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Hasn’t been a hinderance to me in the slightest, but I’m an entrepreneur type I’m basically unemployable. Even today I’d probably punch a boss who raised his voice to me into the next dimension, and people can tell that just by looking at me. Your mileage may vary though, it makes it more difficult or impossible to get certain types of jobs. I have degrees in accountancy and law (long story) and I’m willing to bet I’m not getting interviewed at Price Waterhouse any time soon.
Of my close friends from prison. One joined a 1% bike gang. One started an asbestos removal business and has half a dozen employees, a nice wife and a house he just bought. My closest prison friend got out in 2012 after doing 18 years, and has a business restoring 1950’s corvettes and a wife and gorgeous new baby, a golden time for him at age 61. My workout partner in jail is trapped in a cycle of on again, off again alcoholism and low level poverty. He can’t get his life together enough to get a decent car to enable him to travel to decent jobs, etc. The rest of the people I know have mostly returned to addiction or prison, which is what happens to the vast majority of cons.
I know a great many ex cons who have happy, productive, worthwhile careers that would amaze you (several university professors and high functioning people) through participating in the narcotics anonymous program. If you have addiction issues, and you want a good life on the outside, these people will raise the odds in your favour. When I joined I found a tribe of people who understood my struggles, and were not just well wishers, but active supporters in my life. They loved me until I was able to love myself, and gave me examples of how a strong, honourable, masculine man should move through the world with grace and humility.
Truth is, you have to accept the consequences of your own actions. I’m an ex con, and that isn’t changing any time soon. I literally tortured people who pissed me off for very flimsy reasons. Anyone who thinks ex cons are dishonest and untrustworthy and should be shunned, is entitled to their opinion, I don’t really have a comeback, the evidence is clear.
You are entirely capable of choosing a career which is not going to be affected, like any of the new media internet marketing hustles. Or learning to program (so what if it’s hard?), or learning an honest trade from someone who doesn’t care about your past just your present. Or moving to a place where it’s not a big deal. Like where I am, in Thailand. Or Bali, or Saigon, or…
It is a big world, with many things to experience and see. Life is a banquet.
**** Edit – I just realised that I live in Australia, a country with a SAFETY NET! So in Australia you cannot really be authentically poor without having a big hand in it yourself. I’m certain that some of this probably doesn’t apply in the USA.
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