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What steps do I need to take to get my life together? (Please see the context)

I am turning 30 this year and life has not been exactly how I want it to be.

I have a bachelors degree of applied science in Electronics Engineering from DeVry University but I graduated in 2009

I haven't had any type of tech Jobs. except one. and i feel that that job wasn't very technical sense quality control was more about visual inspection and everyday user computer functions.

I have some skills with photoshop, drawing, and I am trying to relearn computer programming on my own. I have html and css basics down. took a bootcamp prep course that had ruby in it. working on javascript. i also play the saxophone. but its been awhile for that has well.

here are websites that show skills not listed on resume ...

my resume is copy and pasted below.

Victor LaRue Bates II

DeVry University, Irving, Texas
Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology June 2009

Language/Software Skills

• C++ Programming
• Microsoft Visual Studio .NET
• Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0
• Verilog/VHDL Hardware
• MASM51
• Proview 32
• Orcad
• Adobe Suite: Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat Reader
• LabView
• Matlab
• Microsoft Office Suite: Project, Outlook, Visio, Excel, Groove, Word, Access, PowerPoint, and Publisher

Instruments/Hardware Skills

• Xilinx Spartan 3 Hardware
• 8051 Microcontroller Hardware
• Oscilloscope
• Digital Multi-Meter
• Function Generator
• Power Supply
• Logic Probe
• 8086 Microprocessor Hardware
• Programming Cisco Routers
• Soldering
• Digital and Analog Electronic Circuits Design and Analysis


Command Security Corporation
Irving, TX
June 2015-March 2017

DFW Airport CAS Security Screening Officer

• Conducted several security protocols of cargo before they entered the planes of various Airlines that partnered with CAS (a North American cargo handler) that include but are not limited to…
o Inspecting various packages for proper labeling making sure the company, destination, size, and weight matched Airway Bills and Manifests paperwork
o Instructing forklift drivers on where to sort and separate cargo that contain dangerous goods and notifying airline managers
o Swiping cargo with an ETD (Error Trace Detection) trap or swap and placing it inside an ETD machine to ensure no highly flammable or explosive residue was present on the outside of the cargo
o Placing cargo inside industrial XRAY machines and examining XRAY images to ensure cargo does not contain IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices)
o Logging all cargo items and how they were inspected

OnTrack Staffing
Irving, TX
January 2014-April 2015

SMS Infocomm Quality Control Technician
• Inspect various models of HP laptops for project Rushmore to ensure that all laptops performed at HP industrial standards for commercial clients functionally and visually
• Review laptop BIOS information with client paperwork to ensure BIOS version, Serial Numbers, Product Model, and SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) numbers are correct and that TPM(Total Protective Maintenance) is on
• Test laptop components(Hard Disk Drive, Memory, System Board, Optical Disk Drive, Video, Touch Screens, Speakers, Audio Jacks, Universal Serial Bus Ports, Serial Ports, Ethernet Ports, Touch Pads, Keyboard, Mouse, HDMI Ports, Webcams, and Microphones) using UEFI Or Unified Extensible Firmware Interface and Windows Operating Systems
• Made sure all drivers were installed and Windows OS was registered and activated.
• Remove computer viruses with Anti-Virus Software or sent laptop to re-imaging techs to re-image Windows
• Utilize gap tools to check for any aesthetic discrepancies such as gaps between laptop chassis, LCD and ODD bezels, keyboards, and access doors.
• Report to site supervisors of any laptop damage that appeared Customer Induced and laptops that were bio-hazardous to the facility
• Uploaded data to company server containing information on laptops status; Pass or Fail; laptop bin # and location, and common software, hardware, and testing issues.
• Assist Laptop Repair Technicians by reporting customer issues with laptops and which components where functional and which were not
• Assist Laptop Repair Technicians whenever WIP (work in progress) numbers became exceedingly high by swapping out small components as needed (RAM, HDD, ODD)


Plano, Texas

September 2011 –
December 2013

Security Officer

• Protect life and property of clients by preventing and reducing losses and crimes against the employer’s business or other organizations by observations, patrols, and reports
• Report to supervisors any violation of the law or of the company’s or client’s regulations
• Cooperate with all recognized and responsible law enforcement and government agencies in matters within their jurisdiction
• Maintain constant surveillance of assigned areas providing maximum visibility
• Provide appropriate assistance as needed to clients, their employees, guests and visitors in an expedient and professional manner
• Reported any property damage and/or malfunctions with client's alarms to facility managers

The Noerr Programs Corporation Team Member

Irving, Texas

December 2010 and April 2011

: April 2011: Assistant Site Manager

• Manage and train teams
• Maintain budgets
• Achieve goals,
• Control expenses, make nightly drop deposits, and protect assets
• Promote and merchandise and technology
• Maintain site cleanliness, safety and team dress code
• Utilize our web based management, productivity and reporting tool
• Perform cashier/greeter/photographer duties when appropriate

