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I currently have a job, but am actively looking for a new one. I have a criminal record (several misdemeanors for marijuana and alcohol, which occurred over 2 years ago). In the past, I have had 2 job offers rescinded because of this. One such offer was from a consulting firm that worked with government agencies, another was one that worked heavily with financial institutions.

As a result of this, I have only been applying for jobs that do not deal with any government agencies, do not require a security clearance, and any companies that may do extensive background checks (e.g. medical facilities, financial institutions, large corporations, etc.). I mostly apply to small, privately owned companies now. The company I work for now did not do a background check, or they may have done one and overlooked my charges (which I think is doubtful).

Here is my predicament: If I do get an offer, there is a high possibility that it will be contingent on a background check.

If I accept the new job and put in my two weeks notice at my current job, there is a chance that the offer will be rescinded once the background check is completed and the new company discovers my criminal record. I will then be left without a job for possibly months.

However, if I wait until the very last minute to ensure that the new employer either doesn't do a background check, or is willing to look past the charges, I will not give my current employer any notice, and will burn this bridge. I have three people at work that could be very useful as references.

What am I supposed to do in this situation? It seems like both options are not ideal. I've always been told to follow a "don't ask, don't tell" policy with things like this, since there is a chance an employer may not find out about my charges (due to error on their end, or either not running a background check at all).

Does being upfront about this ever help in these types of situations? I have read up a little bit on this, and some people are saying do not give notice until the background check is complete and everything is finalized. But wouldn't that arouse suspicion on the new employer's end of things? Is there any scenario where I can give 2 weeks notice without having to risk being unemployed?

Also, I work as a software developer. I am not looking for your moral opinion on drug / alcohol abuse. I am currently in treatment and have abstained for 6 months now.

Thanks for any advice.

Edit: I realize this is question is somewhat similar to the other post that is mentioned, I apologize for that. I did find some useful information there, however, given that in my scenario there is a red flag likely to come up on my background check, how should I handle it? Should I tell the employer they are going to find something?

marked as duplicate by gnat, scaaahu, Cronax, Dukeling, Draken Jan 26 '18 at 11:49

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Some useful information here about this type of scenario, but I have added something to this post specific to mine – user127815 Jan 26 '18 at 11:33
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What am I supposed to do in this situation? It seems like both options are not ideal. I've always been told to follow a "don't ask, don't tell" policy with things like this, since there is a chance an employer may not find out about my charges (due to error on their end, or either not running a background check at all).

Outside of applying for a Pardon that seems like your only option.

Does being upfront about this ever help in these types of situations?

It might help if you were a Councilor for parolees, in a non-governmental organization.

I have read up a little bit on this, and some people are saying do not give notice until the background check is complete and everything is finalized.

That, or say you need 3 weeks whilst your employer only wants 2 weeks.

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