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Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by in_need_of_advice, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. in_need_of_advice

    in_need_of_advice New Member

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    Hi,

    I'm not a new member as such, but an old one hoping for a bit of advice, and it would be better if I protected my anonymity a little.

    I'm a common or garden IT Tech, and have been for a few years now. I've been off work for the past month, and don't know when I'll be able to go back, but I'm hoping very soon as not being useful is making me a bit fed up now. Basically, without giving you all my life history, I've been a single mum for the past couple of years, as I had to get out of an abusive situation, which didn't really end till much later than the separation. End result is, I tried to keep going all through it, ended up being told to take some time off last year and see a Doctor. I got diagnosed with severe clinical depression, put on pills and was back at work within a couple of weeks (My choice - no pressure from the employer at all!).

    Unfortunately, my head didn't really improve enough, and the doc wanted to try swapping the pills. This sort of threw me badly, and I ended up signed off for the past month. I upset a few people when I was at my worst, but nothing that can't be smoothed over I hope. I've had an occupational health assessment, and they agree that its not my job that's the issue - it's trauma from the time with the ex, plus a load of boring family stuff.

    I'm starting to think about getting back to work now. My job is safe, and my manager has been great about this. I'm doing all the things the doctor and Occ. health have told me to do, and generally feeling better (apart from being a sick-note holding scrounger). Apart from some expected apprehension about returning to work, I'm OK about it - in fact, I think I'd feel much better for it.

    I'm hoping the great people at CF can give me some advice. Keeping my job is great! But I want to try and salvage my career as well. My work training plans were put on hold whilst I was off, and I can imagine that when I do go back they'll be wary of pushing me for certs, or setting training goals, which leaves it up to me to set them (and finance them) myself. My CV is experience-rich, but cert-poor, and I don't want to stay a toner changer for the rest of my life!

    I certified for an Apple Certified Associate last year, but other than a HND in Computing some years ago, thats the extent of my qualifications. My experience has covered client PC install, config, deployment, and hardware, server install and maintenance (2003), GPO design and implementation and Mac hardware and software, as well as some networking, end user training and support and creating documentation and user manuals. I'm a 'hack stuff together' type amateur PHP dev as well. My old training plan was Sharepoint 2010 and SQL Server 2008 at work's request, for some upcoming projects. I also used to have supervisor responsibilities for two techs, but this got changed following some restructuring last year.

    So yeah, sorry for the long post, and if anyone has any advice on where to start, I would be very, very, very grateful.

    Thank you :)
     
  2. Boffy

    Boffy Megabyte Poster

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    Welcome back.

    It sounds like you've had a rough patch but I'm glad you have gotten through it. I know what it is like to suffer depression, it can feel really hard to pick up the pieces (saying sorry to those around you definitely helps!).

    Moving forward, you sound like you've had a solid amount of experience all over - what is your job title right now? Work towards what you currently are and make that next step up would be the most logical step.

    From what you've said, I think that's probably a MS Certification - consider doing the Desktop certs before the Server ones - but it does depend on how much you know and where you want to be in the future. I always like to recommend this road map if you are interested in MS certs: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_IGM0FlQXyB8/TDWaZoLiNeI/AAAAAAAAAE4/raekoTXkGsI/s1600/ICT.png

    Finally, don't rush into work qualifications and overwhelm yourself. Plenty would have changed and you have some work-based relationships to smooth over - get yourself into the daily work routine before thinking too far ahead.


    Best of luck! 8)
     
    Certifications: BSc Computer Game Technology, A+
    WIP: MOS 2010
  3. in_need_of_advice

    in_need_of_advice New Member

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    Hi Boffy,

    Thanks for the reply and the help.

    Yeah, bit of a rough patch! I'm out of the worst of it now I think though, I'm just going spare being at home all day! I've said sorry in person and over email to those involved, which I hope they've accepted.

    I'm currently an IT Tech. I was a senior IT tech for a while and supervised two techs, but as one of them was lost to redundancies, there was no need for a senior. I was assured at the time it wasn't anything to do with my performance, only a strategic measure to keep the department within limits HR-wise. I think getting back up and running at the level I should be on is sound advice. I don't want to stay in that role forever, but need to restart somewhere I guess.

