By Elaine

I was 19 when I was convicted for theft from my employer.  I received 200 hours community service.  I couldn’t give a precise reason why I had stolen the money, it was many factors and this was a very low time for me.  Thankfully I had a supportive partner, who is still with me.

Trying to get a job became difficult.  At first I didn’t want to try as I was ashamed, and people certainly judge you. After time I knew I had to, otherwise it would always hold me up in life. I had quite good qualifications from school and knew I was capable of a decent job.  However, completing applications felt like a bit of a waste of time as I had to declare my conviction and I knew I wouldn’t get a response, which I didn’t.

I started to look more at the small personal adverts and rang one.  I got a part time job doing telesales and it felt good to be contributing and working with others. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the importance of self worth.  This led to the company referring me to someone who employed me on a self employed basis, thankfully no questions were asked and so this worked fine for about 18 months. My lucky break came when my brother recommended me to his employer and I got a full time admin job.  I was so grateful and told the employer about my conviction after I’d been there a few months. I stayed there for about 8 years and after that it became so much easier to get a job, especially once my conviction became spent. I’ve gone on to have a job with Barclays, Citizens Advice and now the local council.  Thankfully the new Disclosure rules are so much fairer for people.  We all make mistakes and I’d simply recommend to people not to give up.

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