Applying for my first IT job gave me some practical reminders. First, to succeed in life sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone to realize your goals. And second, don't discount skill sets acquired in other career experiences. I've worked in IT for about seven years, and it has certainly been the right career choice for me.
Prior to my entry into the IT world, I worked as an intake analyst for an HMO. My duties were to document patients' prior approvals for procedures and inpatient/outpatient stays, as well as provide information for providers. After about a little over a year of this, I grew bored of the same routine and yearned for something more challenging. I decided to pursue a career in IT.
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At the time this story took place, I was just finishing up my first year of community college and my second year of PC repair work that I did independently on the side. A PC technician position opened up at the HMO's help desk. I didn't have all of the requirements listed, but I did feel confident in my abilities to figure out problems and was anxious to get started with a real IT position. And I was excited about the possibility of experiencing the best of both worlds: academia and practical application. I went back and forth in my mind about whether or not to apply, but finally decided why not try and see what happened.
I sent my resume to HR and made it through the cut: My interview was scheduled for several days later.
When I arrived, I was taken aback by the number of people conducting the interview. I assumed it would be a one-on-one with the help desk manager, but it was the entire help desk. There were only nine of them, yet it was slightly intimidating.
The manager introduced me to the team and gave me an opportunity to give them some history about me. They started with the basic questions such as, "What do you consider your strengths and weaknesses? Describe the ideal job. What are your hobbies?"