If you’re stuck in a field you don’t love, and you’re thinking IT might be the career for you, don’t worry—there are ways to get you out of that job and into IT. Here’s how you can make the transition.
While having degrees and certifications will certainly only help you, one of the best things you can do is gain practice and experience on your own. IT is a field where you get hired based off of what you can do and what skills you have. A lot of computer professionals out there are self-taught and have gotten the jobs they have based solely on the skills they taught themselves.
Start helping out friends and family members with computer problems to start gaining some experience. Work on building your own computer or coding something at home. Starting small helps you gain experience while still working your way up to bigger things that you can show off.
Get A Certification Or Degree
Unfortunately, not every company has caught on to just how well people can teach themselves. Also, some people just learn best in a school type of environment. Look into certification programs or full on IT degrees and see if that’s the best choice for you. A degree can’t beat knowing your stuff, but if you have both, you’re going to have the interest of a lot of companies.
Start Marketing Yourself
If you have the skills, you’ll have to show them off in order for people to take notice of them. You have to market yourself. Have someone review your resume and some cover letters to make sure that they’re looking their best. Look at sample interview questions and make sure you know how to answer them effectively. Research the company before you go in for an interview.
One of the greatest things you can do is to see what other skills that come naturally with your personality can be helpful in the position you’re applying for. If you’re naturally orderly and punctual, talk about your organization and time management skills. Things you’re naturally good at can give you a boost at a company that values those traits in an employee.
The typical paradox in looking for jobs is that you need a job to get experience, but all jobs are looking for you to already have it. Volunteering is a great way to get some good experience to get you in the door at the jobs you want. They may not pay, but the experience will pay off in the long run.
Look into your old school, gym or even your current job, if they could use some IT help—then you could get paid while volunteering. Most places are just looking for someone to help them out and they aren’t going to nitpick your experience. Plus, it feels good to assist people in need, while showing off skills at the same time.
Use Your Connections
A large amount of jobs are filled due to networking over anything else. Your way to a great job could be through someone you already know. Reach out to friends and family and see if they know anyone in need of IT staff. Make them aware of your skills by helping them out with some personal IT issues or highlighting work you did for someone else.
People are keen to hire someone that they trust. Therefore, if your friend is in good standing at their company and they recommend you, their boss values their opinion and is going to trust that you’re a dependable person. Networking can work wonders.
Always Keep Learning
Computers and technology are changing and evolving constantly. Which means you constantly need to be learning something new. Look into tech blogs and websites to stay up to date on the latest news. Read books and absorb more information. Look up YouTube tutorials and teach yourself some new skills. The more up to date you are, the more valuable you’ll be as an employee.
Getting into the IT field isn’t as out of reach as you think. Start teaching yourself some skills and reading up on things you need to learn. You’ll be applying to IT jobs in no time.