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Strategies for moving from part-time to full-time PC support work

I have been working as a temporary part-time computer support specialist for three years. I work more hours than I am paid for because I want the training, and the situations for experience don't always present themselves on my scheduled time. I have found, however, that this has hurt me. I am currently looking for full time and hiring managers are looking at my part-time work as a liability. Also, I can't include the hours I haven't been paid for because they aren't documented. Do you have any suggestions?

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Just because you didn't get paid for it, or it doesn't show up on your scheduled time, doesn't mean you can't sell yourself on that basis. Put a document together that details your "off the clock" (but still "on the job") experience.

Talk as eloquently and forcefully as you can about what you know, what you learned and how much unpaid time you put in. Any hiring manager with a lick of sense will recognize that you've shown initiative, a willingness to learn and a dedication to your work that is unusual in today's workplace.

If you put the right spin on your experience (paid or otherwise) you can give it value, and use it to lead you into a better job.

Good luck!

This was first published in September 2002

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