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Old 06-21-2015, 10:33 PM
 
5 posts, read 15,340 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi

Four years a go I finished my degree in computer programming. But since then I haven't had a job.

I have a disability that effects my speech, this has played a negative role on my confidence to look for work. I always thought, "I have the degree, I am keeping up with the skills, I'll get a job when ever I want to"

My thinking was that, for an entry position employers just want someone that knows how to do the job. I know how to do the job, so no problem. Now though, I am scared to look for work, I keep thinking that maybe the 4 year gap is going to be a big problem. Yes I'd be great at a junior role, but so would every 21 year old graduating now. Why would they take me and not them

Ever since I remember, I never wanted kids, I still don't. This (not having the desire to create a family and think about kids future) also made me think that I have enough time to do what I need to do to gain confidence and then start my career. Now I truly feel ready for work. I know that I am a grown ass man acting like a kid (not wanting to work), but I truly believe that I needed these years to work on insecurities - nothing that I could spin in an interview, but the books I read, the gym training I have done, and the keeping up with programming made me think "to hell with the fact that I can't talk that well. I'm strong (which might be overrated when we are), definitely able to do a juniors job - and more. I am ready for work".

But from an employable perspective, am I screwed?
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Old 06-21-2015, 11:39 PM
 
Location: Beavercreek, OH
2,194 posts, read 3,465,618 times
Reputation: 2343
I know a guy who was on the 10 year college plan and wound up with four degrees... at 28 he finally graduated, and one of those four degrees was in computer science.

It took him another three years of job searching for him to find a job in his field... computers in this case. So it took him until 31... He doesn't have a speech impediment but he is damn well near blind in both eyes (I think one is like 20/60 after correction and the other is nearly useless). But three years out he makes north of $50k, has bought a new car, paid down his student loans, and at seven years will be partially vested in the company's pension.

It's not impossible. He filled up his time working with his family and volunteered as much as he could. It helped with his resume to say he volunteered.

Where are you located? There's plenty of jobs in computers depending on where you are.
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Old 06-22-2015, 02:00 AM
 
5 posts, read 15,340 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by hensleya1 View Post
There's plenty of jobs in computers depending on where you are.
Yes there are plenty, I was scared that the gap would be a problem. But I might start doing what the guy you mentioned did. volunteer as much as I can
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Old 06-22-2015, 02:14 AM
 
Location: Lynchburg, VA
93 posts, read 175,464 times
Reputation: 130
I think now is a good time for people like you. A couple of years ago you may have had a bigger problem. I teach and many teachers this past year have suddenly been able to move to different positions, transition out of teaching, negotiate better salaries, etc. With so many degrees in teaching, it is kind of a microcosm of the economy. You've got IT types, math/science types, case work experience for SPED teachers, liberal arts. They are all seemingly finding opportunities and are comfortable taking a risk. That's a big change from 2 years ago.

Best of luck to you. Show some tenacity and explain that you've experienced an epiphany (that you are grown and need to work and develope a career) a bit later than usual. Volunteering is a great short term idea.
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Old 06-22-2015, 07:55 AM
 
Location: NW Indiana
42,445 posts, read 17,327,923 times
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OP, I don't think you're "screwed" at all. The 4-year gap is insignificant. In fact, it's not necessary to indicate your graduation year on your resume. Simply state the type of degree and the institution you attended.

Be up front about your difficulties with speech, and be confident that it should not matter in the type of job you are seeking. It sounds as though you are quite marketable, so get out there and search.

Make your job search a full-time job. When I lost my previous job after almost 21 years with the company, I got up early every morning, worked all day at job searching and follow-ups (as well as weekly UI filings) and spent 35 hours a week at it. It paid off royally, and 7 weeks later I had 3 job offers.

You can do it! Just be very determined and focused. The 4-year gap will not matter at all.

.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
30,522 posts, read 23,932,376 times
Reputation: 38856
I wouldn't say you're screwed, but it is a handicap. People are going to question, rightly, why you're 27 and never held any kind of a job. It makes you look unstable and irresponsible. I didn't hold a real job until I was 23 back in 2009 and it was always a hard slog that first year out of college trying to explain why I had no other employment.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:26 AM
 
5,195 posts, read 5,489,085 times
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Your knowledge in the CS is field is 4 years old. Have you kept your skillset polished over that time? 4 years in a field like CS is ancient if you aren't continuing to educate yourself.
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:51 AM
 
5 posts, read 15,340 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mizzourah2006 View Post
Your knowledge in the CS is field is 4 years old. Have you kept your skillset polished over that time? 4 years in a field like CS is ancient if you aren't continuing to educate yourself.
Absolutely, the course, even back then was kind of old. Yes I have kept up with the field. I love programming. I've been learning new stuff since I left uni. Just that I didn't apply for work.

When I search for junior web designer jobs. I am able to meet most of the requirements they ask for. The only ones that I'm not able to meet are experience and communication skills (verbally - due to the disability)
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:05 AM
 
13 posts, read 21,965 times
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OP, have you ever considered starting your own business? This may sound funny but if you have programming skills that are applicable towards web design there are a lot of people starting up businesses that could use your help designing and maintaining websites. Think of online ecommerce stores that need stock photos updated and advertisements sent out to potential customers. I would get on craigslist and offer my services cheap or free just to get some clients. After you have built a portfolio of websites I would then leverage that experience to start charging clients. You could even charge an initial website fee then charge a monthly maintenance fee just to keep money rolling in. Maybe let customers know that you have a disability and you can only speak through email or even have a friend or family member speak to the customer.

This could help fill the void of unemployment while you look for the job you want. I also think it would attract a lot of attention to your resume. You would have proof of your skills and abilities..........Just an idea
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:24 AM
 
Location: CT
25 posts, read 23,813 times
Reputation: 107
I think you're taking the wrong approach to things in general. There are plenty of things you could do to help you. One: Start your own business. Two: Check out sites that post freelance work Three: Build a blog/site about what you do (makes you more marketable) Four: Think of an application that YOU would want to use, is it marketable, program it, patent it, license it, sell it.

I work in the computer security field and have been in this field for about 18 years. When I got involved with information security, there weren't even titles, as it was mainly non-existent. I took it upon myself to learn, learn, learn. NEVER went to college for anything. I started a website relating to computer security, and evolved from there.

There are plenty of ways to get your foot in the door as well. Network at sites like LinkedIn.com and so on.
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