Moving up.

3 years ago

So I have an awesome job. It’s fun, it’s low key, I pretty much do what I want, and work with awesome people. However, the pay sucks. I’ve been there over a year and had one raise. I’ve talked to people who have been there multiple years and also only had one raise. The place is privately owned so I guess they can afford to do that.
The solution seems simple, get a higher paying job. I live somewhere where the economy still seems to be doing great job wise, and see positions similar to mine hiring all the time for way better pay. The problem is I have a criminal record. Possession of marijuana, and shoplifting. These are both from about 2 years ago so I can’t exactly play them off as childhood folly. Any job that pays a few bucks over minimum wage usually does background checks… and I’m unsure how to approach this.

Should I put my best interviewing foot forward and hope that my smashing charm makes up for my record? Should I play the humility card and say I used to be a trouble maker and have since changed my ways? My manager right now is awesome and I know he’d give me a good recommendation, plus I’ve had the job I currently have for about 15 months now which looks good to prospective employers.
What would you guys do?

March 26, 2012 at 7:13 pm

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Profile photo of  Anonymous (@) 3 years ago ago

What have you got to lose? You are who you are, the background ain’t gonna go away so apply wherever you want.

But realize this: no matter what job you get, you will always want to “move up”, unless you learn other wise.

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Profile photo of Ellie Ellie M (@tangledupinplaid21) 3 years ago ago

Hmmm, continue to live paycheck to paycheck and want a better job, or make enough money to pay my bills but still want a better job… I choose the latter. ;)

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Profile photo of  Anonymous (@) 3 years ago ago

It is what you make it!

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Profile photo of Ellie Ellie M (@tangledupinplaid21) 3 years ago ago

Within reason, yeah. I’ll believe you when my checks start doubling, how’s that?

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Profile photo of  Anonymous (@) 3 years ago ago

Haha ok. You’ll get over it.

I make 14$ an hour now and would rather have my 10$/hr + manual labor job, but planning trips to south america make it worth it in the grand scheme, I suppose!

Sorry I’m not trying to be negative, just don’t get caught up in the rat race :)

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Profile photo of Jared Edwards Jared Edwards (@jaredwards) 3 years ago ago

People mature a great deal over a two year period.
In my experience, criminal record would only prevent gaining employment if it is written as guideline. Meaning, I’m sure the interviewer will be impressed with you and only not hire you if guidelines prohibit.
That being said, the only way to find out is by applying! Any rule can be bent if it is for the benefit of the employer. Make it so they can’t afford not to hire you!
Good luck. Keep us posted.

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Profile photo of Shredder Shredder (@shredder) 3 years ago ago

You don’t have to always want a better job. There must be a best in this regard. If not, then the answer must be no job! It is achievable..but finding a way to get paid to do what you love sounds ideal to me.

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Profile photo of Ellie Ellie M (@tangledupinplaid21) 3 years ago ago

I do (sometimes paid) art on the side, and that’s my ideal. But it’s not enough to sustain me quite yet.

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Profile photo of Shredder Shredder (@shredder) 3 years ago ago

Oh yeah, you were looking for ideas for paintings coffee shops? Did you ever think of anything? I don’t remember replying now that I think about it but I was going to suggest something real that the cafe could associate with and benefit from(coffee cup) then do something abstract(or maybe words of wisdom?) in the steam coming off from it & in the background? Dunno much about painting but just throwing out ideas.

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Profile photo of Ellie Ellie M (@tangledupinplaid21) 3 years ago ago

I kinda started a new one… That’s a really good idea though! In fact I think I will do a series with that theme and take them around to some shops around here. What coffee shop wouldn’t want a coffee themed piece of art hanging up?

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Go for it. Just be very honest about your past and work the smashing charm.

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Profile photo of Andrew Andrew (@delsol) 3 years ago ago

You should definitely go for it, but I think you already know that. I think honesty is the most important thing, because trustworthiness is probably going to be any interviewers main concern upon seeing any sort of criminal record. The more honest you can be the more you demonstrate that you’ve “learned from past mistakes”. Really though, the worst thing they can say is no.

Oh, and this little booklet seems relevant on the issue of art vs. regular job for making a living, particularly tip 7:

http://changethis.com/manifesto/6.HowToBeCreative/pdf/6.HowToBeCreative.pdf

It’s a good read, especially if you consider yourself a creative type.

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Profile photo of Ellie Ellie M (@tangledupinplaid21) 3 years ago ago

Andrew, I only read 7 so far, but it was awesome! Saving that link for sure.
Everyone else, thanks for the input.

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Profile photo of Andrew Andrew (@delsol) 3 years ago ago

I love it, you rarely here people talk about the practicalities of creativity so it’s refreshing. Plus his little cards are quirky and sometimes hilarious.

