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Stuck in a dead end job

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by IDDQD, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. IDDQD

    IDDQD New Member

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    Hello,

    I'm in need of some advice...I'm currently a Desktop Support guy with a company, and have been for 6 months so far. Prior to that, I was also desktop support for another company for just under 2 years, and before that, 2 months on the helpdesk. At my current job, there is nothing left to learn, and career progression doesn't look great mainly because:

    1. They have no need for Infrastructure engineers
    2. There is very little interesting things to do, the majority is just urgent data downloads

    Even as desktop support, all I do is install software on laptops, rush to meeting rooms because the dumb users cannot press the ON button for the projectors, and hop about keeping the special VIPs happy. The only reason I am in the job at the moment is for the money, and the experience that's going on my CV.
    But, I seriously want to move on if possible, ideally something like Junior Server/3rd Line/Network, just like how I was Junior Desktop Engineer and learnt a lot of things on the job (at the time I had only A+ and N+).
    I now have MCSA, but I just don't see many jobs around that are for Junior roles in 3rd Line/Server/Network. And I don't know where I will get the experience from. How important are qualifications? Should I quit my job and just concentrate on getting loads of qualifications that are relevant to the type of jobs I'm looking for, or do employers not care about qualifications all that much? I would have loved to take a few months off work and just study in the meantime, but I'm concerned about the gap in employment which recruitment agencies and employers tend to get anal about.
     
  2. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    I wouldn't quit before landing a new job to be honest. Like you said, having a gap will hurt your chances of getting a new job. My recommendation is send out cv's when ever possible and you know sometimes getting a desktop support job with the opportunity to grow in the company is worth every penny if you ask me. The qualification you got should be more than enough with the amount of experience you have. The MCSA will come in handy for you, you'll see, just keep plugging away with the CV's and you will find something.
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
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  3. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    In the current economic and employment situation, absolutely not. Quitting a job before you have something else lined up is a surefire way to stay unemployed for an extended period of time. Things are tough enough as they are... why would you want to make it any tougher on yourself?

    Sure, get certified on things that you have experience doing... but you don't have to quit your job to do so.

    What certifications did you have in mind?

    Some do, some don't. That said, most of those employers don't value employees who hold certifications without the relevant amount of real-world experience. For example, if you don't have a few months of light server administration experience, even your MCSA isn't going to be terribly useful for you. But if you DO have that experience, the MCSA will add to your credibility and attractiveness.

    Of course, there are still a few employers out there who value certifications even without experience... but from what I've seen and heard, these tend to NOT be employers that you would want to work for. If the hiring managers are that uneducated about certification, how uneducated are they about IT in general?

    As well you should. An employment gap is an instant red flag to many employers. I know I take it into consideration when I'm reviewing candidate resumes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2010
    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+
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  4. IDDQD

    IDDQD New Member

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    I will get MCSE very soon (half way through studying for 70-293), maybe another 2 months time.
    After that, MCITP Enterprise Administrator, with Exchange 2010.

    Further on down the line, but not immediately, CCNA, VMWare, and Citrix

    I've been looking out for IT jobs in schools and colleges, might be something there of interest. In a way I regret leaving my first employer, as I might have been able to push for a server role (the place was full of politics and I was my managers "pet" since I've made him look good on many occasions due to my own hard work, but given they lost the contract to their client, I was rather a bit worried at what would happen).
    Come to think of it, I have light server experience over there simply because the server team were too lazy half the time to do certain urgent things, and there was no escalation point (their team leader would just sit and smile). A lot of things I have done myself to shut users up, such as modify file permissions, group membership, administer DNS and DHCP (printer IP address reservation) and create print queues. I'm fairly comfortable with group policy as well.

    In an ideal world I could find part-time work, and I can fit some serious studying in while also working, but this is not going to happen.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2010
  5. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I don't mean to pry, but what prevents you from working AND studying? I've got a full-time job, a wife, two kids, Assistant Cubmastering duties, TaeKwonDo, Sunday School teaching, and choir practice... and I can squeeze in study time when I choose to do so.
     
