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This is a discussion on Desperately need special advice within the Certification & Career forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hello, I am in a desperate situation in my life and I am hoping that people will be kind enough


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Old 01-19-2020, 10:24 PM   #1
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Hello,

I am in a desperate situation in my life and I am hoping that people will be kind enough to give me the special advice that I need. I am a 53-year-old woman who has spent 25 years being a level one corporate computer support helpdesk analyst doing mostly break fix and light project work as needed for whatever job I was on. I additionally suffer from adult attention deficit disorder which has left me barely making it out of high school without having cheated the system most of my life by using cliff notes instead of being able to get through normal classwork as dictated by the course. In high school the only reason I was passed for my algebra one class was because the teacher took pity on me because she knew I tried working with a tutor and just could not grasp the material. I firmly put my foot down at that point and said I am not going to college because there was no way in heck I was going to be able to grasp the material for algebra two and geometry and trigonometry if I could not even grasp algebra one. I literally told my mom in the parent teacher conference in front of the teacher thatís it Iím not going to college give me balance your checkbook 101 and then send me to Forest Ranger school and Iíll go into the forest and live with smoky the bear and Bambi for a career. When it would come time to take those long winded standardized test where are you answer the questions by filling in the dots when I would hit a wall where I started to not know the material I would simply get frustrated and play connect the dots by just filling in whatever Circle I felt like to get through the test. My mother every year was called in to school because I failed those test miserably but was never held back. During my particular time in school there were no diagnosis available or treatments available for attention deficit disorder. This is why I had to cheat my way through school; if no one tells you you have a condition because they donít even know it exists then you donít know youíll have a problem especially if youíre growing up. When it would come time to take those long winded standardized test where are you answer the questions by filling in the dots when I would hit a wall where I started to not know the material I would simply get frustrated and play connect the dots by just filling in whatever circle I felt like to get through the test. My mother every year was called into school because I failed those test miserably but was never held back. During my particular time in school there were no diagnosis available or treatments available for attention deficit disorder For senior year I wound up with an English teacher that demanded college level work including reading the full book of whatever literature was assigned. I tried desperately to get out of her class and could not I begged her to allow me to do extra credit work and told her I canít get through these books my attention goes out the window and I wind up asleep within three pages and I even told her that is what just happened for the very first book of the semester which was the full on version of king Lear she told me too bad youíre doing the same work as everybody else and if you use the cliff notes youíre not allowed to participate in class; guess what she failed me for the year and I had to go to summer school with a bunch of pot smoking burn out that would cut class. I tried desperately to get out of her class and could not I begged her to allow me to do extra credit work and told her I canít get through these books my attention goes out the window and I wind up asleep within three pages and I even told her that is what just happened for the very first book of the semester which was the full on version of king Lear she told me too bad youíre doing the same work as everybody else and if you use the cliff notes youíre not allowed to participate in class; guess what she failed me for the year and I had to go to summer school with a bunch of pot smoking burn out that would cut class. The legally blind teacher running the summer school class simply assigned everybody a B+ regardless of whether they did work or cut class. Even though to this day I still have my senior high school diploma I referred to it as being less useful than Charmin toilet paper.

I explained what I did above because since I was able to pretty much learn things by doing it and by being pretty much self taught and helped by friends it was all what I call ďmonkey see monkey doď which essentially amounts to Assembly line work show me the project show me what Hass to be done and Iíll knock out 50 of whatever. I also learned troubleshooting the same way. I would get a problem I would learn how to fix it by talking to other people and learning from them and then I would remember how to fix it the next time and so on and so forth. Because of my adult ADD I became textbook phobic and testing phobic. Because I kept lying to myself and thinking I could skate through life doing this I never pursued any additional education including computer certifications such as A+ and such.

I lost my last job in March 2018 which was the worst year Iíve ever experienced in my whole life and pray I never repeat it. At the same time that I lost my job I also found out that my father had died five years prior and no one told me that he was sick, that he went into hospice, that he died nor did I get invited to the funeral even though I lived in the area due to massive family problems that caused me to be estranged from my family for eight years. I had to find out on my own five years later (2018 That my father had died in 2015) and at the same time as I learned he had passed and Aunt I was very close to passed away then her sister passed away two months later and then another month later my dadís Canadian sister passed away. During that same time I lost my job, the condo I have been subleasing for 10 years and my car. I was only blessedly lucky to be provided with a place to live by my cousins because their parents house with the loss of their mom (my Aunt) was now empty and would need to be rehabilitated before I could be put on the market. They did this because I would need a long-term place to stay and they knew it because who will allow somebody to sign a lease for an apartment when they are unemployed. I am blessedly lucky I have family members including a brother that are paying some of my expenses including my rent for the apartment that I am finally in.

