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SparklyUnicorn

strategies for eventually getting a job

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So...I am thinking about the next chapter of my life, but I still have a bit of time.  About 4ish years.  My plan is to continue to take courses at the CC and state Uni.  I have a BA (psychology).  I have not worked in many years (about 12 years).  What more can I do to help myself when the time comes? 

 

My DH mentioned possibly trying to get a job at the company he works for if I want to go in the direction of IT.  I am considering that.  It would require I take more relevant classes (computer science type stuff).  Obviously it would be HIGHLY awesome to have him as an easier "in".  But what more..maybe...could I do to make my resume look a little less pathetic?

 

Looking for ideas...

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Find some volunteer projects in the area you want to pursue? Maybe a database project for a non profit that can’t afford the manpower it would take to get better organized?

 

 

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Can you work on the student help desk for your CC or uni? The youngsters may run circles around you, but you could learn a lot for a student job.

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I would say, decide what you want to do and then work toward that goal.  

 

My degree is in engineering but I haven't worked outside the house since 1993.  About four years ago I decided to move in the direction of teaching and technology.  I taught technology classes at a homeschool enrichment program/co-op.  I figured that I would either teach homeschool classes, tutor and develop my own technology curriculum or become a teacher in the private schools (around here they hire without a teaching certificate as long as you agree toward toward a license). Two weeks ago I applied to teach at a local Catholic school and I was hired just this week.  I will be teaching high school engineering and physics.

 

My resume was still quite sparse but I had taught 14 classes in the last seven years and am passionate and knowledgeable about my subject.

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Can you work on the student help desk for your CC or uni? The youngsters may run circles around you, but you could learn a lot for a student job.

 

Ok, so what is the student help desk and why would the youngsters run circles around me?

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Ok do you mean the IT dept help desk?

 

Uh yeah no that'll never happen.  If there are any jobs like that available to students, you can be sure they are probably reserved for work study situations (which I'd never qualify for).

 

BUT I'll look into it anyway.  I just doubt it.  It's not a very big school so they don't have a lot in the way of student jobs.

 

 

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My brother did one of those “boot camps†when he decided to switch from audio engineering to IT. He passed a certification exam and then got a job where his employer pays for him to get additional certifications. He gets a pay increase for every certification because his employer can charge clients more.

 

 

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So...I am thinking about the next chapter of my life, but I still have a bit of time.  About 4ish years.  My plan is to continue to take courses at the CC and state Uni.  I have a BA (psychology).  I have not worked in many years (about 12 years).  What more can I do to help myself when the time comes? 

 

My DH mentioned possibly trying to get a job at the company he works for if I want to go in the direction of IT.  I am considering that.  It would require I take more relevant classes (computer science type stuff).  Obviously it would be HIGHLY awesome to have him as an easier "in".  But what more..maybe...could I do to make my resume look a little less pathetic?

 

Looking for ideas...

 

Consider networking and developing professional relationships as much as you can. Knowing people is one of the easiest ways to get into a new position. 

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My brother did one of those “boot camps†when he decided to switch from audio engineering to IT. He passed a certification exam and then got a job where his employer pays for him to get additional certifications. He gets a pay increase for every certification because his employer can charge clients more.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

 

Those coding camp things?  I was eying that.  I just wondered if they work out for people.  They have one at the CC I take classes at.  It's about $1500, which I think is "ok", but not if it doesn't lead to anything. 

 

I'd probably take a few CS courses prior to make the most of it. 

 

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Consider networking and developing professional relationships as much as you can. Knowing people is one of the easiest ways to get into a new position. 

 

Ok, but how do I do that?  It's easy to say that, but I have no strategy for doing that. 

 

I guess at this point the only people I've gotten to know are my profs.  That's not nothing I suppose. 

 

I did join a .NET user group and go to the monthly meetings.  So that's one thing...

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Take advantage of training opportunities and classes (both to learn skills and narrow your eventual job target)

Earn certifications

Join relevant online user groups

Volunteer with nonprofits to help with projects

Ask your profs or your family or friends if they know of any shadowing or internship or volunteer opportunities

Join Linked In and start networking there; follow interesting industry leaders and local employers

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Once you decide what kind of job you want to look for, get up to date certifications. I am working on one now. It's expensive! Your state may have grants for unemployed people to take courses, though. I know someone who recently applied for one and got it.

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Ok, but how do I do that?  It's easy to say that, but I have no strategy for doing that. 

 

I guess at this point the only people I've gotten to know are my profs.  That's not nothing I suppose. 

 

I did join a .NET user group and go to the monthly meetings.  So that's one thing...

 

No, I don't think only knowing your profs is nothing. 

 

As an introvert,I'm struggling to answer your question. My latest self-improvement is to get involved and do more with other people (who are not my kids). One of my criteria is to say yes to things that I may be asked to do (my automatic answer is no). In the past 2 weeks, I've interacted with more people than I have in the past 2 months because of this change in my thinking. I have enjoyed those opportunities and it is leading to more. 

 

All that to say, maybe just keep your mind open to things that you may not have considered before, with the goal of increasing your networking opportunities. 

 

I'm hoping someone else will have a better answer for you.

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Those coding camp things?  I was eying that.  I just wondered if they work out for people.  They have one at the CC I take classes at.  It's about $1500, which I think is "ok", but not if it doesn't lead to anything. 

 

I'd probably take a few CS courses prior to make the most of it. 