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  6. IDDQD

    IDDQD New Member

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    nothing stops me, but i'd sure get more done being in part time.
     
  7. veloce

    veloce Byte Poster

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    well said BM.

    We all have to juggle other factors in our lives in order to achieve certain goals.
    Its that desire to succeed despite such commitments that makes us a better person ( not just in the employment sense).

    Wow, thats a bit heavy for a Thursday eve, I need to lie down now:cry:
     
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  8. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    That may very well be true... but you'll put yourself in a risky employment situation by going to part time with no guarantee that the certifications will EVER get you a full time job again. In my opinion, it's not worth the risk to switch to part time (or worse, unemployment) just to get certified faster.
     
    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+
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  9. asoe209

    asoe209 Nibble Poster

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    If I was you I would stick it out where you are and just send your cv out as much as you can. At some point you will get some thing by the sounds of it you know a few things. There must be sone one out there that will want you. In this tine it's more about luck than what you know. And defo who you know as well. Stick in there mate ou will get there
     
    Certifications: City & Guilds level PC repar 1 & 2
    WIP: Comptia A+
  10. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    There is a long way between junior server and 3rd line, a junior server engineer is a new to the role second line engineer, someone not quite good enough to be let out on their own but thought to have promise, they would normally shadow a more senior engineer.

    Are you actually working with server technologies at the moment? if you are then getting your MCSE is great BUT, if you're aiming for the MCSE because you think it will help you get a better job then I would honestly stop right now and wait until you have more relevant experience (Microsofts recommendations are for 12 - 18 months experience with the technologies involved).

    I am sorry to say but... you have to learn to walk before you can run, if I were in your shoes I would be looking for a move into second line, once I had found the position I would hand my notice in with my current employer and move on, I certainly wouldn't do it now because there are more experienced and better qualifed people out there also looking for work and you 'could' spend months out of work and trust me, the desire to carry on learning at that point starts to ebb out of you.

    Surely that just depends on how much you want it, thats the nice thing about commuting or lunch breaks, it gives you ample time to pull a book out or listen to podcasts and the comment from you above kinda shows the lack of true desire to improve yourself, you just want the quick way out, not the right one.
     
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  11. IDDQD

    IDDQD New Member

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    "and the comment from you above kinda shows the lack of true desire to improve yourself, you just want the quick way out, not the right one. "

    no offense but that statement is rather far fetched, you don't know me personally at all to make that kind of assumption, and it comes across as rather pompous. I appreciate you have over a 1000 posts, and an endless list of qualifications, etc, but I don't see a PHD in human behavioral patterns...

    But thanks everything prior to that last paragraph, that was genuinely helpful.
     
  12. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    You're correct that I don't have a PHD in Human Behavioral Patterns, what I do have however is a number of years not only the IT industry but also the Armed Forces (time spent as a military copper as well as other trades) that offers me a great insight into other people. Most people that know me (personally) know that I do have a canny knack of reading people and situations quite clearly.

    As far as coming across as pompous?? what do I care? I offered you my opinions, whether you actually accept one or all is completely up to you, you have to remember that if you ask for advice then you're going to hear both what you do and don't want to.
     
    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
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  13. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

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    I agree with this statement.
    Although I think you're a bit cocky sometimes Simon, I do value and respect your advice and experience.

    In regards to OP I didn't bother following when I saw:
    This dumb users you're talking about might have extensive skills and experience in different areas of business (law, sales, marketing, business development, etc.) and fact that you know a bit about computers and they don't, doesn't give you the right to call them dumb. It's your job to know this stuff and not theirs.

    You could also come up with the idea of AV training for users and officially teach them how to switch the projectors on and off as well as do other simple tasks.
     
    WIP: Uhmm... not sure
  14. asoe209

    asoe209 Nibble Poster

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    That was a good point you made there about teaching them what to do for next time. Although im not a tech yet I have a interest in computers, but you have to remember that other don't share this interest.

