c. Find a local non-profit organization using the technology, explain your situation, and offer to work there part time free until you find a paying job. In return, you want flexible hours so you can interview as needed, the ability to work your selected technology, and a professional reference if they think you did good work. Also, as an additional benefit, you are helping the world by providing value to a local charity.
4. Formulate a study plan: Once you have access to your technology, create a detailed list of all the things you would like to learn. Note that, in addition to learning the new features, this is also your opportunity to learn things about the technology that existed prior to three years ago but you never had the need/occasion to use. Lastly, having not used the technology for three years or so it may be worthwhile to also spend a little time refreshing your previously known skills.
5. Find free stuff: When not working hands-on on the technology, look for free sources of study materials. It’s amazing these days what you can find on the internet. There may be free white papers, YouTube videos, blogs, discussion boards, and other valuable information right at your fingertips waiting to be accessed. Note that these free internet-based information sources can also help you gain a general understanding of the technologies you wanted to be cognizant of but were not selected as your primary area of study.
Now that you are spending all this time reacquainting and expanding your knowledge in a specific area, target your job search toward opportunities using that technology. After all, not only are you in the process of retooling your skills in that area, but you also have a great story to tell prospective employers about your retooling process. It shows your commitment to your profession, your ability to formulate and execute a plan, your self-starting nature, and your willingness to work hard toward a specific goal.
In closing, good luck and best wishes in your job search.
If you have any questions about your career in IT, please email me at
eric@ManagerMechanics.com or find me on Twitter at @EricPBloom.
Until next time, work hard, work smart, and continue to grow.
Read more of Eric Bloom's Your IT Career blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Eric on Twitter at @EricPBloom. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.