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What did you do before you worked in IT?

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by Arroryn, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    This isn't purely an exercise in 'nosiness' either.

    As we get a lot of people coming to CF that are looking to change career, I think it would be interesting to see how diverse the backgrounds of those currently in IT are. And I know the answer for everyone isn't going to be "Before IT? Are you mad?"

    I'll start. Obviously. It's my thread :)

    Before getting a job in IT, I worked for a paving manufacturer. I started work in the yard, labouring and driving a forklift, and then I moved into their sales team. Having always wanted to work in IT, I ended up getting my current job mainly on the strength of my customer service attitude (I think...)
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  2. MLP

    MLP Kilobyte Poster


    Before working in IT, I held a series of administration jobs; an area I am not suited to; varying from Office Junior at a corporate IT training company, fleet sales admin at a Nissan dealership, and wages clerk.

    I had a baby quite young, and after spending a few years doing whatever office or warehouse jobs I could get through agencies, I decided I'd had enough and it was time to start working towards getting into IT, which is where I wanted to be. I took an Access to Higher Education course at my local college, and followed it up with a HND in computing.

    I then took another Temp. office job, at a printers, just to pay the bills. Luckily, I was asked to help the IT manager out for a couple of weeks, changing passwords and swapping backup tapes. I ended spending 6 months with them, and got the chance to play with setting up a test server environment, playing with an oracle database, and other cool stuff I would never imagined.

    Then, after a round of redundancies at this place, I got my first 'real' IT job, as Technician in a school.

    Just been promoted to senior Tech.

    All in, it took me about 10 years to go from wanting to work in IT, to finding the courage to make it happen, and landing that all important first IT job.

    Certifications: HND Computing
    WIP: 70-680, 70-270, 70-290
  3. fortch

    fortch Kilobyte Poster

    Started my work career in movie theaters during high school, as a projectionist -- almost went to the World's Fair in Osaka to ply my trade. College was more important, so I decided to stay here and continue pursuing an Engineering Degree.

    Unfortunately, I ran out of money, and decided to go the quick route and work on cars (ya know, making a hobby a career??). So, I switched from a B.S.E.E. to an A.S. in Automotive Technology -- in hindsight, a very poor decision. Regardless, I started out as a car porter, then moved to apprentice, then technician, then journeyman, then Master Technician (in several manufacturers), and finally a shop foreman.

    15 years later, I had a sore back, a bad attitude, and a very bad taste on the ethics in the Automotive field. So, it was time to make a change (from a hobby to a career?) -- and since I was already the defacto tech guy, and I had a fair amount of side work building/repairing PC's, I thought, "what the heck?"

    So, I started studying for certs after work, in a basement full of machines in various stages of disrepair. One by one, I was knocking 'em out, and it took a few years to finally make the switch fully to IT (something I'm not sure I'd do over if I had the chance). Not only was I older, but I was in a market that largely required a security clearance, so it took a few years to find the right company to sponsor me.

    Regardless, now that I'm in IT, I honestly can't say it was worth the wait. Do I enjoy what I do? Sure. The problem is a matter of perspective... I'm flat-out tired of fixing things. I'm pretty good at it (by now), but I'd love a job that stretches my right brain. Oh well, the grass is always greener :)

    Who's next?
    Certifications: A+,Net+,Sec+,MCSA:Sec,MCSE:Sec,mASE
  4. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Before I worked in IT, I had just graduated Kindergarten...


    Actually, I was an operations analyst for 13 answering service call centers... and the go-to computer guy in the office. While working, I picked up my BS in Professional Chemistry.

    Before that, I was an "Electronic Warfare Signals Intelligence Analyst/Linguist", which meant I got about a million dollars in training and clearances in order to wash trucks, guard weapons and buildings, train cadets (cadidiots), bury dead soldiers, raise and lower the flag, and pick up trash on post. :rolleyes:

    Before that, I worked in a one-hour photo lab, around this time of my life:


    Yes, it was the 80s, why do you ask? :D

    Before that, I was a front gate ticket agent at Opryland USA. Be sure to watch the cheesy You Are Opryland video about halfway down the page. :p

    Before that, I was a credit card operator for fuel cards for trucking companies.

    ...and before that, I was a bus boy/dishwasher at Bonanza Restaurant.

    Before that, I had just graduated Kindergarten...
    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!
  5. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

    I started out working for the Halifax for 5 years (when it was still a building society) and then left to do my degree as a mature student. Following that I had a couple of short jobs and then became an IFA (Independent Financial Adviser) with my own business. I worked as part of a group and ended up being their Regional Technology Co-ordinator and then moved across into IT full time 10 years ago.

    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  6. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    Before I got my first proper job in IT, I worked for the civil service (DWP) where I got my first taste of IT work (I used to be deputise for the local IT dept), before that I used to work within the healthcare sector (care homes, hospitals, community, etc).