: December 2010: Cashier, Greeter, and Photographer

• Maintain an awareness of all promotions and advertisements.
• Accurately and efficiently ring on registers and accurately maintain all cash and media at the registers.
• Maintain orderly appearance of register area and supplies stocked
• Greet guest and present photo packages and merchandise
• Take high quality digital photographs and print them in various sizes based on customer specifications as well as create copyrighted CDs with images per customer request

Irving Public Central Library
Irving, Texas
April 2010 -May 2010
Library Clerk
• Checked in/Checked out Library Books and DVDs
• Organized Library Books and DVDs
• Marketed, Organized, and Participated in Library Events

DeVry University

Irving, Texas

August 2005 -October 2006 & May 2007 -June 2009

Career Services Receptionist

• Answer incoming calls for Career Services Department
• Complete certified mail for Advisors
• Create advertisements for local job openings
• Help coordinate Job and Career Fairs
• Create and maintain spreadsheets and databases for the Federal Work Study Program
• Assist Student Employment Coordinator with managing timecards and payroll
• Provide Helpdesk Assistance for Students Utilizing Hire DeVry
• Data Entry

DeVry University

Irving, Texas

August 2006 –
December 2007

Residential Assistant

• Assisted Housing Coordinators with conducting inspections to ensure safety of students by ensuring that no alcohol or weapons are present
• Assisted students by providing information about getting a job
• Helped students with accessing student resources and tutors
• Helped coordinate student events and extra-curricular activities
• Peer-Mediated with Housing
• Students to help solve household conflicts

Irving, Texas
May 2005 -August 2005
Mailroom Clerk
• Assisted with printing clients’ payroll and paychecks.
• Assisted with placing clients’ payroll and paychecks into packages.
• Assisted with distributing and mailing packages to company clients.
computer-science engineering art information-technology life-coach evaluating-resumes life-transitions job-application personal-development depression

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you


9 answers

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Joanne’s Answer

Honestly .. I'm not really sure how to approach this.

If you like the career path for the major you received at DeVry University, reach out to them to see if there is some type of alumni assistance.

Also, your post reads as if you are in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. That seems to be an up and coming mecca with respect to IT jobs.

Also, since it has been a few years and your degree is technology based, it may not hurt for a refresher or certification program that promotes job placement. Nowadays, The big trends seem to be network security and anything cloud'ish.

Good Luck.

Thank You for answering my ? Victor B.
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Adrienne’s Answer

I'm going to answer this as a Career Counselor and not as a tech expert (because I am not).

First, your resume needs some work. I would highly recommend meeting with a career counselor in your area who can assist you with resume writing. It needs to be shortened and restructured.

Secondly, a good way to gain experience in a field is to volunteer. It may be difficult to find volunteering in that field so you'll need to get creative and network!

Third, your experiences are valid. Sure they may not have been your ideal work experiences, but they will shine and a resume expert can help you with that. Don't forget that you can also get your foot in the door with companies you are interested in by applying for lower level positions and working yourself up.

Lastly, I highly recommend meeting with staffing companies and recruiters. They can greatly assist you and help you make contact with employers.

Thank you for answering my ? Victor B.
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Jess’s Answer

Hi there,

Taking a few courses isn't a bad idea to help refresh your skill set and learn new technicalities if this is the field that you want to go into. I bet there are classes available online for this.

Try to leverage any connections that you may already have of friends or family to help get your foot in the door at a potential new job opportunity. If none are available, try going to networking events or getting involved in the tech community wherever you are somehow (try going to "Meetups" website and see if there are any relevant community meetings or workshops.

You mentioned that you like to draw and use photo shop - maybe its worth exploring digital media or web design or digital advertising or something to insert creativity into your career.

Good luck!

Thank You for answering my ? Victor B.
Of course! Best of luck let me know if you have any follow up questions. It's definitely a challenging and daunting task to figure out how to best go about stepping back into a career, trust me I understand! Jess Elcan
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Kim’s Answer


The others seem to have covered it pretty well.
I just want to point out that I am pretty sure the "E" in ETD stands for "explosive," not "error."

The company I worked for during training told us ETD stood for error trace detection and IED for improvised explosive device. Thanks for letting me know. I will double check when i revise my resume. Victor B.
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Meena’s Answer

Your work towards enhancing your skills in IT programming can definitely shape your career. There are a lot of job opportunities out there in the software programming and information technology area. Continue to work on that, and look for some internship opportunities which could help you with real time experience.

