New to techspot, need careers advice

By technut22
Nov 16, 2016
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  1. Hi everyone, just wanted to introduce myself to you all :)

    I've had a fairly serious interest in IT and technology for a while and I'm seriously considering starting a career in networking. I live in the UK and from what I've researched so far it seems CompTIA A+ and Cisco CCNA are a good place to start in terms of certifications, but I lack a university degree and A levels, although my gcses' are straight As and A*s so unsure if this with the aforementioned certifications would be enough to get a start. Due to personal and financial commitments I can't really afford an unpaid internship to get work experience, so I was wondering if anyone had any advice or similar experiences on where/how to go about starting out?
  2. Row1

    Row1 TS Guru Posts: 343   +13

    I don't know the U.K., or networking.

    But here is an idea: in your area, figure out medium to large employers.
    There might be 10, 20, or 200.

    Figure out what management person is over IT - this may often be the Chief Operations Officer, or COO.

    Find their email or mailing address.
    Send them a note asking if you can get hired there to work at a lower level in IT, and see if they might support the cost of you going to get training - whether college degree or specific IT training - and that you would like to continue on with the company in the future if this would work.

    Your note, or an attached resume, should say what IT skills you have.

    You should also note that you like to learn new things, you like to be flexible, and be part of a team.

    Sending notes out like this is called "cold calling." It works. You should only send out a few at a time, and keep track of all communication with these companies - who you sent letters or emails to, when, and note any responses - who responded - name, position. If you send out, say, 10 notes, you will hear back from a few over the next fortnight. You will get no repsonse at all from most. That is OK - all you need is one opportunity.

    Follow up, and maybe send out another 10.

    Worst case scenario: you know all the medium and large firms in your area, and what IT needs they might have, and you know how to carry out a "cold call" campaign.

    Good case: after half a year of steady cold-call search campaign, you find your own "scholarship," or "traineeship," get support for courses, and go as high as your abilities can take you.

    Best: someone hires you right away, and things work out.

    One of these cold-call job search campaigns took me 7 months, and one took 1 week - I lucked into the exact job I wanted at a place that had just fired a guy, and were about to post an advert for the job. I saved them the trouble of posting the advert, and of interviewing a bunch of people - they only interviewed 1 - me.

    Also, in all business dealings, you should always be very formal and respectful. Dress above the job grade. If you don't have business pants, dress shirt and tie, get at least one set of "nice," "Sunday," "business" clothes.

    --A major problem today is that society has gotten so casual that people think it is OK to wear blue jeans and a t-shirt to a business job interview or meeting. This is an opportunity for you to get the edge on everyone else.

    The COO is from an earlier generation, and proper dress will carry an impression.
  3. Kunming

    Kunming TS Maniac Posts: 308   +184

    Join the Royal Navy and they can pay you through uni and/or give you a tech job

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