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Help me help dh find new work pls

(31 Posts)
kazzawazzawoo Sat 22-Mar-14 22:08:29

Dh has been out of work for 9 months. He has worked all his life in IT support, mainly server support, again mainly Novell. He is 43.

He's had interviews, gets second interviews and is then pipped to the post.

Now we are desperate, as my wage alone doesn't pay the mortgage. I am trying to encourage him to think outside the box and apply for other things, but we don't know where to start. We know his age is probably an issue and much younger applicants will be preferred.

I would be grateful for any tips. He is great at his job, but it's getting him down. He's losing his confidence.

We live in a village in Yorkshire, so he'll have to travel to the nearest town ie Leeds, York, Sheffield etc probably.

twentyten Sat 22-Mar-14 22:14:03

Has he had a look at what couloir is your parachute and the website with it?
Contacts are key- can he pick up with ex colleagues?
Agency or interim? Freelance? It is so hard. Good luck

kazzawazzawoo Sat 22-Mar-14 22:24:41

I haven't heard of What colour is your parachute, will have a look.

I'm encouraging him to get in touch with everyone he knows. He's very proud and won't ask for anything or even admit how much we're struggling.

He's registered with lots of agencies and applies for jobs every day. I'm really worried his age is going against him. There's nothing he can do about that!

kazzawazzawoo Sat 22-Mar-14 22:26:37

Oh, ok it's a book. I'll see if it's in the library.

Roseformeplease Sat 22-Mar-14 22:28:51

Fujitsu, doing contracts in Scotland (Council IT support) can never get enough staff from what I have heard. Can you move? Could he work away during the week?

EBearhug Sat 22-Mar-14 22:29:45

Has he asked for feedback from the interviews? Does he use the STAR technique at all? (Situation, Task, Action, Result.)
Is he on LinkedIn?

Think about transferable skills - techy skills are easy to list, but what about what the job really entails? Dealing with customers, problem solving, planning, liaising, communication (written, e.g. problem tickets, reports, as well as spoken - phone and so on). Adaptability - out of hours.

What things does he find easy? It doesn't always mean it is something which is easy, but could indicate it's something he's particularly good at.

Is there anything about the job he doesn't like? (That's where I'd put out of hours/on-cal!) He might not be in a position to be too picky currently, but identifying what he is less keen on might show area where he doesn't always come over positively in interview.

However, if he is getting second interviews, he's really not doing that badly. Many people don't even get first interviews (and some of us always screw up the techy interview when we do...) I have to say though - I'm in Unix rather than Windows, but age wouldn't be an issue with us - most my department are around the same age, and the last time we were interviewing, the CVs we were getting were often around a similar age it seemed when they turned up at interview.

Can he do any voluntary work that would help him maintain his techy skills, maybe even pick up new ones? There are quite a few Linux jobs around at the moment (well, round my area there are, which isn't Yorkshire.)

kazzawazzawoo Sat 22-Mar-14 22:35:23

We can't really move, or I'll lose my job and dd would have to change schools, plus we have a house to sell and houses still aren't moving much in this area.

He's asked for feedback and is always told he interviewed well, just the winning candidate had more relevant experience.

He's on LinkedIn but has had no contacts at all through it.

kazzawazzawoo Sat 22-Mar-14 22:41:02

I don't think he could do voluntary work around here - the travel costs would be too expensive if he has no income hmm

EBearhug Sun 23-Mar-14 00:15:07

He's in IT. You have internet access. I'm sure there will be something he can do online to keep his skills up - set up a website for a local charity or something.

simonelebonbon Sun 23-Mar-14 09:32:19

For the time being, I would get a part-time job doing anything (i.e. retail, bar work, care, etc.).

Being out of work for a long period of time when you've been used to working can have a massive impact on your self esteem. If you've got 'something' to get up for and interact socially you will feel much better. It also means that you've got some money coming in and will use the spare time more effectively.

Then keep looking for a 'proper' job!

kazzawazzawoo Sun 23-Mar-14 09:40:53

In trying to help him think of other jobs he could apply for with his skills rather than just bar work to earn some cash. So thinking more about developing his career, a long term plan.

Obviously he does need to take anything he can get, but it would be nice to have a plan. He's been in IT all his life, but he didn't initially plan to do that. It just happened. It could be there's something else out there he would enjoy, I just don't know how to help him find it.

HermioneWeasley Sun 23-Mar-14 09:41:03

You say that he will have to travel to th nearest city - does that mean he's not been applying there so far? York is a big IT city and there's usually shortages so it seems odd he's not got anything in 9 months

kazzawazzawoo Sun 23-Mar-14 09:41:26

Sorry, that should read I'm trying ...

kazzawazzawoo Sun 23-Mar-14 09:43:29

Of course he's been applying there. He's applied over a 100 mike radius from where we live. The IT jobs coming up are often for things he doesn't have experience in and therefore he doesn't even get an interview. IT covers lots of different specialities.

BecauseIsaidS0 Sun 23-Mar-14 11:13:15

Can he get a job in IT training?

