Starting A New Career In IT
From data entry to 3D animation and web design, there are many potential careers in IT that offer future potential and that are currently in demand. Whether you’re looking to forge your second career after taking time off to raise your son or daughter, or are just starting out, the demand for IT jobs makes it a highly viable sector in which to progress.
The IT sector even offers a multitude of freelance and homeworking opportunities, while flexible working plans can be found throughout the industry. If you are looking to return to work after a break, and want to enter the IT industry, then there are a number of steps that you should take to help improve the odds of finding gainful employment.
You do need to consider why you want to return to work, whether you are looking for part-time or full-time work, and whether you are more interested in pursuing a freelance career or setting up your own business, rather than going back to working for somebody else. However, you may need to be prepared to be flexible. Start out freelancing or part time, and you could find your ideal full-time job, for example. Regardless of the route back into work you take, you should consider the following steps as being essential to the process.
Update Your CV
If you’ve taken a few years off to be a full time Mum then your CV is likely to need updating, if you can even find it in the first place. If you’re taking the first steps into a career in IT, then you will need to change your CV to match your desired roles.
The most effective CV is always the one that has been customised to a particular job role. Accentuate and highlight any IT experience you have. Just because your previous roles were not specifically IT based does not mean that they didn’t include elements of IT work. Place greater emphasis on the elements of your CV that are more IT-centric.
Update Your Knowledge
Do your research, and determine how things have changed since you were last in work. It is likely that the technology, terminology, and even the hardware used has changed. While you may not have experience in the new methods and techniques, you can at least ensure that you have a good understanding of what is required. At the very least, you will have a clearer understanding of the areas that you need to study and you can identify any holes in your knowledge that need to be plugged through training or experience.
Start Networking Online
One area that has changed dramatically in the past few years, is the fact that many professionals go online to network with fellow professionals. Ensure that you are signed up with some of the more popular professional networks, as well as some that are specific to the type of career that you want to progress.
Tap Into Existing Relationships
Connect with your old employers or any professionals and organisations that you still have a reasonable relationship with. You may find that previous employers, who already know your work ethic and know that they can work with you, are willing to offer you the opportunity to work with them.
Even if they can’t offer you a position, they could offer you experience or provide you with guidance on what you need to do, and it never hurts to reconnect with former employers when you are looking to expand your network. They may even know of companies that are currently looking to hire new employees and if you need a reference, it is always best to remind them of who you are so that they can give you a more personalised experience.
Brush Up On Your Skills
Some skills naturally progress and are still viable even after a career break. However, the different IT sectors do tend to evolve at a reasonable rate. This means that, even if you had advanced skills 5 years ago, they may be considered outdated now. You do still have the qualifications and experience, and brushing up on your skills means that you will have a desirable skill set once again; skills that you can easily transfer to a modern day setting. Do your own research and consider taking refresher courses to help bring your existing skills up to date.
Go Back To College
Another alternative means of updating your skills is to go back to college. There are refresher courses that are geared specifically towards people like you; professionals that have taken a career break and are now looking to get back into the industry and sector in which they have trained and gained experience.
Alternatively, if you are looking to move into the IT industry for the first time, you can find courses ranging from beginner to advanced classes that teach you everything you need to know. There are many different types of IT career, so make sure that you choose the course that is most closely related to the type of career that you want to advance.
Have A Backup Plan
Unfortunately, it can take time to successfully forge a new career. This can take even longer if you need to pursue new qualifications or take a refresher course. Don’t assume that you’ll be able to walk straight into a new job, or find gainful employment within a few weeks of starting to look. It can take time. While taking a part time job can limit the amount of time you dedicate to job hunting and preparing yourself for the job market, it can also provide you with cash to fall back on while you continue your search.
Freelancing could be the ideal opportunity for you. It enables you to work from home, work to your own schedule so that you can work while the kids are at school or in bed, and it could even provide you with a means of accessing potential employers and job opportunities while also earning money. Building a freelance portfolio also takes time, and if you don’t have a portfolio or any relevant qualifications then it will prove difficult to find work that pays.
Finding The Ideal Job
Once you have found and updated your CV, completed any refresher and new qualifications, you should start your job search in earnest. While major job boards and job search websites can provide access to the careers that you want, and professional networks can give you access to additional opportunities, you should also look at job boards that are specific to the IT industry and that connect job hunters with leading employers within the IT sector.
RecitalConsulting.com is a specialist IT recruitment consultant. Their experienced consultants connect IT professionals with employers and ensure that connections are not only relevant but provide the best opportunities for IT employees.