Getting a Job: The Catch-22

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A "Catch-22" is a term coined from a book about World War Two, and it involves what DBA's would call a "Deadlock" - one thing depends on another, and both must be complete before either will let go. In the case of a job as a DBA, it's "You need Experience", but of course you need a job to get experience to begin with. How do you solve this? If you've got a friend that wants to break in to the DBA role, this advice might help:

Using your favorite search engine (and by that I mean Bing of course) search for the words "technical volunteer" and your city's name. Here in Seattle I got a hit for NPower, called them up, and found that they have several slots that they need a DBA for. You can also have your friend ask at their church and at the local schools - almost all schools in this area will let you volunteer.

The point is this - use the volunteer position to get documented proof that you've done the job, no matter how small the system. Employers are interested in two things: real experience in production, and how you think. With a little volunteering, you'll help your community and you'll gain valuable experience - and you'll break that Catch-22.

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  • Great idea.  Tempted to do this just to add different experiences to my resume.  Variety is the spice of life.

  • Your favorite political party or candidate may need IT volunteers.

  • But volunteering doesn't pay the bills.

    Hmm..., does it include mentoring.

    Nice point though. Thanx!

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