 

 

His was focused on some sort of network administration rather than programming. Programming is easy to outsource to some 3rd world country but there is a need for IT people to be on-site and fixing stuff. He now works for a company that's like Geek Squad but for small businesses that don't have a need for a full-time in-house IT support tech.

 

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I suggest getting a part-time job a couple of years before you want to work full time.  I was able to transition from pt to ft that way.

 

Be careful with this. Many part time jobs are entry level. If your education and experience support a job above entry level, taking a part time job can work against you if you are working in a position that doesn't use that expertise. In other words, don't take a job that you are over qualified for if your goal is to get into a job where you meet the qualifications. Promotions are really few and far between and part time jobs often don't lead to career ladders.

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IT is a wide, wide world. Any idea on what interests you? Programming? Dev-Ops? Cloud? Networking? Security? Testing? Sales? Project Management? My advice will vary widely depending on your preferred specialty.

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So...I am thinking about the next chapter of my life, but I still have a bit of time.  About 4ish years.  My plan is to continue to take courses at the CC and state Uni.  I have a BA (psychology).  I have not worked in many years (about 12 years).  What more can I do to help myself when the time comes? 

 

My DH mentioned possibly trying to get a job at the company he works for if I want to go in the direction of IT.  I am considering that.  It would require I take more relevant classes (computer science type stuff).  Obviously it would be HIGHLY awesome to have him as an easier "in".  But what more..maybe...could I do to make my resume look a little less pathetic?

 

Looking for ideas...

 

First, made sure that's a real option.

The owners of dh's company started talking about not hiring relatives a while back, but had made some loose exceptions.  They recently put a hard, fast rule in their employee handbook that means I can never I9 for them, let alone be hired.  Because of the nature of their business, it would be almost impossible for me to work for anyone else in the industry, too.

 

(I know nothing about IT stuff, so maybe that's totally irrelevant. I'm just saying that I saw a possible "in" that is officially out now.)

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Start working towards specific certifications.

 

Find a small part time job.

 

If you can't get something in field, look for a volunteer position where you may work on projects related to the field which is your target.

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First, made sure that's a real option.

The owners of dh's company started talking about not hiring relatives a while back, but had made some loose exceptions.  They recently put a hard, fast rule in their employee handbook that means I can never I9 for them, let alone be hired.  Because of the nature of their business, it would be almost impossible for me to work for anyone else in the industry, too.

 

(I know nothing about IT stuff, so maybe that's totally irrelevant. I'm just saying that I saw a possible "in" that is officially out now.)

 

There is no rule like that and there are many relatives, spouses, etc. working there.  Of course this is absolutely no guarantee, and I wouldn't put all my eggs in one basket.

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His was focused on some sort of network administration rather than programming. Programming is easy to outsource to some 3rd world country but there is a need for IT people to be on-site and fixing stuff. He now works for a company that's like Geek Squad but for small businesses that don't have a need for a full-time in-house IT support tech.

 

 

There are still plenty of programming jobs around here.  I don't know that I want to do programming.  I'm thinking possibly something like software testing.

 

I don't want to do tech support though really.

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Ok, but how do I do that?  It's easy to say that, but I have no strategy for doing that. 

 

I guess at this point the only people I've gotten to know are my profs.  That's not nothing I suppose. 

 

I did join a .NET user group and go to the monthly meetings.  So that's one thing...

 

How about getting on the Board of a non-profit? That would help with the networking and would look good on a resume.

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There are still plenty of programming jobs around here.  I don't know that I want to do programming.  I'm thinking possibly something like software testing.

 

I don't want to do tech support though really.

 

There are definitely still lots of high-paying programming jobs where I live (SF Bay Area). I'm just saying that programming is something that is very vulnerable to outsourcing. Jobs that require a physical presence on-site are where I would steer my tech-loving DS.

 

I would love to see him become a bioengineer and use his talents to help improve the lives of those with illnesses/disabilities. He talks about wanting to make a vision implant to help the blind see like cochlear implants help the deaf hear. UC Santa Cruz is actually working on one and while I don't know if they let undergrads help out in their research labs, a bright and enthusiastic one might have a real shot at it.

 

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Crimson Wife raises a good point---a lot of larger companies are moving towards contract employees for the bulk of their IT needs.  It's a trend that swings back and forth (in-house v. remote v. outsourced/contract) but the IT market as a whole is rarely stable. It constantly moves towards new technologies, and it's not uncommon to specialize in a space (like, say, security or dev-ops) but to have what you do change several times.

 

If you're thinking you might want to do QA, then IMO I think you should play around on GitHub, get your ISTQB CTFL (from ASTQB)  and intern somewhere.  

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Crimson Wife raises a good point---a lot of larger companies are moving towards contract employees for the bulk of their IT needs.  It's a trend that swings back and forth (in-house v. remote v. outsourced/contract) but the IT market as a whole is rarely stable. It constantly moves towards new technologies, and it's not uncommon to specialize in a space (like, say, security or dev-ops) but to have what you do change several times.

 

If you're thinking you might want to do QA, then IMO I think you should play around on GitHub, get your ISTQB CTFL (from ASTQB)  and intern somewhere.  

 

There are still tons of companies who do not do this though.

 

It's actually not a big deal to me that it's not stable.  For one thing, I don't really need the money.  For another, I'm not a young 20 something just starting out in my life.  KWIM? 

 

My DH has been with the same company for over 10 years.  They are a tech company that makes software with several locations throughout the US. 

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