I am working on setting up a profile on LinkedIn, trying to find someone to offer me a job near Redding, CA, when I’m released in November. Parole requires that I have full-time employment, and as you might imagine, not a lot of employers are overly eager to hire a felon convicted of Attempted Rape.
Here is the approach I’m taking on my profile. LinkedIn asks, “What makes you great?” I started with the following:
In 1998, I started a business out of a small apartment, with less than $1000 in savings. Three years later, I sold the business for $12 million. While running this successful internet retail company, I continued to pursue my dream — radio broadcasting! I moonlighted as a DJ at some of San Francisco’s best radio stations, including KFRC FM. All of that is what makes me good. But what makes me great? I have the cognitive skills to accomplish anything I set my mind to. I pursue all tasks with optimism, determination, and patience, and am always able to “figure things out.” I think outside the box — sometimes too far outside — with the ultimate goal of making life better for those around me. If someone asks me to do something, they can rest assured it will get done well…and on time!
Then, for my profile page, here is what I wrote:
This may be one of the more unusual LinkedIn profile pages you’ll ever read. After all, how many people have negotiated business development partnerships with the founder of Yahoo AND have spent 10 years in various Idaho prisons? How many people have written infomercial scripts for OxiClean AND have written articles for the RazorWire (a monthly prison newspaper)? How many people grew an online retailer from $0 to $30 million in annual sales in less than five years AND meticulously scrubbed toilets inside of a filthy prison bathroom? How many people graduated Magna Cum Laude, voted by professors as Undergraduate of the Year, AND can be found on the sex offender registry? To say that my background and skill set is diverse would be the understatement of the decade.
In November, I’ll be released from prison, and will be moving into a house near my parents in the Redding, California area One of my requirements for parole is that I find full-time employment. That’s why I’m here. I’m hoping to find someone who is willing to give me a second chance.
I was convicted of Attempted Rape in 2007, and will have spent over 10 years in prison once released. My crime had nothing to do with children, nor was there any physical contact made with my victim. I’ve spent years in mental health treatment groups, in prison, learning to change my thoughts, my feelings, and my behaviors. I now understand why I made the bad choices I did, and how to avoid making them in the future. In part, my sex addiction issues were related to low self-esteem and an inability to achieve emotional intimacy with those closest to me. I became addicted to work and to the internet, and I took for granted the people in my life who loved me.
I let a lot of people down. My business partners, my ex-wife, my employees, my parents and family, my friends, and myself. I’m ashamed of my behaviors, but I’m also ready to move past the shame, and to start the second half of my life. I’m ready to accept that the person I was, back in 2007, is no longer the person I am now. Today I am ready to take what I have learned after graduating from two treatment programs (and what I’ll continue to learn in treatment while on parole) and atone for my wrongdoing by becoming a loyal, trusted, honest, hardworking, and valuable employee to any employer willing to give me an opportunity.
Gone are the days of six-figure incomes — I realize that. I’m willing to work for $10 an hour. I will clean hotel rooms, load boxes onto UPS trucks, stock the shelves at the 99 Cent store, work as an administrative assistant, write or edit advertising copy, record radio commercials, type documents, wash dishes, vacuum offices, or anything else. If someone is willing to give me a chance, I will prove to them that they made the right decision.
Prison has given me a new appreciation for life. I will view any job offer as a blessing. If the job is well-suited to my existing skills, great! If not, I’ll figure it out quickly. Life as an inmate has taught me some unique skills which will make me a more valuable employee — skills like intuitiveness, patience, conflict resolution, problem solving, and an ability to have pro-social interactions with a wide range of people and personality types. I am confident that I can take these skills with me anywhere.
To learn more, I invite you to take a peek at my blog at
where I’ve been writing (from my bunkbed) about my prison experiences.
You can also listen to me working as a radio DJ at http://www.soundcloud.com/stevenewmanradio/ (where you can stream some audio clips of me, on the air, at radio stations across the west coast).
I’ll need to find a job in the vicinity of Shasta County, California, and will need to start in November, 2018. Feel free to email me either through LinkedIn, or directly at InmateNewman2016@gmail.com. I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have. I can also provide references (former business partners, friends in the Redding area, etc). And if you provide a phone number, I can call you for a phone interview.
Of course, if any InmateBlogger readers have any friends near Redding, CA, who might be willing to hire me, please let me know via email at InmateNewman2016@gmail.com.
By the way, I got my new tablet yesterday! Yay!
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Categories: Stephen Newman