Finding and keeping gainful employment has become quite hard. Many industries are struggling and laying off workers.
For felons, having a criminal record makes job searches more of a challenge. Most employers would rather hire a person without a criminal past.
To secure work, many have had to get creative and flexible in their choices. Remote jobs have become an ideal option. There are many career options open and it makes social distancing simple.
So what are the best work from home opportunities for felons? Frankly, the field is wide open with success possible for anyone with a good work ethic.
From the arts to sciences and everything in between, there are numerous jobs to be had. And you are not restricted to working for just local employers.
Going online means working on a global platform. Opportunities can come from any part of the world.
Before we get into the particular careers available, let’s consider why working from home makes sense.
Why Work from Home?
One of the biggest barriers to work for felons is the background check. This is an investigation into whether a person has a criminal past. Employers will often seek this report.
They can find out such details as the nature of the offense and sentence given. Certain crimes are more worrying as they may relate to safety concerns. For instance, violent offenders would not be trusted in high-pressure environments or around vulnerable clients.
Most remote jobs do not require background checks. This is because workers do not have to physically interact, reducing the risk of any altercation.
Another reason a felon may enjoy this work is freedom and flexibility. Remote work leaves the worker free to organize their schedule. There is less supervision than in an office environment.
This freedom and flexibility is a liberating change from the rigid rules of prison. If you decide to pursue some higher learning, this flexibility will allow you to work around school attendance.
You can also work from anywhere. If not bound by terms of parole, you can relocate to any place with internet access. And you will still have access to online jobs.
Many entry-level jobs in this market also require little experience. This means you can get to work fairly easily, even with a poor resume.
With more experience and acquiring skills, the pay can also be quite good. Those in specialized fields like software engineering and accounting do earn well. You can even juggle multiple gigs to help boost earnings.
It also helps to save money. Without the need to commute or eat out, you can keep your expenses down and save more.
So why doesn’t everyone work from home? There are certain traits needed to make a success of this career path.
What It Takes to Be a Successful Remote Worker?
Self-motivation is key to being a successful remote worker. It is pretty much the same as being an entrepreneur. The effort you put in will have a huge impact on the outcome. If you are lazy, you cannot be successful.
There is a lot of effort to be put in. From searching for gigs to ensuring you deliver tasks on time, one needs to also be disciplined. When making commitments, you need to ensure you can fulfill the work required.
Being at home can make lazing around tempting. With your television, your bed, and the internet just there, it is easy to get distracted. Being disciplined will make you focused and determined to deliver on promised work.
You also need to be independent. Offices are team-oriented. You have colleagues a few feet away that you can rely on for motivation and collaboration.
Working from home means you will be mostly on your own. You may be able to FaceTime or email others, but this is more limited when working remotely.
It is advisable to arrange some time where you get to meet others, especially if single. Social life can be just as important to your wellbeing. Joining a sports team or other club may help in finding a good balance.
Being organized is also vital. You will be responsible for making your own schedule and delivering on deadlines. If you are a parent or have other responsibilities, you will need to work around them.
Having good communication skills is also important. Although you will not be supervised, you need to keep in good contact with employers. You need to respond to their messages in a good time and keep them update on project progress.
Now, let’s look at what particular jobs make for a good online career for felons.
Top Work from Home Career Opportunities
This is highly popular as an entry-level job. The work is often fairly simple and abundant.
All that is required is quick typing skills. The faster you can type, the more work you get done and the more money you make. Excellent English language skills are a definite advantage in ensuring correct spelling.
You will however need to be keen as simple mistakes can ruin a whole task. Accuracy is highly important.
This is a flexible job whereby you find work as you log in and stop whenever you want. Remote jobs are normally paid according to the number of keystrokes. Office positions are paid hourly rates.
From blogs to product descriptions, there is a wide variety of written content you can create. Many businesses are going online and need to build websites filled with useful content.
There is a huge market with multiple niches you can choose to focus on. Beginners do tend to earn lower rates, but with more polished work you can command better prices.
You do not have to confine yourself to working for others. You can choose a personal or professional interest and build up your own blog. Creating video content and social media posts around this can help boost readership and attract advertising.
