Re-Entering the Workforce
Need help getting back into the workforce after you’ve taken some time off? Or just looking to follow a passion in a new role within the IT field, but don’t quite have the experience yet to land a job in that realm?
There are a few ways to work yourself into that new role:
Many non-profits and government groups have a backlog of IT projects that could use your (free) help. Signing up as a volunteer will provide you on-the-job experience that you can include in your resume, and use for references in the future. And if you’re really successful, you might find yourself with a job offer at the end of the project.
- Want to get into a government volunteering role? Let’s talk. MACRO.CCS has a long history supporting local, regional, and state organizations.
- Seattle area non-profits that might need your help: https://www.vocationvillage.com/seattle-nonprofit/
- Oregon Non-Profits that might need your help: http://www.nonprofitoregon.org/
- California Non-Profits that might need your help: https://calnp.memberclicks.net/member-directory#/
- Participate in your local user-groups and industry associations: Beyond just a great way to network & meet new people in your industry, local user & industry groups like PMI, TCOSC, AWC-PS, DigitalEves, COMPTIA, or GirlsInTech might be able to provide work experience for your resume as well. These user-groups can often benefit from a web developer to update/maintain their sites and CRM systems. Project Management skills may also come in handy.
Note: It is illegal for for-profit companies to use unpaid volunteers. Even in an ‘internship’ scenario there must be class-credit or minimum wage offered. So make an effort to stick to non-profits for your volunteer work, so everyone stays above board.
- CodeFellows.org: This fantastic organization puts you through an eight- week training course in development, and then guarantees you a job that utilizes your new skills when your classes are complete. CodeFellows works with both new developers AND developers with long histories of coding, who are simply looking to retool and learn something new. http://www.codefellows.org/
- Go Back To School: Many public universities, community colleges, and trade schools offer programs to train analysts and technologists, with flexible schedules for evening and weekend classes, as well as on-line learning. Both the University of Washington and UCLA offer an excellent example of this kind of certificate program. You get the training, and proof of a level of knowledge in a discipline, that can help build your resume and your references
If it’s been quite some time (i.e. years) since you last worked, you might consider starting at the bottom and working your way back up again. While it sounds daunting, small, simple, low-paying projects around data entry, data analysis, testing, etc… could provide the opportunity to prove oneself and get back in the workforce. If things go well, your previous work history in technology should help you quickly move back up the ladder into a more challenging role.