What I've Learned

Written on 11:53 AM by Robert

It's been a while since I've blogged about my journey through unemployment, but now I have a few lessons to share about my experience.  Hopefully you can apply some of these ideas in your situation.

  1. Learn Open Source!  If you're a programmer, or aspire to be one, learn some Open-Source languages.  Get that under your belt and add it to your resume.  These are some of the only programming languages that are ok to learn without having the work experience to back it up.
  2. Be a temp!  Find a local staffing agency that may be willing to utilize these new skills as a temp or a consultant.  This will add to your resume and give you credibility so you can have a better footing when the job market turns around.
  3. Go back to school.  Whether you need to complete your Bachelor's degree or continue with a Master's degree, elevate your educational worth by making this investment.  Obviously you can't afford it now, so get a loan and head to an inexpensive but well-known school.  This will also increase your career's net worth.
  4. Map out your career.  I've never done this while I was younger, but you need to know where the future lies careerwise. Start from the bottom and work your way up - but always keep your eyes on the goal.  I just found this PDF from the Workforce Development Council of Seattle, which spells out the career paths of several careers, including Infornation Technology.
  5. Use LinkedIn!  I went to a very informative workshop at my school last week by John Crant, a job search guru, among other hats he wears.  I've learned that you should spend less time in the day on job boards like Monster and more time researching companies on LinkedIn.  You can find people on LinkedIn with the position you might want, and see what companies they currently work for, as well as the companies they used to work for.  From there, you can search for the hiring managers at those companies, then contact them directly.

I still have a lot to learn and need to implement some of these great suggestions in my own life.

If you decide to follow some of these suggestions, or if you disagree with something I've said, or even if you have something to add, just post a comment to this entry so we can all discuss it!  I'd love to hear other suggestions!

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