Recently I was reading a few articles about pending legislation on both the state a federal level that would make it illegal to discriminate against ex-offenders with regard to employment, housing and public services. This legislation would be a seemingly powerful step in helping ex-offenders reintegrate into society. It would great if the law dictated that legally no one could be denied employment for being an ex-offender. Being a product of the Civil Rights movement, I hold little faith in legislation. Laws do not change attitudes.

Belief that ex-offenders are victimized by their legal status may be founded but few employers are apt to sympathize. They have a responsibility to hire the person they feel will give them what they need to run a successful business. The ex-offender must think of himself as kind of a person with a type of handicap. Anyone who has seen a person with any type of visible impairment has noticed that the handicap forces them to work harder just to keep up. The same is true for the ex-offender. Not only must he have the necessary tools to compete for a job, he may have to work harder just to put himself in the position of consideration. He will have to make more contacts, have more interviews and just simply outwork the competition. This may mean he may have to get up earlier and work later. He may have to work harder on his interview and presentation skills. He may have to work at developing the skills that will make him more attractive to prospective employers

As we all know, life is all about choices. The choice we make today will impact our future successes. We can wallow in self-pity about our current situation, or we can make up our minds to improve our condition. The choice of self-improvement is far wiser that waiting for someone to change.

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Author's Bio: 

Eric Mayo specializes in professional and personal development with special emphasis on life skills and job readiness training. Eric has over 20 years of corporate and educational experience which he uses to help people improve the quality of their lives.

Mr. Mayo has a degree in Business Administration from Seton Hall University where he was a standout member of both the Pirate football and wrestling teams. An author and lecturer, Eric is the author of the books, “From Jail to a Job", “The Teenager’s Guide to Getting a Job" , “The Secret to Getting Better Grades", and has addressed, among others, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Charles Hamilton Institute for Race and Justice of the Harvard School of Law. He is an active member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and has spent his life committed to community empowerment.

Eric has been studying, learning, applying and executing the art of personal achievement and leadership throughout his career. It is truly his passion and his gift. He combines a straightforward approach and real-world perspective with a presentation style that is inspirational and motivational. His primary message is, “Independence through Self-Reliance."

You can contact Eric at