Next Move: Can agencies help with San step?

After 16 years as a field service rep, I am seeking a career option with prospects. I have been with my current employer for 13...

After 16 years as a field service rep, I am seeking a career option with prospects. I have been with my current employer for 13 years. I am looking for, perhaps, a consultancy role or project management. I would also like to break into the San arena. With this in mind I studied in my own time for my MCSE in W2K. Are agencies the place to look?

Target ideal employer and rivals
Agencies have been taught to look for certain criteria, and one is length of service. Future companies need to see why you have been with the company for so many years, and that you have progressed steadily. You need to show all this in your CV and even in the covering letter.

Agencies may not be the best place for you to start in a tight marketplace. Often a direct approach with an explanatory covering sheet to the companies you want to work for will do more for you than registering with several agencies.

You mention a desire to move into San and it is a move I would recommend as it is a booming area. You have shown loyalty to your current employer and gumption by studying in your own time for further qualifications.

Your not having ITIL should not have been the make-or-break point on which you got a job. You appear to have a solid IT career and obvious technical and man-management skills that should make you a good prospect for any company.

It is unfortunate that your company does not recognise these qualifications but you could use that to your advantage when talking to future employers. You could explain that you have the practical knowledge and ability, but have been unable to formalise this as your company is already so confident in your skills that they feel paying for additional training would be a waste!

Identify the type of company you have a desire to work for. Ideally, you will know the names of these companies: perhaps there is a specific business area? Use a Web site such as, type in the name of your ideal company and it will come up with several competitors in the same field.

Often competitors will use the same software and networks, so generally once you have found out which companies use which software, you will be able to apply to all of them in the knowledge that your skills should be appropriate.

Solution provided by Tracey Abbott, Zarak

The panel: MSB International, Best International, British Computer Society, Computer Futures, Computer People, Elan, Reed Computing, Zarak Technology, E-Skills UK

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