Next move: where next for a mainframe analyst

Career advice for IT professionals

How do I capitalise on a wide IT experience?

I am a mainframe analyst and programmer with 20 years' experience. I have coded in Cobol, used Dataquery, TSO, MVS JCL, Selcopy and Syncsort. I have trained in HTML, Javascript and Java and have a Sun certification in Java programming. I also have an Iseb foundation certificate in software testing. I have held many positions over the years, but have not yet found a role that seems well suited to my skills.

Consider moving into a non-technical role

With 20 years' experience in the IT sector, you have a wide range of skills across a number of markets. What you need is a firm idea of where you want to be - and some solid career advice.

It looks like you have not found a position you are happy with so far. But your experience will be seen as a huge plus by employers - as long as you can explain why you wanted to change your focus so frequently.

There is no reason why you would not be able to secure a job in support or development, where you would be able to further your skills and build up your experience.

Working in IT does not necessarily mean undertaking a specifically technical role. Having two decades of experience in the sector means that you will have a great many transferable skills. These could be translated, for example, into project management or IT service delivery.

An IT recruitment specialist should also be able to help you match your skills with positions, as many jobs in IT are not advertised.

If you do go it alone, it is important to tailor your skills and experiences for each position, demonstrating not just your strengths, but your ability to adapt to a range of different roles.

l Solution by Robert Chapman, chief executive at Firebrand Training

The panel: Computer People, Hudson, No Limits Coaching, Firebrand Training, Wreay Group

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