    It took me 5 years to get into the IT world :)

    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  7. Luddym

    Luddym Megabyte Poster

    I was the Tandy nerd that sold you all your electronic needs.... as well as selling all sorts of music, TV and mobile phone stuff.

    Then I worked with the DWP for 5+ years where I first became an IT bod.
    Certifications: VCP,A+, N+, MCSA, MCSE
    WIP: Christmas Drunkard
  8. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

    Before landing my gig in IT I was worknig as Asstistant manager in a Leisure Centre. Did that for nearly 19 years. This is where I really got interested in IT. When the Centre computerised its card index files, I was the only one who was asking the "how does that work and why do it like that". Yes I am that nosey.
    Certifications: MCSE, MCSA (messaging), ITIL Foundation v3
    WIP: Looking at doing ..................
  9. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

    I was a scummy student at Uni, before dropping out. Then I was working away in a callcentre for a call answering service. I was mainly answering for a premium rate travel information line (giving out train times, etc), and working for a police forensic company, that supplied duty doctors and nurses to police station to deal with all the medical requirements (injuries to staff and prisoners, rape examinations, medication needs of prisoners, etc).

    Oh the joys.
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation; MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
    WIP: None at present
  10. Naive

    Naive Byte Poster

    From 16 I worked in a small builders firm as a receptionist/clerk for 6 years, whilst part time at a supermarket as a sales assisstant. The builders firm closed down and I ditched the part time retail job to work for the DWP (Child Support Agency) been in that role since december 07 and after 3month, I decided I wanted to work more on the I.T side of things. Spoke to the local I.T department about a possible trainee position, no luck as they were contracted in (outsourced). then about a month ago I popped into google, "Career in I.T" and hit this forum. After trawling the forums for advice, I finally introduced myself here and was advised to lean on my customer service skills and apply for entry level jobs. I hesitated, then went for it and my first interview with a small software company (1st line support) went great, 2nd interview even better, and I start on the 22/09/08. I think a mixture of luck + customer focus got me the position, but there you have it!
  11. Hades

    Hades Nibble Poster

    Well lets see :hhhmmm ...

    When I was a young lad (15-17 years old) I was working part time as a Farm hand helping to muck out and feed the animals while doing my studying (was studying BTEC National Diploma in Computer studies in college).

    After completing the 1st year of the course I droped out of the 2nd to join the Royal Air force as an electrician.. 12 months into the 18 month course I was kicked out of the training school and sent for Trade reselection ( too much :alc and not enough :study) but Hey ho.. I ended up becomming a Administrator and during the 18 week course I found I was able to do lots of :alc & :berrr and little :study and still get 9x% in exams sat :rolleyes:

    Anyway I did this job for 7 Years then I decided enough was enough and I wanted to do something I actually enjoyed. So I left the Air Force and tried to get a IT job.

    My first IT job was working for a software company who was just starting out, the job was simple drive to doctors GP surgery stick in disks install software and test.. drive to next one and repeat.

    Not the most technical job in the world and i was wasnt impressed with their attitude once they had me working for them, I was litterally doing 50 Hours a week and getting paid for 37ish so after 2 months I quit. I then went into warehouse and other odd jobs untill I got my real break.

    I am now working as a IT Field Engineer (more inhouse desktop support but with the ability to go to other offices should the need arise) doing Desktop support and other odds and ends. Im hoping if i stay with my current company I will end up on the network side of things but well see..

    And that kind of sums it up for me :oops:
    Certifications: City & Guilds Diploma in ICT level 2+3
  12. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

    Lol - what DIDN'T I do before IT :)

    First job was a fishmonger - where I learned interesting and useful life skills & titbits of information like 'shelling crabs that are pregnant results in scarred hands when they explode' and how to stun live eels (grab em by the back of the neck, slide your hand down then smash their heads against a concrete block)

    After that I worked as a jack of all trades and master of none on building sites (a bit of bricklaying, a bit of roofing and - by far the hardest - a bit of hod carrying)

    My 'career' before IT was industrial relations. I had started to work in a major academic library and become increasingly disillusioned with the way the management treated the staff. I duly got elected as shop steward, then later as chair of the whole trade union side, representing close to 2000 people on everything from pay and terms & conditions negotiations right up to national union level and industrial tribunals.

    In the end I got sick of it - it just jaded me - and decided to move into IT... And I've been here ever since!
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  13. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

    My story is fairly boring - but then again I don't have as many years to fill in as other people here :p

    I did the usual GCSE exam thing got decent grades, did A-Levels in History English Language Maths and Physics (as the IT A-Level content was terrible) with the focus on getting on a Uni degree.

    I had always wanted a job in I.T and knew that Maths and Physics A-Levels were the way to get on a Computer Science degree at University. Unfortunately I cocked up slightly and the A-Levels went a bit sideways.

