Getting the IT job you want when you have no experience can feel almost impossible today. And what makes it harder is that the internet is littered with horrific advice on how to get an IT job with no experience.
You follow the advice. You get nowhere. Awesome.
But, it’s really not your fault things aren’t working. The problem is that we have a constantly changing job landscape and no good set of “guides;” those people who have BEEN THERE, who can truly help you begin your journey the right way.
Ramit Sethi of IWillTeachYouToBeRich.com said it best:
“We graduated into a terrible economy, a world with more choices than ever before, and an entirely new life situation to navigate. Our parents’ advice (“Pick a good job and stick with it!”) worked for them, but today is simply irrelevant. Worst, there is nobody who’s been through it — someone we trust who understands how the system REALLY works — who can take us through it.”
Well, my friend, I have been right where you are and I am going to do my best to be that guide.
I’ve been through the system and had to hustle to land a job with NO IT experience and NO contacts – all in the midst of a major tech recession.
I feel your pain.
In a moment I’m going to tell you the specific method I used to accomplish this feat so you can do it too.
But first I want to ask: What will it take to get YOU a job related to your IT career in this entirely different landscape?
Unique Mindset, Unique Strategy
The bitter pill many of us had to swallow over the last few years has been the realization that our degree – the one we grueled over hour after hour, year after year, the one we spent countless sleepless nights studying for, the one
our parents we will spend years paying for – does not entitle us to anything.
<Take a deep breath>
Here’s the truth: A degree today, no matter how prestigious, doesn’t entitle us to a job. It doesn’t entitle us to anything. Not even a job at Starbucks. It’s damn near worthless. Sorry bud.
<Take another deep breath>
It sucks, but I can relate. It may sound crazy but the same thing was true 10 years ago.
After the dot com bubble bust, the fast growing, high paying IT industry completely shut down.
The market was at bottom and many of us were panicking. There were very few jobs even for seasoned IT professionals.
Now, fast forward 7 years to 2009.
You’ll find a young man who went from being a bank teller at a local bank, to a technology VP at one of the largest financial institutions in the world, working on Wall Street with a total compensation package of nearly a quarter of a million dollars per year.
I got there, and I got there fast.
So how, exactly, did I do it?
I’ll tell you in a minute.
But first let’s look at the advice most “career experts” are giving young men and women these days, and how it fails them time and time again. I CRINGE when I think of all the hours people are wasting on these outdated techniques.
The so-called “Expert’s Way”
Experts mean well and love to give people advice. Unfortunately, these so-called experts don’t understand the true plight of the person entering into the IT world today. They fail to give job seekers any meaningful and relevant information. In doing so, they wind up wasting people’s time and adding to their already mounting frustrations.
Let’s take a look at some of that expert advice and understand why it doesn’t work.
The experts claim networking is king. Networking, Networking, Networking. Yet many of us try the “networking” thing at the beginning of our IT careers with no luck.
Here’s the deal: Networking (the right way) is “essential” to your IT career in the long run.
If you fail to learn how to network, you will wind up like the 60 year old IT guy who fixes your computer when it breaks and spends 20 minutes complaining to you about “the system.” His coffee breath is so bad that you have to leave your desk for 10 minutes when he’s done.
Don’t be that guy.
Networking at the very beginning of your career is useful for SPECIFIC TYPES of careers – which I will not go into here.
The truth is, to get yourself into an IT job within a large organization, networking does almost nothing for you if you don’t have any experience under your belt.
2.) Pump out as many resumes and cover letters as you can
Many experts tell us to “double our efforts” and send out lots resumes and cover letters day after day. They also tell us to tailor each resume and cover letter to the jobs we’re applying to.
This is an absolute waste of time AND trees.
This NEVER worked. EVER. And you will quickly find this to be a waste of your precious time.
My lawyer friend, let’s call him Shani (because that’s his real name), told me a story that really brings this point home.
In 2009, Shani sent out resumes over the course of 5 months to 200 different law firms and 100 different recruiting agencies. By the time he was done sending out his resumes, 100 of the law firms went out of business and 50 of the recruiting agencies went out of business. The other half of the recruiting agencies wanted HIM to pay THEM $5,000-10,000 just to begin a job search. He received ZERO opportunities from this approach.
The kicker? He had a year of experience.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many resumes and cover letters I sent out, praying that I would strike gold.
No such luck. 100% of my friends have used this tactic too – with a 100% failure rate.
DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME.
3.) Go to job fairs
Another avenue the experts tell us to go down is job fairs. Do you know ANYONE who has ever gotten a job through a job fair? I sure as hell don’t. And I am a pretty well-connected guy.
Maybe in like 1997. Anyway…
Job fairs are filled with two things: hundreds of people competing for the same jobs, and companies who only want candidates with experience.
Does that sound like a place you want to be? Negative.
4.) Use social media
Give me a break. I won’t even discuss this.
“Unfortunately, these experts don’t understand the true plight of the person entering into the IT world today.”
What kind of crappy advice is this? I see countless career coaches and “experts” across the net touting these techniques. Why oh why?
Someone please just punch me in the face.
I would never give people advice just to give advice. I would never write an article just to say that I wrote something.
I am going to give you advice that WORKS. And I know it works because I’ve done it myself.
It doesn’t mean its easy. It doesn’t mean its glamorous. It doesn’t mean things will happen immediately. And it doesn’t mean your friends will approve.
But it WORKS.
Now, please allow me to introduce…
How to Get an IT Job With No Experience – The Hustler’s Way
This is the exact procedure I followed at 22 to land a job at a local savings bank. I was accepted as a bank teller, and within 6 months had landed a temp position as help-desk support. A few months later I was promoted to Network Administrator.
Here are the seven steps in The Hustler’s Way:
1.) Find an entry level job at a small to medium sized local company that has a department with a job (or jobs) you are interested in.
Example: Having ZERO IT experience, I landed a job as a Teller at a local savings bank. The bank had 20 branches, 150-200 employees, and one network administrator.
2.) PROVE YOURSELF at your entry level job.
-Come in to work on time every day.
-Make sure you are a pleasure to work with.
-Do excellent work.
3.) Reach out to HR after you have proven yourself to be a great worker.
-The time-frame depends, but generally 3-9 months. I did this after about 6 months.
-Let HR know you would like to further your career with the company.
-Let HR know you are interested in working in the “XYZ” department (where XYZ is your desired department, containing a desired position) In my case, it was the IT department under the Network Administrator.
-Let HR know you are extremely grateful for the opportunity to work at the company, and extremely grateful for their time. Do NOT leave this part out.
4.) Continue to follow up with (but not pester) HR every couple weeks.
-Check in to see how everyone is.
-Check in to see if there are any changes in the status.
-Reiterate how grateful you are.
-BONUS: If you get a sense that things are going well, reach out to the manager of the group that interests you.
5.) Pick a desired time frame to wait for a job opening.
-It all depends on the company, but I wouldn’t recommend waiting more than 3-6 months for a position to open. In my case, the Network Administrator quit two months after I made the call and I was offered a position.
-If a position opens within the time-frame, proceed to step 7.
-If nothing opens, proceed to step 6.
6.) If you have not received an offer after that time frame, tactfully offer to volunteer your services to your desired department and role.
-You DO NOT want to work for free for more than 2-3 months. You can avoid this by tactfully offering to volunteer for 2 months.
-Your tactful offer should sound something like this:
“I don’t normally do this, but I would love to volunteer my services for a few months for free to the XYZ department (where XYZ is your desired department, containing a desired position). I really enjoy working here and would love to apply my skills towards something new. In 2 months, we can renegotiate the terms if you feel my work is beneficial. I would be willing to work hours that do no conflict with my current responsibilities.”
-If you are in the situation where you offer to work for free, chances are that HR and the hiring manager will be very impressed with your pro-activeness. And what company would turn down free work from an intelligent, hard working person? Only a company you shouldn’t be working at.
7.) Make yourself irreplaceable.
Ask yourself: How can I make myself invaluable, so that they HAVE TO promote me quickly?
When I got the job, I knew it was an amazing opportunity and I took full advantage of it. I was given the role of Help-Desk support and took on half of the old Network Admin’s responsibilities. The CFO took on the other half.
I made sure that I provided excellent help-desk support and quickly proved to the CFO that I could handle the job. I then asked the CFO if I could take on some of the work he inherited. After several months of continually taking on more work and proving myself, I was promoted to Network Administrator.
“To get yourself into an IT job within a large organization, networking does almost nothing for you if you don’t have any experience under your belt.”
Benefits of The Hustler’s Way
The Hustler’s Way is the tried and true way to take charge of your career. The sooner you act, the less time you’ll have spent following “experts” terrible advice. The less you will be like many of your friends who sit around and wait for something to happen.
Chances are nothing will happen. YOU have to make it happen.
While your friends are settling for internships or lackluster jobs in career paths they aren’t interested in, you can be on your way to landing your ideal job.
Here are the benefits of Hustling down a road less traveled:
- You gain knowledge of how a company works before you enter its tech department (this is EXTREMELY valuable)
- You have the ability to gain more relevant experience than those who get internships or take jobs just to work
- You gain a more diverse skill set than your peers
- You gain a different type of experience than your peers, which differentiates you (in a good way)
- You learn to think differently than your peers, ie “outside the box”
- You can negotiate higher salaries based on your experience
- You have more control over the jobs you take (you can research companies beforehand and land work in an area you are interested in)
- You become more self sufficient. (You learn how to get things done on your own, rather than rely on others.)
Click to tweet: Chances are nothing will happen. YOU have to make it happen.
Are you sick of dealing with BS advice from people who have no clue what you are going through? Don’t be like the rest of the whiny people who can’t find work.
I want you to do 3 things right now:
1.) Click on the link below to download your free worksheet to help set up your plan to Hustle.
Follow the detailed, step-by-step plan on how to get an it job with no experience. BE AHEAD of your competition.
2.) Put the information into practice, then come back and leave a comment with your results.
3.) Share or tweet this post if you think it could help a friend.
And just so you know, when I release the premium training, it will go even more in depth than this!
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