If there was ever an industry to get into, Information Technology must be it. The opportunities abound for earning a lucrative living and now is time to get on board.
But how? If you have computer skill but no experience (or qualifications), employment agencies will tell you same old line, "You need experience before anyone will look at you."
It's just plain old Catch-22. You need work to get experience but you can't get that first job to give you a track record and therefore verifiable experience. With this logic, it amazes me that anyone actually gets into IT!
Qualifications help but even that is no guarantee nowadays of getting an IT job. And what do you do when you don't have qualifications but you want to start now? I mean right now, not 3 months later after you've paid a fortune for certification and given up your job to have enough study time.
All is not lost. You have two alternatives.
#1. Offer your services free of charge
For a company to take on - as an employee - someone with no experience is a risky proposition. But all companies need IT help. Therefore, do following:
a) Make a list of 10 local small businesses with approximately 5 to 10 employees. This size of business is too small to have a permanent in-house IT manager yet big enough to have need for IT support.
b) Call each with following script:
"I'm calling about possibility of working for your company free of charge in exchange for work experience. So, I'd like to speak to owner about this please. Could you see if they are available?"
This will get attention of whoever answers phone as they'll realise it's not just another sales call. You'll have a high chance of getting through to boss.
c) If you get through to boss, say…
"I'm approaching you because I want to work for your company free of charge in exchange for work experience and a good reference. My area of expertise is in IT. I'm an expert on computer systems and feel sure I can provide some valuable input to your company. And it won't cost you anything. Can we set up a meeting to explore this possibility?"
Get straight to point as business owners are very busy creatures indeed. Go for a meeting where you have opportunity to explain in detail how you can help them out. When you explain over phone, it is much easier for them to terminate call without hearing your full story.
d) If you fail to get through to boss, say…
"Can I leave my number so he can call me if interested? The number is 123 456-7899. I am contacting a number of other companies today so earlier he can contact me better. Thanks."
Put pressure on them to respond quickly or forever loose chance of using you free of charge.
e) When you arrive for your interview, you would have already prepared your resume so boss can see at a glance what your background is. In addition to that, outline your IT skills and where you think these skills would benefit a company. For example, if you were good at website design and promotion, say…
"I could improve number of visitors to your website and get them to leave their email for you."
This may then lead into specifics on how you can help that company.
f) If you end up doing some work for that company, keep it to 2 to 4 weeks. You don't want a zero wage forever! After your no-charge stint, offer to provide future support at a reasonably competitive rate. They may be very pleased with what you did for them and there would be good will established because you did it all for free. When they need future IT support chances of them choosing you are very high indeed. There you go, your first fee paying customer.
#2: Start up on your own
Yes, you heard me. Start your own computer consultancy - it's not as difficult as you might suspect. All you need is to know more than 90% of population, which is quite easy when most have poor to mediocre computer literacy. In addition, if you have good skills in a specialist area, you are likely to know more than 99% of population.