Conversation started with ‘I am jealous because you work in I.T. and I never got the chance’.
Guess what – me neither. So I told him a little story about by myself and thought, may as well write that down to hopefully encourage others.
When I went to school in Germany back in the day – my parents essentially told me after my (UK equivalent) GCSEs :”No A-Levels, no degree – go work, bring money”.
So I did a degree (apprenticeship kinda thing) in Electronics engineering because literally no company I applied for wanted to give me a shot in “I.T.” – because, and I quote, you can’t handle it (despite me showing off a few articles in magazines about me winning an award for some Turbo Pascal program I have written on a Euro PC from Schneider).
I even ended up driving a bus for the local public transport company as my job got outsourced, and I just happened to work for the local authority and they couldn’t fire me.
Fast forward a few years I ended up in Ireland for Printer Tech-Support (Yes, please put your ink-tank on a warm and moist cloth).
The good thing with simple 1st line jobs like that – they essentially train you on the products and in my case – my language was needed more than anything and a lot of large corporates with entry jobs offer a lot of internal training or have partnerships with trainings companies.
I moved around – ended up in Gibraltar and now UK – learning stuff from the MCSE NT4.0 up to, well, now all things about VMware.
Coming from an Electronics, then bus / coach driving – took one thing – determination. I know that was back in the day and I am sure in the last 16 years a lot has changed, especially with those illusive 1st line jobs – but the bottom line is – don’t moan about it not being given the chance – but do something about it.
If you can’t find a job in that area (chicken and egg scenario) – then teach yourself – if you don’t have money – libraries have often old I.T. books – like MCSE material – or in our local library you can actually find a Mastering vSphere book.
Coming from a different area is no sprint – it is a marathon and as rewarding.
Yes, some personal circumstances can be difficult and I don’t deny that but reach out. Ask people for help – don’t be shy.
I also volunteered in a local school and repaired PCs – that gives you some sort of I.T. onto your CV / Resume.
Sorry about this half rant – but said person is in his 20s so it should be ‘far’ from over for him.