Ask a Premier 100 IT Leader:
Company: Byer California
I was laid off in May. I have six years of experience in network administration. I haven’t had any luck finding a new job. Admittedly, I’m a bit rusty at job hunting, but is there something about the process that has changed over the past few years that I should know about? Today, companies are looking for people who have experience in multiple areas, and network administration is one. If you have experience with storage administration, Exchange administration or Sharepoint administration, then emphasize those as well. More than ever, finding employment today is about networking, so sending résumés is just part of the job search. Find out about IT organizations in your area and join them. If you have relationships with any software or hardware sales or support people you have worked with in the past, contact them and let them know you are looking. And of course you now have time to work on your LinkedIn profile. A good idea is to build a website about yourself, covering everything from what you do for pleasure to some of your best personal and professional accomplishments, including examples of the work you have done. Include the URL for your website in any correspondence.
I have been doing systems development for a big project at a major financial institution for a couple of years. (I have another eight years of experience besides that.) On this project, I’ve been working closely with the project manager and now I’m interested in moving into that field. She has given me some advice, but I wonder whether you have any suggestions as well? My first recommendation takes the most effort. At a local college or university, you will find a curriculum to be a CPM (Certified Project Manager). Start with this; it will help you land the position you want.
Managing projects is not just about IT projects. Look around in your community for organizations that need help with projects of any kind. It’s a good way to gain experience, and it’s perfectly legitimate to include those on your résumé. Also, keep your eyes open for projects you’re not involved in that are having problems, then try to determine where they are stumbling or have failed. You can do this through discussion groups; it can be a great learning experience.