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Real-World Experience: Another Chicken or the Egg Question

By  Jul 30, 2008

Topics: Certification

Newcomers to IT generally face a daunting "chicken or the egg" question: in order to get hired for your first IT position, you must possess a predetermined amount of industry experience. However, in order to gain said practical experience, you must first get hired somewhere! What is a person to do in this situation?

Networking, Networking, Networking

Steve Ballmer's "Developers" speech is quite...moving. The "Networking, networking, networking" mantra is just as crucial for IT industry success, especially for newcomer without much practical, hands-on experience.

Quite frankly, there is much truth in the old saw "It isn't what you know as much as it is who you know." Please never underestimate the importance of tapping friends, relatives, past colleagues, etc., for possible job leads.

If you haven't done so already, you should plug yourself into the following industry-oriented social networking sites and begin making connections post-haste:

I once was hired for a senior systems engineer position with Vanderbilt University as a direct result of my having a professional friendship with one of that institute's staff members. Sure, the powers that be at Vandy scrutinized my skill set and they (it is hoped) liked what they saw. However, I had tried to scale the Vanderbilt Wall in years past to no effect when I relied upon my professional merits alone.

Technology User Groups

Another great spot to make worthwhile industry contacts are technology user groups that meet in your area. Hit up Google and perform some searches; you might be pleasantly surprised to discover just how many of these groups exist, and how valuable involvement in them can be or great professional benefit to you.

Here are some links:

So...I suppose that I have given you enough information to get you started on your journey. I will continue in this vein for the next few blog posts. Take heart! Before you know it you'll be working in IT and amassing that "golden" industry experience!

Books and eBooks: