I have on my record a misdemeanor drug conviction. The conviction is over 10 years old, and I received a pardon. My state, Delaware, does not expunge convictions for adult offenders. I also have master's degree. I don't use drugs. I have not been in trouble with the law since the incident (I was 18). Although it appears I have done everything I should, I am still barred from employment in my field. I have applied at 60+ companies. I've even tried not listing the conviction and pardon, but they found out anyway. I have been told by too many HR departments that the policies of the company do not allow the hiring of individuals with drug convictions. I was also told that many of the laws that arose from the 9/11 attacks do not allow publicly held companies to hire convicts. Where do I turn? I want to use my degree. I don't want to work in a retail store or restaurant for my entire life. My financial aid loans will be due soon, and I don't even make enough money to pay it back (by some miracle I was able to get fin. aid, not even sure how or why I wasn't denied). I'm quite frustrated with my situation. I don't know how the government expects individuals with previous convictions to lead productive lives if it creates roadblocks to do so. The collateral consequences are too much for me to be a fully productive member. It's no wonder criminals turn to crime after conviction. Sorry to vent. Any insights or suggestions?