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Profile photo of Dan Dan (@danfontaine) 3 years ago ago

No, don’t get a new job just because it’s higher paying. If anything get a new job because it’s more socially, physically, mentally stimulating. Screw money, eat rice, ride a bike, drink water, smile, laughter.

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Profile photo of Ellie Ellie M (@tangledupinplaid21) 3 years ago ago

In all of the aspects you just listed, my job is perfect. The pay is literally the only thing I don’t like about it. You’ve given me a new perspective on it though… I’ll have to think about that.

Edit: I thought about it and I live in a different state than my family and haven’t seen them in a year… due to money being an issue. Travel is one of my favorite things but it’s hard to afford on this budget and I’ve only done it about twice in the past couple years. Haven’t seen the ocean in 5!

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Profile photo of  Anonymous (@) 3 years ago ago

Yeah, I have the same situation. Everything about my current job is great, I pretty much do whatever I want except the pay isn’t that good. I could get a job that pays more, there’s so many jobs where I live. Sometimes I look at the newspaper and see all the possible jobs I could get. I even have people calling me for Jobs that pay more working the same thing that I do now but I just feel more comfortable where I’m working at. I’d say stay where your most comfortable working.

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Profile photo of Jesusbob Jesusbob (@jesusbob) 3 years ago ago

It is a very slippery slope when you start leaving jobs in search of more pay, but of course, the entire purpose behind the wage game is to make money to pay the bills. If the bills ain’t getting paid, then the job is not doing what its supposed to do.

Really sucks, and I can completely relate to your situation. I am very fortunate to have a job currently that I enjoy every aspect of AND have enough $$$ coming in to survive. But, any further expenses come and I will have to look elsewhere.

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Profile photo of  Anonymous (@) 3 years ago ago

Oh if DAN says it, its a breakthrough but if I say it?!

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Profile photo of Filip Filip M (@filipek) 3 years ago ago

Concerning your criminal record, that really sucks. I am in a similar situation, got a criminal record for a stupid student joke (stealing a city namesign to hang up in my former student house. It is a comon thing to do, I think more than 50% of the student houses have some kind of road sign in their homes). Anyway, I do not know how it works in the US, but here not every employer looks if you have a criminal record. Furthermore, I think they definitely look at the kind of criminal activity you did, so I think it is dependent on the kind of job you want to apply for whether it will be of significant matter or not.

I think it also depends on the recruiter who will interview you, and what his/her attitude is concerning these kind of matters, so it depends on these things as well. So it depends on the kind of job you want to apply for, how important this job will be for you and what kind of people you will encounter with. I think I will not mention anything about my criminal record during my interviews in the future, since it is not significant in my opinion, and the competition is big on the market nowadays, so I do not want to spoil my chances by something stupid like this. You can always tell about it once you are hired right?

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Profile photo of Ellie Ellie M (@tangledupinplaid21) 3 years ago ago

Sorry Jesus, I liked his wording better… plus it’s a new day and I’m in a more receptive mood. Yesterday when I wrote that I was pissed about my situation.

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Profile photo of Dan Dan (@danfontaine) 3 years ago ago

I’m in your same boat though Ellie. I love how stimulating
my cooking job is, and I love the people there – I’m around all of them on the constant when I’m working. I make $11/hr and although I’d like to make more, I wouldn’t trade it up for some higher paying job just for the money. Liking you work is too important to your overall happiness. Having a job where you actually feel like you’re working hard and can see the benefits of your hard work is important too. I used to have an easy job and I made a lot of money (delivering jimmy johns). I thought I loved it but having it that easy was lame compared to what I do now, which is work harder and get paid less.
You haven’t seen the Ocean in 5 years?? :O I’ve never seen the ocean :,(

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Profile photo of Dan Dan (@danfontaine) 3 years ago ago

And Idk how it goes for you.. but for me, abundance of money and self destructive behavior are equally proportional to each other – so I’ve become rather indifferent toward how much money I make. Your situation is a little different though, trying to afford to travel and what not. Just keep your eyes peeled for that next job but never succumb to the dollar. Analyze all aspects of the job the same way the employer would Analyze an applicant to see if it’s a right fit. If there’s somewhere you think you’d like to work, strike up a conversation with an employee – stalk them, but don’t stop there.
*GIANT EDITLOL***

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Profile photo of Ellie Ellie M (@tangledupinplaid21) 3 years ago ago

JJ’s, yum. You’re making me want a number 6. :)
It has a lot to do with the people you work with too. Having cool friends at your job makes all the difference in the world.
I’m sorry you’ve never seen the ocean. I can’t believe how many people I come across out here that say that. You haven’t lived!!!!!
Good point with that last comment… Last time I made a lot of money I also bought a lot of drugs, haha. I’d like to believe that wouldn’t happen though. :)

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Profile photo of Dan Dan (@danfontaine) 3 years ago ago

Oh it will happen. You would be getting blunted after the second paycheck.

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