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Admin with a criminal background

By sidvail ·
I am the Network Admin for a local Electronic Supply company in Alaska. I have both the A+ and Network+ certifications along with a CNSE from Fluke Networks, trained in their network analyzers. My network is only 24 stations with an NT4.0 Server. I took this job over about 4 years ago, along with other duties in the company. I really like computers and networking. I do not however, have much experience with other NOS' other than NT4.0. And having moved into this job gradually, I learned it through problem solving as they occured. The certs followed.

I would like to make this my vocation, and pick up some more certs - namely MCSE. My problem though is that I have a criminal background. That has not been an issue where I work now - as I moved into the job slowly, proving my competence and reliability a piece at a time.

My question is this: With my criminal background (homicide - spent 19 years in prison)will I be hired? If I obtained more certs, and pursued Networking as an occupation, would I be taken seriously? I don't see myself moving into a head position at IBM or Exxon - but I do wonder how badly my past will hurt my chances of working in the IT field.

Any and all comments and advise is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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Best of luck, but...

by tonyj_stirling In reply to Admin with a criminal bac ...

I wish you the best of luck, and I hate to suggest more obstacles, but I think it might be best to mention a couple of things.
1. You spent 19 years - I'm guessing you're probably at least 35, then, probably older? I've been reading similar posts to yours where people in their 40's are having problems because of their age - if you're approaching that kind of range, then that might be an obstacle to you.
2. I don't think the people hiring you will be a major problem, but your to-be-coworkers might not be happy if they know your past. Although I must say, I think I would be happier with an ex-con with homicide than with theft/armed robbery or some other violent PLANNED crime. Obviously, I don't know if your act was spontaneous or not, (and it's none of my business), but homicide would make me think more of a spur of the moment crime than planned. Honestly, though, I'm not aware of having worked with any cons, so I don't know how I would ACTUALLY feel - I can only guess.
3. As mentioned before, lack of experience might be a problem, especially since you're using old server software and you're not doing it full-time. Can you persuade your work to upgrade to server 2000 or 2003? That way, you can get a good few years experience with up to date systems, and you've got the groundwork there since you're using NT4.

Best of luck, and I hope the things I've mentioned above don't prove a problem at all.

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by sidvail In reply to Best of luck, but...

Great post.

Yes, the age factor is there also. I'm actually 48 now - not the optimum age to begin a new career. :)

In the (almost) 5 years I've been here, my fellow employees are the best source of growth I've had. Everyone knows my past but I guess it's okay - as I'm the one they come to when things go wrong, as opposed to the (several) managers that have held that position. I was offered the managers position 2 years ago, but declined because of some very valuable training I had just undergone would have gone to waste. And besides - I love my job. :)

The lack of experience in new technologies is a major problem for me - but cannot convince the boss to upgrade to 2000 or 2003. Hence my original question about getting some new certs and training. I was fortunate to attend a MS seminar where I was given a free copy of Server 2003 SBS, and have built a small network at home to study on. Of course that still limits my experience to a small environment - but it does help. :)

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I have worked with felons

by nyabdns In reply to Excellent

At the last place I worked I worked with 4 guys that had killed people for various reasons and one that killed a fellow employee while I worked there. Of these 5, 4 were exemplary employees, the other one needed to be put away for life. The truth is that you can have a productive life if you first forgive yourself and don't let anyone put guilt back on you. It's not a matter of degree of sin, everybody is guilty in that category and sin is really only putting aside the purpose that God has for your life. Get on with it.

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You are on the right path, but...

by jritchie777 In reply to Admin with a criminal bac ...

I admire your persistence in moving forward with your life and not to discourage you, but in todays "modern business", you cannot lie on an application for employment and even though the disclaimer states "will not automatically disqualify you" any type of conviction will more than likely not get you past the HR department. Your best bet is to try and find a smaller company that will see you as a person, not a statistic. I'm not saying that you can't get a job with a big company, just I think from over 17 years in the industry that your best bet would be a smaller company, one that will give you a chance to explain and prove to them that you are on the right track. Good Luck!!!!!
J. Ritchie
Software Engineer / Network Admin

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by The Admiral In reply to Admin with a criminal bac ...

Short answer in a corporate world No. Short answer in a SMB area Maybe. This is only if you come out and explain why you thought it was necessary to commit the crime in the first place.

Certifications do not make you someone that is hirable by any measure. We have a person who has gotten nearly every certification that there is possible and still to this day can not program a java scriptlet correctly. The certifications only say to a potential employer that you can read and spit back what you have read.

IBM would not hire you because of the criminal background check. IBM is known for firing people because their license tags expired and they got a ticket. You are working a huge uphill battle where you have to prove to the community that you are not a psycho. The problem is that with the criminal record, you have to prove it over and over and over again.

Let's face it everyone, if you have a bad credit file or a criminal history, you are placed in the part of society where the politicians only fear to go when you have the right to vote. Now if you have a credit card balance that is late, they refuse to hire you. Too bad that this is how it is, and I am afraid that it will take alot of money to ensure that this gets changed, but unfortunately, I don't have it or I would be at the courts arguing it myself.

But large corporations has policies in place where they will not hire felons or people who are bankrupt.

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always be truthful

by a1deydreams In reply to Admin with a criminal bac ...

Whatever you do.. don't try to hide your past.. be truthful and up front with employers... don't volunteer to much information.. but if the application asks answer it truthfully.. you may be able to add a comment...."will discuss at interview".. this lets them know you are open about it and it also keeps the particulars from others eyes... (ie office gossip). also follow up with a letter of thanks and recent goals and current certs..

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Reality Check

by Tampa Hillbilly In reply to Admin with a criminal bac ...

The answers you read here are from peers, not CEOs or HR Managers. Real life is that you will continue to be chastized for your past transgression. Even though you are on The Right Track, the train stations will be scarce. My suggestion is either keep the current job, and/or consider independent consulting and getting bonded. No job application to fill out there, and you are judged entirely on performance. If you are a good Network Admin, you will succeed. It is that simple.

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GO FOR IT !!!!!

by fdohle In reply to Admin with a criminal bac ...

I once spoke to an executive who would teach
computer concepts to convicts - as a service
to the community.

I couldn't believe it - so I asked him - would he hire a convict for an IT Job ????

He Said abolutely - and he said he would certainly hire someone who did time for homicide.

Fraud - he said was another issue.

Good Luck

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You can be lucky..

by itmail In reply to Admin with a criminal bac ...

I have a long criminal background my self, and I'm now the administrator for a goverment buissinies i Denmark, I havn't killed any one but done a lot of other things like dealing with drugs, wepaons and other things so I can't see that you wont be as lucky as I.

I have been convicted 4 times for everythig from GrandTheftAuto to dealing with Coke and Estacy and is registred in in Interpool for smuglig drugs over the border to denmark and so on so ANY ONE can get an administrator job so go for IT.


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Yes, I would give you an interview

by whaling In reply to Admin with a criminal bac ...

I would give an interview to you to see if you have what it takes. Doing time would not be a big thing. It is hard to find good help.

I have a record and I made it to a Senior position. I didn't kill anyone or rape anyone but I did other crimes that were not minor. I have had to work really hard and do what no one else does. I do security work and streaming video.

You do have a good change if you really want it bad enough.

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