Willing to offer skills for work experience

Studying for IT quals but wants hands-on knowledge

Dear Q&A

I am studying for my "advanced pc servicing certificate" and also for my MCSE, both of which I hope to have by the year end. I would like to find a job at that stage but understand there could be a lengthy wait due to my lack of practical experience.

While looking for a job, I would like to offer my skills to a company in exchange for experience. This seems better than sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring.

But how do I let firms know I'm willing to do this? Do I just pick them out of a phonebook randomly? I'm not even sure if this idea is a posibility from their point of view.

Any advice as to how I should, or where I should try to market myself would be apreciated?


Protocol Personnel replies: Good idea, but sometimes hard to implement. Unfortunately many assume an MCSE or MCP will be their ticket to the big time. In fact, this is the exception to the rule unless you have experience.

It is good to see that you are realistic about your starting point. What you are suggesting has actually been done by many people. They walk into computer stores and ask if they can exchange work experience for their skills.

Many have found that after working for a period of time with the company for free, or if they are lucky at a very low rate, that they are offered more substantial employment.

Really, there is no one way of approaching these companies other than to simply go out and meet with them. Calling them on the phone makes it too easy for them to brush you off so I would advise going in and trying to make an appointment (this is important) to present your idea and to drop in a copy of your CV.

Smaller IT companies who are cost-conscious may be very interested, you may be surprised.

Also it would be worth your time forwarding your information to maybe three or four recruiters for reference. You may be surprised as they often have entry-level roles come available.

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