If you can’t actually get a job in IT or currently don’t enjoy your job, then here are a few possible causes. Don’t get all offended. Take it on the chin, and take action as you see fit.
1. You Aren't Treating It As A Project
This isn’t a hobby. It’s your future. If you haven’t worked out a plan and put aside time towards achieving your goal every day, then forget it. It’s just not going to happen for you. There are so many people out there hungry for success in their IT careers that anyone making a half-hearted effort will be sidelined.
2. You Have No Clue What You Want
I’m often staggered by the fact that most adults have no goals. Then they wonder why they get to the end of another year and have achieved nothing! A goal is a specific result with a timescale. Weigh X pounds by Y date, earning X dollars by Y date. Any so-called goal stated as “lose weight” or “get a job in IT” is doomed to failure.
When I was looking to meet a woman for a relationship, I wrote down a list of EXACTLY what I was looking for in terms of qualities and personality. Every time I met somebody who didn’t match this, I knew we wouldn't be a good match. I eventually found a person matching what I was looking for.
3. You Aren't Treating Yourself As A Product
By this, I mean what is your brand? What skills have you got to offer, both in soft and technical? What problems will you solve for the business who hires you?
You can’t expect a hiring manager to know you are honest and reliable if you haven’t produced proof. They can’t know that you can deliver results with little supervision unless you show them in some way.
Most applicants send a generic resume out and hope somebody calls them back. Dream on. This isn’t 1998. The winner is the person who presents themselves as the ideal candidate, who dresses smart, is well groomed, has taken the time to gain valuable certifications. If you turn up for an interview in creased clothing, with your nose pierced, and your CCNA expired in 2005, then good luck getting hired. Would you hire you? Be honest.
4. You Aren’t Adaptable
99% of job applicants send a stock resume and then wait for a call back. The truth is that hiring managers will receive hundreds of applicants for every role. They are just looking for a reason to bin your application.
You need to tailor your application to match what they are looking for in that particular role. I don’t mean lie, but if they are looking for somebody who can learn bespoke software, then you must address this in your application!
If e-mailing applications isn’t working, then start calling companies. If that doesn’t get results, then start attending business networking events. If that doesn’t get results, then write a list of 100 people you personally know and ask them who they know who runs an IT department or works in one.
You see how this works right? You must think out of the box in order to win in life. My friend recently saw a job application for a mobile IT support engineer at a company in Perth. He could have e-mailed an application in or phoned the number, but instead, he found out where the owner was and turned up ready for work the next morning at 7:30 am. He said “I can do the job, and I’m ready to start now.”
The owner was impressed and relieved because he had over 400 applications and voicemails he didn’t have to bother replying to! Do you get it now? Two years later my friend has travelled all over Australia, all expenses and hotels paid for, and he loves his job. He spends the weekends on the beach. What are the 400 other applicants doing? I’m guessing they are still e-mailing in job applications or have given up and are driving vans for FedEx, wondering why it never happened for them.
5. You Are Taking This Personally
It’s just a project, so don’t cry into your latte when you get turned down. What can you learn? What did you do wrong? What can you improve upon for next time?
The world has changed. There is no job for life. You can and should expect to change roles or companies every 3 years. Everything we are doing IT-related this year will become a joke in 5 years. They will laugh when they think about how we used to type words onto a keyboard. Just like when we tell kids how we used to wind car windows up with a little handle.
Getting feedback from recruitment agents is not likely. They are busy and don’t care about you. They have targets to reach. You can ask, of course, but don’t expect a response.
6. You Are Getting Bad Advice
There is the saying that if you are looking for directions, don’t ask somebody who is lost. I see this so much on social media and forums: People looking for advice on jobs in IT and which certification to take, and some moron chimes in telling them something blatantly wrong.
If you want to be a highly paid IT security consultant, then go ask one of them how they did it. Don’t ask some random person on an IT certification website. The chances are they are unemployed and they live in their parents basement and have no clue. As good as the internet is, the idiots can now share their opinions along with the expert and nobody can tell the difference in a forum post.
Go to the source whenever you can. Ask them how they did it, what you can do to duplicate their success, and then go take action. I interviewed a few friends who were IT contractors, and then I copied what they did and got the same results.
I hope this helps. If you want the full course on landing your dream IT job or how to make it as an IT freelancer, then please check out my IT career training courses.
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