comes your way, even if its only temporary and for a few hours a week.
6. There is free time to look for another job. Working short hours leaves you plenty of time to look for a better job. As you know, looking for a high-paying job is a full time job in it of itself, with all the listings to look through, applications to fill out, interviews to go to, etc.
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.