The stronger a reputation you gain, the better rates you will earn for your posts. You can even be invited to write for mainstream media house websites.
Make use of content writing platforms to find work. Ensure you create good samples of your work that you can put on your profile. This can help potential employers see your talent and invite you for jobs.
Many of the tasks virtual assistants do are what you would expect of a secretary or receptionist. But without interacting directly with clients.
You would be responsible for responding to emails and social media comments, you would also be assigned daily tasks to fulfill.
Your employer may also give you specific tasks like preparing a slideshow for a presentation. Transcribing work, research work, proofreading, scheduling appointments, and organizing events are also possible responsibilities.
Some of this may require the assistant to be quick thinking and decisive. You may also require additional word processing and computer skills. there are many affordable and online training courses that a felon can use to get up to speed.
As said, many businesses are looking to build an online presence. Besides content creators, they also need web developers to achieve this.
While the work is specialized, you do not require formal training to do it. Clients are more interested in seeing samples of existing websites than a degree certificate.
The earning potential in this field is quite high. The better the quality of your work, the better the rates you can command.
Coding skills are key and can be acquired through any number of online courses. Many successful web developers have been self-taught from free resources.
This job may require some completion of a medical transcriptionist training program. While not an entry-level job, it is a good option to work towards.
It involves taking dictation from healthcare professionals and creating reports and other documentation from this. in addition to a computer and internet connection, you will need an earpiece.
These programs can take 6 months to 2 years to earn the qualification. You merely need to have a high school diploma or GED to enroll. While certification is not mandatory, it does help in securing steady work and good pay.
This job comes with flexible hours and good rates. Because transcriptionist services are so in demand, steady work should not be hard to find. This also applies to opportunities abroad, meaning you are free to live and work anywhere you want.
As more people opt to stay home businesses are forced to cater to their clients remotely. Many customer care functions now need to be handled this way. This can include responding to inquiries/complaints, checking on the progress of an order, and processing a return.
Performing such tasks from home will mostly require a computer, earpiece, and customized software. There may be a need to speak to clients and other partners. Having a calm voice can help make this work easier.
Customer care representatives that work from home can even be employed by multiple businesses. The volume of work is typically smaller with smaller firms. These employers will likely want someone local so they can easily send them product samples and other paraphernalia.
For those that are bi or multilingual, working as a translator can pay off. Fluency in languages is a must.
From translating books into different languages to creating subtitles for foreign language films, there are many options. While having a degree can help in boosting earnings, fluency is most vital.
This is a well-paying job that can even open up opportunities to work abroad. Locally, a good translator can still find work in government agencies, the scientific field, and private education. Online language tutoring is another niche field to consider.
Social Media Manager
While websites are considered key to business success, social media interaction has also gained momentum. More and more people are discovering businesses ad products this way.
They use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to make inquiries, compliments, and complaints. Engaging with this audience has become important to business image. It can also serve to boost marketing efforts by making a business seem responsive to clients.
The tasks involved can include responding to comments and posting interesting content. With a good understanding of social media and a strong following, anyone can help businesses expand their audience. Felons that are savvy in this way can make good money in this niche of online marketing.
Best Platforms to Find Jobs
For those that are newbies to the online job market, there are several popular platforms to find work. Here you will find employers under multiple categories. They detail what kind of tasks they want to be fulfilled and the rates on offer.
Some platforms allow those seeking work to promote themselves. They can list their skills and job titles to make it easier for potential employers to find them.
Newcomers often have to list low rates to attract an employer. With experience and positive reviews on their profile, they can start earning better.
Here is a list of the top platforms to check out and start exploring job opportunities.
- Mechanical Turk
- People per Hour
Some are general with multiple job categories, while others are more specialized and serve specific work niches. Beginners will want to start with the larger general sites. After gaining experience they will be more competitive on specialist platforms.
Remote jobs are plentiful but can sometimes be competitive. Gaining experience and good reviews on your profile is a good way to be successful. Consider setting up accounts on multiple platforms to boost your chances of securing work.
Even for specialized jobs and employers that may require background checks, these typically only go back 7 years. This is to comply with FCRA guidelines.
If you have the qualities to successfully work from home and are hampered by a criminal record, then have no fear. There are many careers to choose and make a good living from.