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I want to be a programmer!

I graduated with honors 12 months ago and hold an AS/400 Programming Specialist diploma (an IBM PIE program) in my hand. In spite of my ever-widening relocation radius, I have not been able to find a programmer job and have become very discouraged. What else can I do to get that first programmer position?

This is a VERY common problem for graduates, and you are not alone. Searching is a full-time job. Very few graduates are lucky enough to find that first break soon after school. But once you do, it will jump-start your career. We are at the "End" of a very slow recruiting period and expect an improvement in the third and fourth quarter. More and more companies will have to increase their staff to keep up with the ever-growing demand for information technology. The best thing you can do is not give up. Network, network, network! You have to explore every avenue available -- including your school's placement services, other AS/400 RPG students (past and present), the Internet, classifieds, friends and family -- because you never know when, where or how it will happen.

Search for a company that has an AS/400 IT Department and interview for any position that will get your foot in the door. If you do not have the luxury of waiting, find any position in the computer field that can pay your bills. Do not get discouraged; the right opportunity is just around the corner.

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