Hoppinggreen Sun 23-Mar-14 11:16:46

I've had a look and there are loads of IT contracts in Leeds.
I know a couple of people who have found one recently and they are older than your OH.
Is his area very specialised? DH is in IT and I asked him, he says the market has picked up a lot in the last month or so.

BecauseIsaidS0 Sun 23-Mar-14 11:23:38

Hopping, Novell is a very specialized area of IT.

kazzawazzawoo Sun 23-Mar-14 12:15:25

As Because said, Novell is very specialised.

He can also work with Windows, but there are others who specialise in that and they seem to get the jobs hmm

I'm grateful for any advice, but not looking for criticism. He is looking for work all the time and applying for many jobs every day. Unfortunately a lot of the time the agencies aren't putting his cv forward, presumably because there are others with more experience/better qualifications. So, yes, there are IT jobs, but none in the area he specialises in and he's up against a lot of competition in other IT jobs.

I'm looking for some ideas on how to find out what else he could do, thinking now might be a good time to start afresh, as a job with a low starting salary is better than none at all. The problem is, he doesn't have a dream job. And he's not in his twenties, so not desirable to most companies.

I think he's lost confidence and can't think about other jobs he could be looking at. The job centre are no help at all.

I realise I'm probably being unrealistic though. Maybe he's just going to have to do any job that's going and not have a career.

Thanks for the advice anyway.

kazzawazzawoo Sun 23-Mar-14 12:16:40

There are no jobs in IT training for the area he specialises in. Tbh I think Novell seems to have had its day. It's very worrying. hmm

EBearhug Sun 23-Mar-14 13:39:56

I think you're right about Novell having had its day - that's why I would suggest looking at a growth area like Linux. Also, Linux is something you can install at home and get some familiarity with, whereas Cisco or other unified computing server types are going to be more difficult to get experience on outside of a large enterprise.

Has he any other skills like storage, networking knowledge? Middleware, Apache, anything like that?

The growth areas at the moment are computing as a service - cloud services - but it's all large enterprise servers and storage behind it, and you need techies administering it all.

If he wants a complete career change, that's where he really needs to look at his transferable skills and what aspects of work he enjoys and what drives him mad. Don't think about jobs at this point, but what he can do and wants to do. When he's got that list, that's when to start looking at which jobs might fit that profile.

But it may be worth taking any job that's going to get some income, and either using that as a stepping stone to getting more training, or developing some non-techy skills. Paying the bills and particularly not having to sign on every fortnight was enough to get me temping in a call centre (you're right about the job centre being useless, if you're not looking at basic-level jobs), even though it was a quarter of the salary I had been on 8 months earlier. It was still more than JSA, and meant I didn't have to be wound up by the whole signing on process (I'm sure it could have been far more efficient.) It took me 8 years to get back to my before-unemployment salary, but it was work.

Hoppinggreen Sun 23-Mar-14 15:31:45

Sorry, I should have read more carefully.
According to DH Novell is no really needed now, he suggested
Linux as well as being easy to learn at home.
DH says there's a lot of call for Java if your DH could do a course

Geoff0409 Mon 24-Mar-14 15:30:17

Hi Kazza,
You have my sympathy for this situation. While still working, I have been applying for other jobs and found that I seem to fall at the last hurdle - similar with being a bit specialised in a certain area (very boring and not IT in my case) but said areas are not that popular now so the skills and qualifications can become a bit irrelevant. Does your DH have any hobbies or interests that he might like to use or develop? I know you might have been suggested this before but it could help - eg, if he is a good Gardener he could buy a few tools and get round the local area with flyers. I know this costs money to start with but if you concentrated within say a 5-mile radius then am sure he could drum up a few customers. He doesn't need to go mad, just a few hours a day between the school runs (if you still need them) and also a Saturday morning/afternoon would be ideal. As long as he earns a bit of money to bring in then that would be great for you - and would probably boost his confidence no end. Sorry if it's not a good example but anything you can start up without breaking the bank might be an idea.
Lots of luck to both of you.

kazzawazzawoo Mon 24-Mar-14 18:40:48


His hobby is drumming, but he's not good enough to earn money that way. He hates gardening and DIY!

He loves reading and would like to write a book, but has barely any time due to job searching at the moment hmm

We just can't afford any training for him at all. We have just enough to survive, but can't pay the mortgage. He had just done some vm ware training, but has no experience using it.

Geoff0409 Mon 24-Mar-14 23:41:14

Hi Kazza, I know it's boring but has he thought about meter-reading or something like that? I know it's not exciting and the money's not great but money is money and at least your DH will be in super-shape. I know a lady that did this and enjoyed it immensely. Sorry if it's not a good idea.

marsybum Mon 24-Mar-14 23:50:37

would he be willing to take a step down and essentially start from the beginning on a first line helpdesk? we are always looking for reliable staff who are willing to learn, I'm a service desk team leader based in Leeds in a growing IT company and not shy about taking on people with a bit more maturity if they have the right Work ethic and skills?

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