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unemployed, health problems, feeling depressed and hopeless

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by infoseeker, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. infoseeker

    infoseeker New Member

    Okay so I'm 30 years old, intelligent I come from a good background both my parents were well educated and had successful careers and so do most other people in my family. I'm the black sheep, because of ill health over a number of years I haven't been able to complete my education or build a career for myself. I've had jobs but suffered with long periods of ill health in between jobs and the longest I've ever had a job is two years. As a result I've spent a large proportion of my adult life on sickness benefits. I now feel like I'm able to get back to work but I get silence in response to every application I submit even in response to voluntary vacancies. Some employers give guaranteed interviews to people with disabilities so I tick the box get the interview but don't get the job.

    I enjoy writing but it doesn't pay the bills I do intend to get something published one day but I want to do it as a hobby on the side alongside a career. Most of the jobs I've been applying for are customer service and admin jobs which are dead end jobs and I'm still getting no where so I've decided it's time for a drastic change in direction.

    I'm interested in a career in IT but I don't know where to start the technical side of IT is totally new territory for me. I'm not a mathematical person my strongest subjects were English, Business Studies, Biology. There aren't many options available to me because of my state of health so IT is probably the best bet for me.

    If I want a career in IT where should I start I want to get my foot in the door to start with and then build on that. I know nothing about software programming, web programming, networking, hardware or anything else. All I know is how to surf the net, send emails, use Microsoft office programmes and other software which is your average 10 year old IT knowledge these days.

    Would certification benefit someone like me and if so which type of certification should I be considering? What sort of voluntary work should I be looking for within IT anything specific or any IT experience? The problem is without having any IT knowledge how will I be able to perform the tasks in a voluntary IT position.

    Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. zxspectrum

    zxspectrum Gigabyte Poster Premium Member

    One thing that always makes me laugh is the term black sheep lol, see i used to think i was but then i realised some of my family thought they were better than they were but had secrets like taking drugs or just being general dicks etc. Dont even entertain that idea of the black sheep because you didnt complete your studies or because you had an ill health, thats crap, pure and simple.

    Honestly i am not an angel but when i look at my family, i think well actually ive done rather well. OK i was a major tit in school, but i was good as a mechanic and got very far but also got very bored, i did other jobs before deciding to get into IT and i also got a good degree whilst being on dialysis, which got up a lot of my families nose, because they thought i was stupid etc blah blah. I have somewhat turned my life around, ok the job im in at the moment isnt IT but its a job, im repairing TVs until i get that elusive IT job, and i know i will get one, it is just a matter of time.

    What area of IT are you most interested in, answer that then work on what your strengths are, you dont need to be a mathematics genius to work in IT. Customer service jobs and admin job will help you get a proper IT job, so why not look at the A+ and see what you think, if you Google professor messer theres a ton of free videos to get you started. If you want voluntary work apply everywhere, ask friends of friends see if they know of anywhere that wants a voluntary worker, you may get a chance that way.

    One thing i found when looking for work was the lowsy feeling when seeing the job description, they do demoralise you somewhat, but thats part and parcel im afraid.

    The depression side will change depending on a few things, do you or are you able to exercise???, do you drink etc, and whats your diet like, i only say because if your able to do something and dont then your shooting yourself in the foot really.

    Overall keep plugging away at jobs and see if you can enrol in some form of college to get you back into the swing of things, things will change, its just when thats the ballache, but persevere and you will get that chance etc.

    Certifications: BSc computing and information systems
    WIP: 70-680
    Sparky, dmarsh and exonje like this.
  3. mackie

    mackie Nibble Poster


    You don't say what your health problems are about, but the other things you list can, over some time be sorted. The first positive is that you have made some sort of decision by deciding on a future in I.T. You have then searched out this forum (which I have only recently joined) which is full of of helpful people and information.

    As Ed states, do not let family get you down because you feel you are the black sheep. You have made this decision and you now need to stick by it. That on its own should be some weight off your mind.

    I work in retail which I am getting tired of and now want a change. As a tester I did accounting exams as a possible way out and advertised for clients. I found there are lots of them out there. I then decided to mix accounting with I.T. and signed up for an A+ course. Again I think Ed has given some good information there. You have a decent basic knowledge of computers and I think that doing A+ will be a very good challenge.

    Unemployment is a nightmare but as you get into the swing of studying for an A+ your confidence will build. Ask Absolutely everywhere if you can do voluntary work on computers. Remember that every business and near enough every household has computers. Document what you do. Even build a portfolio. You need to do everything you can to sell yourself.

    Finally I agree with Ed. Excercise if you can. Get outdoors. It clears the mind and and helps you keep positive.

    Best of luck and keep in touch.

    Certifications: IAB, Sage 50, MOUS and MCP
    WIP: A+
  4. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    Hi mate – is there any particular area of IT that interests you? As an example if you were interested in the support side of things than the A+ is a great place to start.

    Once you have chosen a cert then set yourself goals to complete the material in a certain amount of time, for example chapters one and two in the first week.

    As the guys have said try and get out and about if you can – you don’t have to exercise if you are not able to, I used to go out each morning to buy a paper (I took the long way to the shop!) and then start the job search and also some online training when I got back to the house. This was a long time ago but it was a tough time.

    You have found a great forum here with plenty of support if you decide IT is what you want to get into.
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Office 365, Server 2016, CEH
  5. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

    Hi and welcome to CF:), in terms of looking to break into IT you would have a vast area to choose from considering you've done your research.

