Getting charged with drug possession can disrupt your life and your career. Going back to work with a conviction on your record may cause you a bit of unrest.
As you prepare for a job interview, knowing your rights can help you identify discrimination. Despite your past, you deserve a fair shot at getting jobs you have the qualifications for.
Know where to look
You may have a dream job in mind, but starting conservatively will at least enable you to get back on your feet. Some jobs you may consider applying for include construction, janitorial work, customer service and food delivery.
Businesses do have the legal right to ask about your criminal record, but they cannot use it as an excuse not to hire you if you meet all other requirements. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, if they want to run a background check on you, they do need to ask for your permission. Failure to do so is a direct violation of your rights.
Know how to respond
Addressing inquiries about your past in a job interview can feel uncomfortable. However, knowing how to respond can improve your confidence and help you establish rapport. Provide honest answers and give enough context to satisfy each question. Promptly redirect the interviewer’s attention to the improvements you have made in your life, as well as what lessons your experiences taught you. Highlight your strengths and provide concrete examples of how your skills can make a difference if they choose to hire you.
Your criminal past does not have to prevent you from a successful career. Recognizing that your history with drugs is only a part of your story can give you the encouragement you need to move on and create a brighter future.