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hepcat

Struggling to find a new job

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I've worked as an IT contractor for the state of Texas for the past 6 years. I do basic IT hardware support mainly supporting equipment that is a decade old and obsolete. I do stuff like requisition a new hard drive for a server and replace it. Or troubleshoot network problems. If I can't solve a problem I move the ticket up the chain. Pretty basic stuff. I'm currently studying for a CompTIA A+ certification and an MTA cert just to make my resume look better.

I was given word that our contract with the state is not being renewed. It expires August 31, so I'm going to be laid off unless my company can find somewhere else for me to work. We've already laid off 10 people since this time last year and my team only has 3 people left on it. The work is drying up as the state moves more and more to virtual server technology so I'm like 99% sure I'm being let go. I'll probably get 4-5 weeks of severance and I can apply for unemployment. Austin has an insurance program for musicians I can apply for since part of my income comes from playing music.

I've been trying to get a new job doing basic tech support or even call center type stuff but the jobs are either terrible, like want someone with the kind of experience I have but pay $12/ho and I won't be able to afford my rent, or they require stuff that is way over my head. I went to school for audio engineering at UNCA,. I didn't really intend on pursuing IT as a career, but music doesn't pay poo and I kind of have to go in this direction. I'm pretty depressed because I've been searching for a new job for years, and I've had interviews and whatnot, but the jobs either don't pay enough for me to leave my current position or they require stuff I don't have and/or want to pursue. I feel like I'm stuck in neutral. I'm almost 30 and I feel like my career hasn't gone anywhere and I'm going to be making just a little above entry level pay my whole life. 

Anyone ever been in this situation before? How did you make your career take off, or find something you were passionate about and run with it?

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What are you interested in. Would write down everything you are interested in.  You are still young so a career change wouldn't be that hard.  

I can tell you aviation is now pretty stable. Some good paying jobs there with nice benefits.  

Check out aircraft dispatching. Starting pay is ok but once you make it to a major airline it is a pretty sweet gig.  Also doesn't cost to much to get into.  

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7 minutes ago, 15 said:

is that the same as air-traffic control? I hear that's like the most stressful job ever.  

No it is working for the airline.  You work in the operations center. Basically you are the pilots company contact on the ground when issues arise. 

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Can you write code at all?

Are you certified in Microsoft on anything? I know MS in Charlotte seems to be hopping.

I agree on sales but you need something steady before you make a shift.

Also would Rackspace be worth a look out in Texas?

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Well I was trained as a sonar tech but ended up in IT. The way I look at it is that IT isn't glamorous but it pays the bills and some skills are always in demand.  Don't discount the freedom to do what you love (music) for fun instead of money. With a basic knowledge of IT have you considered IT network security analyst or compliance certification? Always in demand. 

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You live in Austin, the heart of Dell/EMC country.  After that merger shakes out, there should be some opportunities with them.  Or Oracle if you want to stay in the non-virtual world.  However, it's moving to virtualization/cloud computing so that's where it's heading for the most part.  I've increased the virtualized servers/cloud clusters by 100% over the last few years.  I still have a few physical/in house servers and mini-clusters that I use a lot, but most of the heavy analytical lifting is done on shared compute infrastructure, whether its local/private or via AWS EC2, etc.  That may be an avenue you want to pursue if you don't want to get down in the nitty gritty.

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12 hours ago, pstall said:

Can you write code at all?

Are you certified in Microsoft on anything? I know MS in Charlotte seems to be hopping.

I agree on sales but you need something steady before you make a shift.

Also would Rackspace be worth a look out in Texas?

Nah I'm not a coder. I know a little Java and some basic HTML from some websites I've made (I do that for a little side income).

I'll be honest, sales might be tough for me. I'm not the most bubbly or sunny person and it's probably why I've ended up working in IT. Probably the best career for introverts. What's funny is when I'm doing music things I'm 100% an extrovert and sell my bands hard. 