    You mentioned ill health but didn't state what the illness is however that should not stop you from attaining your goals in life. I would say choice a niche in IT and start from the bottom. But bear in mind it would not be easy but once in you can work your work your way up through hard work and persistency.

    Don't brand yourself a black sheep as that comes across as someone making excuses. I hope this doesn't come across as too harsh but if I can't be honest then there's no point responding to your post.

    Anyway, all the best and get cracking anyway.
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  6. Capella adanz

    Capella adanz New Member

    As the saying goes, every journey begins with a first step. Hard to say where you should start as IT is a very broad career path. You might want to start with a "survey" course from a local community college, sort of like an Intro to IT. This should help you get sense for what's what within the industry. If you are a hands on type, you can likely find a book at the local library to get started. As with any career, there is always the problem of gaining experience to get the job, which is hard to do if you haven't had the education and experience. All a bit circular. There are a variety of training programs for software development that you can take online for free. There are some other organizations that offer pretty decent free IT training, like Alison which is based in Ireland, but offers courses worldwide online. Finally, you might want to checkout the career portal, at careeronestop. Do a search under the term competency and you will find their pyramid model. This service is offered for free and provides comprehensive details about skills competencies mapped to occupational information across 20 industrial sectors for thousands of job categories.

    Good luck on your journey!
  7. infoseeker

    infoseeker New Member

    I don't want to go into to much detail about the health problems in public but I can discuss them in private if someone wants to advise me specifically in relation to the health problems. What I will say is that the health problems rule out all types of manual work which is a shame because I'm interested in cars and I know a couple of people I could start up with. My health problems are not related to a bad back or anything of that nature. The problem is there is no guaranty things will stay as they are now my health could deteriorate again or it could improve further. This is partly the problem when trying to build a career I was told by my last employer that its better I don't work at all. I cannot stomach the idea of being at home on sick benefit for the rest of my life. For the last four months I've been feeling better so I've gone onto Job Seekers Allowance and started looking for something. During these four months I've had to go into hospital for surgery but continued with my job search because I want a life of self respect not one of benefit hand outs. What I'm finding is that I'm up against people with more work experience. Recruiters look at my CV and must think he hasn't done much for a 30 year old and what I've found is most employers are not very sympathetic towards ill health.

    As far as IT is concerned I have decided that I like the idea of working in 1st line support and I've got some customer service experience so this should help. The other option is starting my own IT repair shop but I will need a business partner I can trust to take control of the business if I need time of because of ill health. The person who comes to mind is currently travelling and wont be back until January next year. I have looked into both the A + and Network + which would be a better starting point considering my career goals? Also are my goals realistic can they be achieved in practical terms? I have been advised not to go into IT because it’s extremely competitive and I’m better of sticking to applying for customer service jobs. The problem is I’m currently not doing anything I have no customer service job to stick to and I want to improve my qualifications.

    My health problems do affect my concentration so this might make studying a problem. This has been a problem in the past and I do have eye problems as well which will not help matters. I can do about 10 to 20 minutes of studying but then I need a break of about 20 to 30 minutes before doing another 10 to 20 minutes. Realistically for someone like me who hasn't studied for about seven years and will not be able to concentrate for long periods will I be able to do what's required to pass the exam?
  8. Colloghi

    Colloghi Kilobyte Poster

    Hi infoSeeker

    I realise this is an old Post, but being August i was just intrigued to see if you managed to get further with this...........

    Couple of things

    IT is is competitive, but that shouldnt put you off trying to get into the industry and we all have to start somewhere. Grab an old PC, or create a Virtual Machine on your desktop. Press all those buttons you have always been scraed to press, see what breaks, cry a bit. then attempt to fix

    Helpdesk is a great place to start, its not for everyone, it can be hard work but very rewarding and if you have had previous customer service experience, that will be vital, and your previous experience will give you an advantage over IT Geniuses applying for the role who have no customer service. Apply for the roles that perhaps list Customer service as more important IT experience.........

    Regarding your Health problems and any interviews, and your future health improving or getting worse, dont worry too much about it. Concentrate on now and how you are now..........I have Epilepsy, but have been seizure free for around 7 years now without medication. Although I seizure free now, it could in relaity start again at any point, and Id lose my car and my job............but its pointless to sit there worrying about that, 7 years from now I could be back to how I was or still seizure free........

    Also look at your experiences, look at the helath issues you have overcome and think about what you have learned and gained from those experiences and how you can apply those experiences to help customers /users / people with issues.

    Speech impendiment
    Anxiety Attacks
    Left School with No GCSES
    Nervous Breakdown at 19 / Suicidal

    I could go on with that list........and they are all "negative" things, but I can draw upon skills and such from what I have learnt from those experiences, those situations and apply to them dealing with problems today specifically with people and even IT issues.

    Exam wise:

    A+ is a good place to start as an exam...and if I remember rightly (not 100% sure) but I think additional time can be allocated in an exam if you have a disability. pretty sure it applies to dyslexia, so might be worth looking at. If anything dont worry about the exam, just laarn the concepts, glossary of terms etc RAID, SCSI, and worry about any exam at a later stage. As suggested by Mr Meyers in his A+ book, read it like a novel.......

    To me from just based on what you have said....if you can do a customer service role, get some IT knowledge in your head and you should be able to do a Helpdesk IT role.

    Regarding the PC repair Shop - just my opinion, but if you have not had much experience with IT, i would think that this would not be a great option at this time.....

    I hope things are moved on for you and youve taken a step towards the IT Career since your last post!
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
    Certifications: A+, MCP 270, 271, MCDST
    WIP: 290

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