Telling someone you have a criminal record is most likely met with surprise and distaste most times. You might feel frustrated with how many things your past seems to impact.
Your reputation, your educational goals, your personal relationships and your career might all feel the repercussions of involvement in a crime. Mitigating these consequences requires time and patience. Knowing how to talk about your past the right way can also help.
Refrain from oversharing
Oversharing information about your past could further incriminate you. While people may inquire about your record, choose your words wisely when talking about your experiences. Especially in job interviews, for example, learn how to filter your content to adequately answer questions without divulging sensitive details.
Build up your character
Focus on building your character and finetuning your reputation. Look for opportunities to volunteer in your community. Ask how you can help. Seek ways to serve. Help everyone around you see that you have changed and are no longer the same person you were in the past. Apologize for your grievances and do your best to be an upstanding, honorable citizen.
Discuss the lessons you learned
Two of the biggest areas of your life that your criminal record could interfere with include college applications and job inquiries. According to U.S. News, one study revealed that a staggering 70% of four-year colleges inquire about criminal records. Find strategic ways to talk about your past from the perspective of the lessons you have learned.
Highlight your competencies and skills. Use your character to reaffirm how your past has helped you become who you are today. With the right approach, your criminal record can truly become a thing of the past.