    MS certs - I was a bit out of touch with the current cert tracks, because of everything else going on. That infograph is perfect. I'm thinking, start with the Desktop Fundamentals level, with Windows 7, as I have the training kit anyway and we are migrating to 7 and Server 2008 soon anyway. Then following the MCITP Server Admin track, as that was the level I was at up until about a year ago, (but with Server 2003). I may be asked to carry on with Sharepoint when I go back, but my guess is they are going to reduce my training goals down to the bare minimum, to cover their own backs. I need to start developing my career though.

    I'm thinking, give it a few weeks to get back up to speed with work and repair my work relationships and professional reputation (although I know this will be an ongoing process), then kick the training plan off. I'll obviously take it carefully, but having a plan in place alone just gives me a bit of reassurance that my career isn't going to crash and burn!

    Thank you so much for the advice and encouragement!!

    :)
     
  4. Boffy

    Boffy Megabyte Poster

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    Certifications: BSc Computer Game Technology, A+
    WIP: MOS 2010
  5. in_need_of_advice

    in_need_of_advice New Member

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    It's the 70-680 MS Press book I've got. So as long as work have no other plans for me, that's my new aim. Thanks very much, and thanks for the link to the Professor Messer site. Hadn't heard of it before.

    Cheers :)
     
  6. Boffy

    Boffy Megabyte Poster

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    You probably know this but make sure you get the errata, it has ALOT of mistakes - but is still the most recommended book to use.
     
    Certifications: BSc Computer Game Technology, A+
    WIP: MOS 2010
  7. in_need_of_advice

    in_need_of_advice New Member

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    I have heard that, and seen it myself, a fair few times, but it never hurts to be reminded. Thanks :)
     
  8. The Zig

    The Zig Kilobyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Welcome, and it does sound like you're bouncing back from a very tough time. I've never had depression, but have seen it close up with a loved one.
    Sounds like you have a workable plan. Based on the experience you describe, the 680 sounds ideal. Boffy's map is also very good.

    I've found this place helpful in the past - so ask questions whenever you need to.

    Best of luck with your studies!
     
    Certifications: A+; Network+; Security+, CTT+; MCDST; 4 x MTA (Networking, OS, Security & Server); MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Support; MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Administrator; MCITP - Server Administrator; MCSA - Server 2008; MCT; IOSH; CCENT
    WIP: CCNA; Server 2012; LPIC; JNCIA?
  9. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Welcome back, just to let you know tho that certs aren't the be all and end all, I would much rather take on an experienced tech than one with loads of certs and no actual real world experience.

    Aim for the Microsoft and perhaps even the Comptia exams. Also what never hurts having is the ITIL foundation exam, the material is very VERY dry but and I have to stress this.. having a good understanding of the ITIL processes and why things are done as they are is very important. Sure ITIL isn't for everyone but you would be surprised how far its spread.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  10. in_need_of_advice

    in_need_of_advice New Member

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    The Zig and SimonD,

    Thanks very much. Yeah, it's been a bit of a tough ride, but it seems I'm coming out the other side now, thankfully :D

    I'm getting stuck into the 70-680 book and really enjoying IT study again - something I haven't been able to do for a long time. I'm trying to crack Sysprep for a domain, with it prompting for computer name at the moment, as this is similar to how we have it set up for XP where I am now.

    I've also signed up for the Open University MS Server Technologies module. I have 60 credits with them anyway, so it makes sense for me to earn another 30 by studying for the 70-640 and 70-642, and then taking the exams with Prometric after.

    ITIL is something I want to look at as well soon. I'm a bit wary of over loading myself too quickly, but when I feel confident enough in my Windows 7 studies, I'll be looking further. For that one I want to make sure my employer is fully on board first, as I'd imagine I'd need their support.

    Thanks again for the advice and support. I'll be back on the boards under my real name soon, and I'm looking forward to speaking with you all soon.

    :)
     
    Boffy likes this.

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