Read resume tips on job portals such as and Make sure your resume is crisp, concise, adequately covers your key skills and expertise.

All the best!

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Alan’s Answer


I think the big secret about technology related jobs is that what really differentiates you from the competition may not be the technical skills.. it's your business skills. Do you understand the business you are enabling through technology? Do you listen to the needs of the customer well enough to put those skills to use?

If you have a firm grasp on those areas, the IT jobs will be much easier to land. There will always be a new technology to learn and there are plenty of resources to keep those skills sharp.. But what really can impress a hiring manager and change your 30's is if you can listen to the business, figure out what they need and use your skills to meet that need. That's value. Best of luck!

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Jayesh’s Answer

Hi Victor,

It seems that you are more inclined towards software development as you are honing this skill on your own, although working in other area. This itself shows that you are passionate about programming.

Ask yourself: Are you passionate of programming? Would you do this extra hours if you had time? If so, then you should go ahead with programming. User experience in Digital world is one area where you can exploit your skills of photoshop, drawing, javascript. Note that Digital Innovation is going on everywhere.

Learn about the digital transformations happening and how user experience is driving those.

Good luck! Hope this helps. Let me know how you move forward.

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John’s Answer

Steps to improve your life.
1. Self-reflection and mentorship:
You did everything in your 20’s people told you to do to be successful. Great, now you have a bunch of skills and knowledge that you can’t find anyone to put to use. First thing, sit down and look at your life, your friends, your family and eliminate contact with the things and people that are not benefiting you. This doesn’t mean you walk away from your current life but it might mean that you need to find a few new friends.
Finding a mentor may be more difficult. Lucky for you they have career and even life coaches who can help you find someone to get you that goal. Get lots of opinions, and information but remember the choice of your next move is up to you. Don’t be a jellyfish and feel free to be entirely selfish in your choices. After all it’s your future and no one else’s.
2. Be nice:
It sounds silly but people like nice people. If you’re the guy who is constantly complaining or never seems to be satisfied at work it will show. Now think about it; for a lot of people 80 percent of the people they meet each day are at their job. Do you really want 80 percent of the people you meet to think “this guy complains a lot!”
Additionally being nice generally makes you less stressed and feel better about yourself. Which I can say from experience is something everyone who is underemployed needs a bit more of.
3. Leave your comfort zone:
If you have a routine break it. Join local groups and associations that are in your career friend or interest. If you want to be in management, toastmasters can up with public speaking and presentation fears. If you want to work in an engineering or environmental field perhaps volunteering for the Parks Department Committee or Conservation Committee in your hometown will get you seen by a number of employers. It is all about networking and meeting people.
4. Take the attitude that “There is no shame in your game!”:
Talk to everyone. Don’t get personal just stress that you are looking to move onward and upward and that you’re not afraid to start at the bottom. Of course the bottom with your degrees isn’t normally sweeping floor or cleaning the break room but if you're the new guy at a company with only two other electronics engineers who have been there for a decade, taking out the trash is a small price to pay for the experience and education that you’re getting.
5. Be humble:
To many want to point out what they did. This is great in an interview but understanding that it’s the team's efforts that brings home the goal is the best way to build lasting friends and committed colleagues.

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Animesh’s Answer

Hi Victor,

Let's first start with what might seem to be a little Brutal response to our humble question.

Your question seems to show that you have developed a rather meek opinion of yourself. It maybe even reflects some sort of under-confident state of mind you might be in. God forbid, you might be thinking of giving up.

Tackle that!! remove that thought! You are NEVER done!

It's never too early for anything, it's never too late for anything!! Leave everyone else, have faith in yourself. Only then anything else will matter.

Now, coming to the point where we can perhaps discuss the other parts. Your resume shows that you do have enough hands-on and experience with many tools and different Job experience. Use that.

If you say that your life hasn't been what you wanted then we need to figure out what you want. And that's not an easy answer friend.

I keep telling people, if you don't know what you want to do. Start by crossing-out what you definitely don't want to do. Make a list of what doesn't sound bad. As negative as it may sound, it will bring a smile to your face. Be cautious though, don't tend to compromise.

Once you at least have a track to follow or a choice between two or plenty, you can start with contacting people who already are in those roles/field. Start with your alumni. Get in touch with people over Social Network. Forget being shy about it.

Ask people what type of life do they live while they do what they do. Try to filter what you learn from them. 'Learn from everyone, follow no-one'.

Try grooming yourself in the particular field you shortlist by taking a course or internship; whatever suits you. And then step up to the interview you would've realised by then that you always wanted.

Don't give up on that Saxophone. Ever!

Be with people who have faith in you, but make sure they keep egging you, boosting you, rebuking you if you get tired.

There's always light at the end of tunnel. Always :)