I am still unemployed because with no certifications on my resume only solid work experience and not knowing things such as servers and networking people are only coming after me with jobs that are paying $20 or under two which I tell them I will not be raped or ripped off for my higher skills and experience of 25 years and if you want somebody for that rate go to McDonaldís and hire a burger flipper. When people have come at me with normal paying jobs I never ever have gotten the job offer it has gone to other people and I have only once been invited into an office for an interview and still did not get the job.

I am being put through school being paid for by the state of New Jersey unemployment and it is a special school. I am suspecting I am getting a really cheap crappy school since I have already started and experienced how this particular school works. They call it a blended school because of the way they present the material as in their teaching methods. I am in a class of three people and they keep us separated except for one day a week the other two students I donít think youíre very serious about the courses because I have met them and something just seems off with their level of seriousness. The curriculums is 100% provided as self administered as in there are no teachers for the courses. The courses I am being given our CompTIA A+, network plus, security plus and the state is also paying for one certification of my choice. The materials are comprised of e-books, professor Messer videos pulled right off of YouTube (the CompTIA A+ course for Professor Messer and for the e-book that they are giving me is one generation behind it is the two 20Ė901 & 220-902 As opposed to the current which is 220-1001 and 220 Dash 1002) they also give the accompanying professor Messer PowerPoint presentations that go along with his course and they are giving me lab simulations and search blasters. So far the gentleman offering a course has seemed a bit incompetent because the e-book which contains quizzes in each chapter has already had the quizzes filled out and he hast to as opposed to the current which is 220-1001 and 220 Dash 1002) they also give the accompanying professor Messer PowerPoint presentations that go along with his course and they are giving me lab simulations and CERT blasters. So far the gentleman offering the course has seemed a bit incompetent because the e-book which contains quizzes in each chapter has already had the quizzes filled out and he hast to replace my book with one that has not had the quizzes filled out and he has not been able to give me access successfully to the lab simulations or the CERT blasters because they were not working and he sat there repeating the same steps over and over before he realized that he had assigned me the demo versions not the live versions. I donít even know if I will be getting any sort of real hands on type of learning and I donít even know if I will get anything more then the lectures and e-books and such which only tell me this is what it is this is what it does instead of saying OK this is what it is and what it does and then teach the follow up of how to do it such as how to set up NAS or RAID drives. I am going to give it until the end of the week but Iím not holding my breath because even though I have a problem with attention I am not stupid I can smell incompetence and cheap when I see it and smell it.

The assistance I need which is why I am posting here is I am having a hard time finding exactly how to videos on setting up a NAS drive and RAID drives. As for the RAID I have found several videos that I put into a playlist on YouTube that I have to review I am praying that some of them will actually show me OK this is each type and this is how you set it up. My work experience has not expose me to networking and servers and all of these other types of drives because it has been limited to break fix as well as specializing in having worked for retail companies where I troubleshot point-of-sale systems. I am seeking suggestions for where I can get the how to videos that show me step-by-step how to do these things because Iím having trouble locating those type of videos. Any suggestions for that is appreciated.

The last thing that I am looking for is strictly career advice in nature. When I get done with my schooling I will have taken the compTIA A+, network plus and security plus and will have taken one certification exam that I pray I can pass. Once that is done can anyone please give me a list of job titles that I would look up when it comes time to start applying and having the school and the state of New Jersey assist me with job placement I would also need to know what type of salary I could expect for those job types within the state of New Jersey in the United States. I would also love to learn how to put myself out there for additional work as a consultant that does project work from home. Because I have been so entrenched in only working my jobs over 25 years I have no clue of job titles or even what salaries they pay nor how to do project work as a consultant and I donít mean consultant which would be the equivalent of the old fashion being an administrative assistant temporary I mean working a project that I get paid a salary for so to speak. The suggestions I would be looking for regarding this would be if somebody could point me in the direction of legitimate computer professional consulting sites that hire consultants for project work remotely as I am not willing to travel all over the country because my preference is to work a full-time job that I can get benefits from and supplement my income with project to work from home.

