Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Networking to a New High-Tech Job

I'm 27 with a degree in Computer Science and a minor in Mathematics. My dream job would be to do character design/animation for video games. Since graduation (2001) I've done a lot of temp work, mostly admin or database entry/management to pay the bills.

I'm currently unemployed after working a 10-month contract job as a Learning Management Systems Administrator and I'm receiving unemployment checks until March. I did database merging and cleaning projects, data management, and even some training in the previously mentioned position. I'm good at analyzing, organizing, and noticing details but I want to steer my career towards my dream job now.

I want to work my way into a video gaming company or at least some type of multimedia/interactive design firm. I know I need to go back to school for computer animation and will do so once I have found a full-time permanent job.

I know that I'm technically unqualified for junior design or animation job openings due to my lack of experience with 3D software, Photoshop, etc. I know that these companies really want designers, progammes, or artists.

My job search hasn't gone well (I've been using mostly the internet) and I'm starting to think cold calling might be in order. Is cold calling effective and if so how does and introverted person like myself prepare themself to do it? Also is the library a better place to research companies than the internet?

Warm calling (aka networking) is far more productive than cold calling. Please read two articles by Susan Joyce: Tapping the Hidden Job Market: Push and Tapping the Hidden Job Market: Pull to understand how to network effectively.

To answer your question about researching at the library or on the Internet: Why not do both? If your library has up-do-date periodicals and trade publications in your field, you could save money by reading them in the library rather than buying them. And while you're at the library you can use their computer to go online if there's something you want to research that way. Unlike the library, the Internet is open 24/7, so you can always gather tons of info on the web from home or anywhere you take your laptop.

To get help developing employment contacts, consider working with a job search coach. As the coach on my Job Search Team, Roberta Rosen has helped many introverts get high-tech jobs. Feel free to call her to see how she can help.

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