Rackspace does have an office in Austin, I'll see what job listings they have.

11 hours ago, Scrumtrilescent said:

You live in Austin, the heart of Dell/EMC country.  After that merger shakes out, there should be some opportunities with them.  Or Oracle if you want to stay in the non-virtual world.  However, it's moving to virtualization/cloud computing so that's where it's heading for the most part.  I've increased the virtualized servers/cloud clusters by 100% over the last few years.  I still have a few physical/in house servers and mini-clusters that I use a lot, but most of the heavy analytical lifting is done on shared compute infrastructure, whether its local/private or via AWS EC2, etc.  That may be an avenue you want to pursue if you don't want to get down in the nitty gritty.

I've actually looked at working for Oracle. They have an office in Austin and I know a girl that works there. But it's so competitive to get a job anywhere in this town. There's so many overqualified applicants willing to accept lower pay for a position that is beneath them just so they can live here. It throws off the market and makes looking for a job that much more difficult. 

11 hours ago, cookinwithgas said:

Well I was trained as a sonar tech but ended up in IT. The way I look at it is that IT isn't glamorous but it pays the bills and some skills are always in demand.  Don't discount the freedom to do what you love (music) for fun instead of money. With a basic knowledge of IT have you considered IT network security analyst or compliance certification? Always in demand. 

It's just tough for me to just do music for fun because I do make a decent chunk of money doing it (around $5-10k a year, I've done as much as $20k before when I was on the road more). But the stability factor is big. I'm planning on asking my GF to marry me next year and we're going to need to get a house and all that poo. It's just hard to commit to working in IT because it's not what I'm passionate about and I feel like that is going to limit me. There are people that have worked as hard as I have at becoming an IT professional as I have at becoming a musician and I feel like a phony.

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Years ago I had a co worker in that situation, he was the drummer for a band called Sugar Creek and left it to get married and got a tech job. Seemed happy with his choice but man he had cool stories

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Austin, much like Asheville and to a lesser extent Wilmington are just places that young people don't want to leave...so the jobs, especially just over entry level, are tough to come by.

As to what you said about yourself not "being perfect" for sales....I disagree.  Some of the best salespeople out there aren't bubbly and talkative, they are just professional, and get right to the point.  I wouldn't rule out sales....it's been very good to me and my family....and while I'm personable, I'm certainly not bubbly.

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21 minutes ago, thefuzz said:

Austin, much like Asheville and to a lesser extent Wilmington are just places that young people don't want to leave...so the jobs, especially just over entry level, are tough to come by.

As to what you said about yourself not "being perfect" for sales....I disagree.  Some of the best salespeople out there aren't bubbly and talkative, they are just professional, and get right to the point.  I wouldn't rule out sales....it's been very good to me and my family....and while I'm personable, I'm certainly not bubbly.

Nah I don't think Asheville and Wilmington are anything like Austin as far as the job market goes....small towns vs major league tech hub. Austin has a ton of jobs and a ton of people vying for them and that's probably the biggest problem I'm facing is the competition. The jobs are there though. In Asheville the job market was horrible when I left and from what I've heard from my friends who still live there it's still horrible. Main reason I moved away after school. My folks live in Wilmington and it's the same thing there. Bunch of frat boys working at Enterprise Rental Car.

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1 minute ago, hepcat said:

Nah I don't think Asheville and Wilmington are anything like Austin as far as the job market goes....small towns vs major league tech hub. Austin has a ton of jobs and a ton of people vying for them and that's probably the biggest problem I'm facing is the competition. The jobs are there though. In Asheville the job market was horrible when I left and from what I've heard from my friends who still live there it's still horrible. Main reason I moved away after school. My folks live in Wilmington and it's the same thing there. Bunch of frat boys working at Enterprise Rental Car.

What I'm saying....is it's a very desirable place to live, and therefore it's usually tougher to get jobs there.....not really saying the same, just similar.

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