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September 21, 2010 6:25:07 PM

Hello,
I have been working in the same position for 8 years now, and it has nothing to do with my passion, computers. When I search for a computer job (vague I know) there are so many different titles and positions out there, its a bit overwhelming. So, I was wondering if you could help me, I love fixing computer, I love testing out new software and operating systems, I love ordering parts and building computers, I love setting up old hardware and new hardware, I love trying out old OSes and software, I like surfing the internet for answers, I love setting up 5 computers or more with different operating systems and linking them all together.
There has to be a job out there for me, I have been working with computers since I was 8 (32 now), starting on an old 8088 and commodore 64, and have never lost interest since. I have started my own computer repair business recently, but I lack the funds for advertising so it hasn't taken off. My main job now is Associate Scientist in an animal research facility. So is there any positions out there for a person like me, and if so, Where do I begin looking?

Thanks.
Charlie Duncan
Duncan Digital IT
http://duncandigitalit.com

More about : job search

October 22, 2010 8:03:19 AM

I can say dude, honestly, the market seems tough. I was laid off recently from an IT job. I would almost say keep rolling with the business. As for advertising, check out like the free papers that get passed out. A lot of those you can do classifieds in for a few bucks a week. Or even a business card type ad. I would say though with the web site, dress it up more, and also, use bullet points, and change the language to sound more professional. For example, instead of saying "Tune up your computer", use a bullet point, and say Tune-ups. Or instead of saying Teach you how to use your computer, maybe say...."Personal Instruction available".

Also, you may consider doing flat rates per each job vs hourly. One thing my wife has learned because she works with Real Estate, consider not listing your pricing. Sounds crazy I know, but sometimes you will get folks calling in out of curiousity.
October 22, 2010 9:12:32 AM

That's a lot of "I Love....." so basically you're into computers but are stuck with Animals right now...... :) 
WOW!!! That's heavy stuff, but we do live in really harsh times right now, I'd say you're pretty lucky to have a job altogether....

Well, I just went to your site..... it's pretty to the point:) 
People usually don't like to be to the point, from my experience in this line of work, if you tell a guy he has a blow fuse in the first 5 minutes of the trouble shooting, he not going to believe you and ask for a second opinion. Whereas if you tell a guy, there was a short in his PSU which tripped the fuse and caused a the power junction to fry :)  Oh . he's going to be impressed
I sit and laugh at all my friends and their kids 'cos they end up coming to me with their rigs only after being cheated out of enough dough and time and still not getting the job done. Of course we all sit a laugh together, but it's the usual, I told you so thing......
So basically the moral of the story is don't give up, try a few post it's around your work place bus stop or home neighborhood for starters....... use a cheap self adhesive A4 size sheet and just print 40 or 50 stripes with "computer repairs instantly and the tele contact". Stick it up in a few places in bunches of 10s.... whoever see's it is going to pluck one strip of just in case..... :) 
try it, it works in Russia till date......



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October 22, 2010 3:04:24 PM

I'd have to agree with everyone else...times are tough, so a job is better than nothing.

If you're really looking at getting into and IT job, you may want to start by getting some certifications. The entry level ones from CompTIA are OK and if you've been doing this for some time, should be pretty easy, and will certainly look better on a resume than experience working for family and friends. I'd say check out A+, Network+, and Security+. These certs are also the minimum that many government jobs require before they will even accept an application.

Outside of the basic certs, you may want to figure out what you'd like to do. Do you like Windows? Linux? Do you want to manage Servers, storage, networking? If you find on you really like, then you may want to pursue it further with something like an MCITP (Microsoft's Certified IT Professional - it's actually 5 separate certs to get there...one being desktop support, I think) or something like the CCNA (which is part general networking and part Cisco intensive). Another marketable skill is working with virtualization...

Just my two cents...I recently completely change career fields and did something similar...I attended classes (audited them) while working on another degree and soaked up whatever knowledge I good. I got lucky and got an internship and have continued to grow, but the basic knowledge from A+, N+ and Sec+ was something I took from classes and reading.

Good luck. I'd say hang on to the job and use your spare time to bone up on certs to make yourself more marketable - it may not particularly improve your sklls/knowledge, but will make you look better on paper.
October 22, 2010 8:21:21 PM

That's one of the most annoying things about certifications. You have a degree/school and experience, and know that you are more than qualified for jobs, and places still want certifications almost like you don't know enough.

The things I've run into seem to be that either I don't have enough experience/certifications, or experience. Or I end up being overqualified for jobs. Both of which are frustrating. Kinda like dude, I've got a 4 year degree, have been working with computers for 10+ years, and have worked IT jobs before, have letters of recommendation. What more could they want? But from what I've been reading, you are pretty much going to have to be very well qualified to get a tech job right now.
October 25, 2010 4:05:08 PM

Unfortunately, the same is true of degrees in college. No one says it makes you any smarter, or even that it gives you more experience...it just opens up more doors. That's how I view certifications as well.

Plus, it's really hard to tell the difference on paper between the guy who has played computer games for 10 years and the guy that has helped repair and troubleshoot computers. I think this is why they want the basic certs...if you've got the knowledge, those should be a breeze for you and get you in door at some place.

It's up to you...I know it's frustrating, but I don't see the relevance they place on certifications ending any time soon.
October 26, 2010 6:17:43 AM

If you're not looking for another job and want to continue with your own business, Certs are not relevant :)  . I can say this for me and my organization, when I have a guy who comes to me for a job with all these crappy certificates , they really don't impress me at all, quite the contrary, guys with certificate think in the box and believe they know it all so they're the worst kind of troubleshooters.
I prefer to hire people who are more willing to learn and accept that they don't know it all and think out of the box. Any idiot with a service manual can bring a machine back to life, only a person with experience and out of the box thinking can make that revived machine win the next OCing tournament :) 

So, stick to your current job, look for opportunities, and keep working from home is a really sane piece of advice in these insane times. And try to find a release for the frustration on the creative side of life..... That'll help you through these times.....
November 5, 2010 2:09:34 PM

Ironically, the reason I'd gotten my old tech job, yeah I knew some people. But they also told me they interviewed a lot of people with certifications and what not, but they liked the degree because it showed I was willing to stick to things I started.
November 14, 2010 6:52:55 AM

I have been in IT for 8 years now - have lots of certification. I say it is not really how many years you're in it but how well you make a big difference to everyone that counts. I still doing my profession helping people - going with trainings and seminars do help a lot.
!