    Most people just what there computers to work they don't care what makes it work or why its not working and this is what were are here for (soon to be with you there lol).

    back to the point. IDDQD Don't take things to heart, its just Simon's view on what you have posted although you may not like what was said you should take it in. Any advise good or bad to you is advise and the more you get the better choice you can make.
     
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  15. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

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    This x10.

    As much as I do feel a need to laugh sometimes at users expense I still make sure that 'stupid' mistakes and lack of knowledge are dealt with through extensive training. I wouldn't even think of calling them 'dumb' at any point in the process.
     
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  16. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    No end users = no tech guys needed ! :p
     
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  17. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    As said that bit of your post isn’t good mate. But let’s not go over that again and again.

    If you want to push on then just start applying for network admin jobs or a desktop support job where you would be part of an IT team. This would allow you to see what the network guys are doing and perhaps start to get involved in that.
     
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  18. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Whatever you do don't quit without lining up another job. I made the same mistake as I never had an issue walking into another job before until the (hate this saying) credit crunch hit and I found the calls from agencies drying up and I would consider myself experienced and well qualified.

    If your job isn't what you want to do and a lot of 2nd line support jobs are pretty boring as I'm finding with my current contract then plug away and get your MCSE but my advice is do it properly and learn the material and not just rush it to get it on your CV as then it's pretty pointless. I disagree with some people on the forum who think that every company has a natural progression from 2nd line to 3rd line as it just isn't as simple as that and opportunities don't actually happen all that often to progress so you have to get out there and make things happen yourself.
     
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  19. AgentDRL

    AgentDRL Nibble Poster

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    Completely agree with this point made. At my last place of employment, there are 2nd line desktop guys who have been there 8-9 years. There were just no opportunities to get into the network/server team as nobody left and no new roles were created. I was there for 8 years until the summer of '09 (doing 2nd line desktop work) when I managed to get out and get something better. I did everything to get noticed there - from taking on extra work, to taking annual leave just to shadow the server guys, took on projects that ran alongside the projects that the network/server guys were doing etc. Yet all my efforts were going unoticed.

    I am now in another job which I do like, but it's starting to morph back into the role I had at my previous place. Mentioned this to my line manager (who is a decent guy), but either he is dragging his feet or not bothered. But I do realise my career is my responsibility and not his. I cannot rely on him to get me what I want so I have to go and get it myself, and this is the reason I am now looking to move on since only being there a 13 months. It took me from the beginning of '07 to Aug of last year to get this job. Countless interviews and technical tests during that time, but I realise now I am going to have to go back to that once again. The competition is fierce to say the least!
     
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  20. westernkings

    westernkings Gigabyte Poster

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    I've actually never believed in Natural Progression really, the only progression I can imagine is another role further up the ladder because unless you are working for HP, Shell, the UN or something like that, you are unlikely to EVER be in a position to take your superiors job.

    OP: If you want another job, find one. I left a job after 3 days and fortunately it only took me 4 weeks to find a perfect job for me, however, after the first couple of weeks relaxing, I was beginning to panic and now I look back and think it was a stupid mistake on my part.

    and the "stupid users who can't find the on button" are the people that create your job, they don't disappear the further up the ladder you get either, all that happens is that it's no longer a projector that's an issue, but potential financial loss to your employer and a really big **** storm if you don't perform. Very few people sit in a server room without any end users OP, and the ones I have met that do, have been some of the worst wasters I have met.

    My suggestion: Start learning to be a people person and enjoying the interaction with clients otherwise it's going to go downhill very quickly. It's your job to provide them with a service, the better you do that, the easier it gets when the **** really hits the fan. They are not an inconvenience, they are an opportunity for you to really make people believe in you as a professional.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
    Certifications: MCITP:VA, MCITP:EA, MCDST, MCTS, MCITP:EST7, MCITP:SA, PRINCE2, ITILv3

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