Background checks happen more than ever in 2022. You can expect any hiring manager to conduct one before allowing you to join the team. Maybe they like your credentials, but they’ll still want to find out whether you have anything suspicious or otherwise noteworthy in your background.
You don’t want to dread background checks because of the way you’re living your life. You might look into getting certain criminal convictions expunged from your record or sometimes you can get a judge to seal it entirely. Apart from that, you can make lifestyle changes to avoid getting blemishes on your criminal record that might bar a company from hiring you.
We’ll talk about some of the changes you can make right now.
Stop Using Drugs
Understanding what shows up on a criminal background check can help you as you get ready to enter the job market. You should know that major crimes will always appear there, though you will also usually have to explain minor criminal convictions.
If you’re a recreational drug user, you might think that’s not a big deal, but multiple drug arrests or convictions can hurt your professional life. When you use some drugs recreationally, you’re breaking the law. It’s illegal in all fifty states to buy certain drugs, sell them, or possess them.
When you purchase or consume these drugs, maybe you’re self-medicating, and perhaps you’ve used substances for a long time. Just because you’ve come to believe you’re not doing anything wrong, though, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t change your life at some point.
You can argue about whether you’re harming yourself or not, but a drug’s illegality is not something you can contest. You’re ignoring the law if you possess and use certain substances, and if you want to get more serious about your professional life, you should change this behavior.
Stop Hanging Out with the Wrong Crowd
Spending time with the wrong people can often lead to blemishes on your criminal record, and those will show up when you apply for a job and a company runs a background check on you. Maybe you’re still spending time with some kids you knew from high school. Perhaps you met them in your neighborhood.
You might like them and feel loyal to them, but if they break the law frequently, you’re better off distancing yourself from them. If you’re there when they break into a car, vandalize something, or beat someone up, the police can also charge you, even if you didn’t actually commit the crime.
Guilt by association can land you in a lot of trouble, and it’s not worth it, especially if you want to get a better-paying job with a more prominent company. You can decide to make a change and cut anyone who breaks the law out of your life.
Follow All Traffic Laws When You Drive
Maybe you’re a reckless driver. You like to speed, or perhaps you don’t use your turn signal when you change lanes. Maybe you let your smartphone distract you while you’re behind the wheel, or you might consume alcohol and drive.
If you enjoy any of these activities, you need to change your life. Maybe you can get away with it a few times, but the more you engage in this behavior, the more likely the police will catch you. If you’re lucky, you’ll only have to pay a few tickets, but you can just as easily hit another car and injure or kill someone.
Having to explain a speeding ticket to a hiring manager isn’t the worst thing in the world, but trying to tell them why you drove drunk and hit a pedestrian probably means you’re not getting that job. Your poor decisions can scare away possible employers. Maybe they’ll believe you when you say you’ve changed your ways, but perhaps they won’t.
Generally, obeying all laws and staying away from trouble can help your professional standing. If you want to get better-paying jobs with advancement opportunities, you should demonstrate that you’re an upstanding citizen and don’t have any radical or dangerous tendencies.
You can’t change anything you did in the past, though you might at least look into getting a judge to seal your record or expunge certain convictions from it. If you can’t do that, get ready to explain your actions when you go in for an interview. You can plead your case, and hopefully, a company will give you a chance.