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Advice Needed (Long opening post)

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by thirdno3, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. thirdno3

    thirdno3 Bit Poster

    Hi all, this is my first post and it’s a big one so congratulations if you can get through the saga!!!!!!

    Ok so a bit of background on me, I am 26 (27 in March) and I have been working for the same company for nearly 3 years originally brought in to do sales. We are a small company that does offshore surveys, repairs and sales, when I first started I was doing a HNC in Mechanical Engineering which I may go back to finish off. Any way about 2 years ago our company bought some Intermec CK32 handheld computers to log our survey results and I was given the task of looking after these handhelds, last year I decided to put my HNC on hold and started to look at I.T thought about doing an HND at collage but when it came for the course to start it had been cancelled due to not enough people signing up which led me to look for anyway to do some I.T certifications on my own, I started off in June doing the A+ which I got in August and the done my N+ in December and will be doing the MCDST in Feb/March then I will probably do the CCNA after that.

    Now like I said I have been looking after these handhelds for 2 years now ensuring that the right software is installed and that everything works like it should, setting up the fixed IP, DNS, Subnet mask etc) I also have to deal with the company who makes the software and looks after our portal where all the data is stored. I also have to deal with the network admins where are handhelds are used offshore. I am also the offshore tech’s only sort of helpdesk as well (troubleshooting connectivity problems and various other problems) as well helping in the office with I.T nothing fancy just general questions and trying to fix small issues on people’s desktops. My only problem is that I am still a “salesman” which I really don’t want to do anymore, I was offered another job earlier this year and I had a sit down with my boss and we went through what my plans were and what could he do to help me, so I told him that I wanted to get out of sales and into IT, and we agreed that if I kept doing my certs I could look after the company’s internal IT, which was great so I agreed to stay however it is clear now that any I.T I will do is after I have done the sales side of things. Another problem is the company is going through some difficulties and I am now thinking it’s as good a time as any to leave.

    I suppose I am really just after some advice on what would be the next step as I have never applied for any I.T roles also what level should I be aiming for as my ex flat mate who is already in I.T says that 1st line might not be the best thing to do as he reckons that I would be able to do at least 2nd line support. How would I put that on my C.V? I have already discussed this with my boss and he is happy to give me a great reference and back up anything I say.

    So what would you do, in my position?
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST
  2. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

    Well, it sounds as if you've got some solid knowledge and experience to get you started, and of course there is never any harm in looking around.

    With regard to what to put on your CV - pretty much all the things you said in your opening post. Don't be afraid of your sales background. All companies basically sell something to someone, even if it's support. Lots of IT companies love a salesman or ex-salesman. Or 'business development manager' - whatever.

    However, especially in the current climate, the concept of 'leaving' shouldn't be on your mind until you have somewhere else to go.
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  3. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

    One other thing that jumps out from reading your post is why the CCNA? It could certainly be counter-productive for you to go and do a cert like this with no experience of working with Cisco equipment and very little (if any) networking experience.

    The ones you have already and the next you have lined up (MCDST) are perfect certs if you are looking to get your first job in IT support. If you do get a CCNA before having any experience in the field, then I wouldn't be sticking it on your CV until you do have said experience.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP, MCDST, MCSA 2K3, MCTS, MOS, MTA, MCT, MCITP:EDST7, MCSA W7, Citrix CCA, ITIL Foundation
    WIP: Nada
  4. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

    The problem with second line applications is that you will almost certainly be going up against people with more experience than you. I'd look at the job specs of each individual job and see how closely my skills matched what they required. If they were a good match I'd apply whether it was listed as 1st or 2nd line.
    On a more positive note, most 1st Line jobs I see in your area are around £16-18K (about £2k more than here) and having experience in the offshore industry will also count for you; a lot of IT jobs I've seen advertised in Aberdeen (my old hometown :biggrin) are in the offshore industry and quite often list experience of that industry as desirable/essential.

    Personally I would ditch the CCNA plans until you are working (or you've been told you will be working) with Cisco kit. CCNA without experience to back it up is practically useless (although I did see one job advert for a first-line cisco support role where a cert alone was enough, although they preferred cert plus experience)

    Your CV is going to be the most important part. The only way I can think of using your boss's reference at that stage is to include it with your application and note the fact in your cover letter. I don't think much people will read it though, not unless the CV has already ticked enough boxes to make you a potential interviewee.
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job
  5. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    I'd recommend knocking out the MCDST but holding off on any further certifications until you get some more IT experience. Being overcertified for your experience level is not a good thing.

    I'd recommend that your pursue any and all 1st and 2nd line jobs out there. Don't dismiss an entry-level job at this point in your career just because it's not 2nd line - after all, you have yet to hold a full-time, proper IT position.

    You've got a little IT experience as well as some "soft skills", so that should give you an advantage over others who are just getting into the industry competing against you for entry-level jobs. Your competition will be stronger for 2nd line positions, as those candidates will tend to have more IT experience. Still, it's worth a shot.

    Above all, don't give notice at your current job until you have an offer letter from your new employer firmly in hand. I've heard far too many horror stories of being caught out between jobs and remaining unemployed for months, if not years.
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  6. thirdno3

    thirdno3 Bit Poster

    Cheers Jonny,

    I suppose i will have to take some time out over the Christmas break to get my C.V worked out, as in my head it is all over the place. I know that some of the skills can be transferable to I.T.

    There is no way i would leave here until I have another place lined up, although if things for the company are the same in a few months I might not have a job at all, sales or IT!

    The reason for the CCNA is that we use Cisco equipment at work and Hopefully i would get a chance to use it, I will probably still go for it but maybe leave it off my C.V, anyway that is a while down the road.

    Yeah I am thinking that going for 1st line would be for the best, even if it means taking a pay cut for a bit, it will be worth it in the long run.

    Thanks everyone for your advice, I suppose that the best way forward is to get applying as soon as possible. I had better get round to my C.V and MCDST!
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST

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