I apologize for this explanation being so long but well to put it mildly my life has sucked so bad that I am currently on food stamps and have zero income aside for getting relatives to pay my rent my car insurance or my utility bill or my cell phone bill I do not have any money as in zero money coming in for myself. So I am hoping somebody will take pity and be able to help somebody that is fighting tooth and nail to get her life back.

I wish to thank everyone reading this and willing to help me and say God bless you for helping me.

Sincerely,

Alisa
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Old 01-20-2020, 01:01 AM   #2
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That is a tough ordeal that you're going through Alisa, I sympathize with you, life is tough and sometimes we feel like a boat that is going through never ending tides.. Does it get better ? Not sure anyone can answer that question.

People learn through different media, VARK method is a reference point, simplified it can be either through visual, hearing, read/write, doing... Take a small exercise and figure out which one works best for you... Then use that medium effectively...

For freelancing, there are a few sites where you can work from home, fiverr, freelancer, upwork etc.. You bid for work and can do them depending on your time availability..

I don't recommend courses, even when I interview candidates, I don't see the certification or what courses they complete.. I ask them technical questions and if they're able to get them out of tricky technical issues, those are folks I tend to hire.. Instead of going through courses, there are tons of youtube videos which offer more than required knowledge to upskill yourself.

Service Desk/L1 support/Helpdesk's are now a thing of the past now being converted to BOTs/Virtual Chat Agents which do the job.

While doing the certifications, also focus on gathering more knowledge and technical skills, that is going to help you in the long run...
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Old 01-20-2020, 06:32 PM   #3
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Thank you for taking the time to read my long thread and for your compassion. The reason I am taking the courses is because I do not have access to anyone that I can bounce things off and learn from on topics of RAID, NAS, Servers (i.e. how to build one, how to work with the software, how to work with the software etc...) as I have never had the opportunity at any jobs to have anything to do with any of those topics. This has left me "blind" so to speak and when I do get quizzed I cannot answer what I do not know which makes me worth less money than that of younger people with no experience and actual certifications which is why I cannot get a job.

Do you know any "job titles" of what those 3 certs would enable me to use a search criteria on job search sites when I am ready? I am 100% unfamiliar with job descriptions as well as how to research the salaries that those jobs command in my area and also as a consultant.

I am additionally experiencing what I think has become an annoying but all too commonplace phoenomina with job opportunity contacts reaching out to me. I have gotten tons of what has become 100% worthless approaches from people with names that sound like they come or are still in India or Pakistan or are H1-B visa people taking US citizens jobs. The names all sound like they come from those places. They send me 100% unsuitable opportunities either because they are from across the country (i.e. I live in NJ and they send me far flung locations like Washington state or Texas or some such stupidity or they don't read my resume and compare it to the opportunity information) and these people all do the "spaghetti tactic" of throwing everything against a wall to see what sticks. It is as though they sit and just troll company career sites and job search sites and send out massive emails to try to snag a commission they were never hired to get. How can I stop those worthless morons?

Look forward to your next reply.


Sincerely,

Alisa
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Old 01-21-2020, 01:27 AM   #4
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Here are some Job Titles I found related to the Certifications you've posted.

Help Desk Technician
IT Security Specialist
Network Administrator
System Administrator
Service desk analyst
Technical support specialist
Field service technician
Associate network engineer
Data support technician
Desktop support administrator
End-user computing technician
Help desk technician
System support specialist

Here's a reference of the Avg salary for the Certifications (from payscale.com) but they're not specific to a geographic location within the US.

CompTIA A+ salary: $59,000
CompTIA Server+: $63,000
CompTIA Network+: $63,000
CompTIA Project+: $67,000
CompTIA Linux+: $70,000
CompTIA Security+: $72,000
CompTIA CTT+: $74,000
CompTIA Cloud+: $74,000
CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP): $84,000

How to stop them ? No idea, I've not been in such a jam personally so am not able to comment. You could try giving them your exact requirement or the location constraint at the beginning of the call..

If you're willing to freelance, you can check out some of the freelance sites I posted earlier, there might be some opportunities you can pick up for some extra cash..
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