    I managed to pull my finger out and got my A-Levels but not with the grades that I wanted. I ended up going on job seekers for a small while as I wasn't working to get some cash in.

    I finally found a job in the Finance department of the company I work at now due to my GCSE/A-Level qualifications. I knew there was a small I.T department in the company - of two people.

    I figured that I had nothing to lose and so asked the IT Manager directly if he would be interested in employing me in I.T. I was fixing all of the PC issues that the finance department had anyway saving them work and got the thumbs up from some of the higher ups there. I had been looking into getting a HND in I.T anyway and was going to do the whole student thing at uni and leave my job to get it. I had a very long chat to the I.T manager who said he'd be happy to give me a job and the company would even pay for the course. I jumped at the chance.

    Two years later of lots of work (whilst working part-time at my employer for 2 days a week) here I am.

    Got my HND, got my CCNA and have 2 years of real world experience.

    Now I'm looking at bigger fish - namely the MCDST :twisted:
    Certifications: MCT, MCSE: Private Cloud, MCSA (2008), MCITP: EA, MCITP: SA, MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003, MCITP: EDA7, MCITP: EDST7, MCITP: EST Vista, MCTS: Exh 2010, MCTS:ServerVirt, MCTS: SCCM07 & SCCM2012, MCTS: SCOM07, MCTS: Win7Conf, MCTS: VistaConf, MCDST, MCP, MBCS, HND: Applied IT, ITIL v3: Foundation, CCA
  14. newkoba

    newkoba Byte Poster

    i started out running various gamestop stores in my area and i did that for just shy of 4 years. then i ran a bed store for about 6 months, and then i did interior framing for new construction for about 6 months. after that i ran various transmission shops for roughly 3.5 years. i then did a 7 month stint working as a tech support operator for embarq (telephone company) and then i started my gig with the school board doing mainly network security and digital forensics.

    life doesn't always go how you want it to.
    Certifications: Security + and CEH
    WIP: CWNA and CWSP
  15. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    Oh...you want my *full* resume. Right from high school? That'll take awhile (shaddup, Michael).

    I'll start at present and go backwards aways.

    Actually, I don't currently work in IT. Being a technical writer, I just work with people who work in IT. Right now, that's a bunch of programmers with a smattering of network guys. I suppose you can throw in the work I dild as a tech into this section since I've done a bunch of temporary gigs such as Ethernet, hardware, and OS rollouts, installing Cisco routers and switches, cleaning up nasty, malware infected PCs, and the like.

    Before that, I worked as a temporary worker at the Postal Service, putting myself through school so I could have a fabulous career in technology. I've done everything from Christmas help at a big, mail processing plant, to mail handler at various post offices, to collecting mail in a two-ton truck, to being "the mailman" delivering the mail.

    Before that, I worked in Social Work and Counseling in a variety of capacities including Adoptions, Child Abuse Investigations, Family Counseling, and so forth.
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  16. TimoftheC

    TimoftheC Kilobyte Poster

    Hmmm, well I don't officially work in IT at the moment, although I do sort out nearly all IT problems within the office I work at but I will be working in a proper IT position soon if it kills me :biggrin

    For me, I left school with little in the way of qualifications and spent 12 years working in shoe factories for my sins (actually, I quite liked the job and would probably still be doing it if the shoe industry still existed in my city). When I got made redundant for the second time I tried to get a job in warehousing or retail but no one would touch me as I had no qualifications and no experience. Therefore, at the tender age of 27, with a 4 year old daughter and a son on the way, I went back to school for three years :biggrin

    After getting an education, I got offered (never applied for it) a technical role (non-computer) for a Mutual society selling pensions etc. This was my first real experience of using PCs (used to play on consoles) and this is from where I got my first PC when one of the techs sold me an old Viglen

    I had that job for 2 and a half years before a friend invited me to go work with her in my current role, which is doing Legal Aid bills for solicitors - I'm on to me fourth employer in this role. Billing is the most mind numbingly boring job that I have ever done, including factory work :(

    I have also had part time jobs as a stock counter and working as a Christmas Temp for a toy shop - a very testing time but I did it for two separate Christmas periods so I must have been mad.
    Certifications: A+; Network+
    WIP: MCDST???
  17. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

    Well i left college, i did about 2 temp jobs until i landed my first role.

    Running a small network for a very small building firm (10 people).

    Talk about being thrown into the deepend lol

    They also wanted me to train in accounts, which looking back now may have been a good career step but when your young and IT obsessed you think yuck, I then went to work for a college doing onsite support.
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  18. Tinus1959

    Tinus1959 Gigabyte Poster

    I am a Bio-Chemical Engineer. I started worken for a very large Electronics company (Philips) and worked on various projects concerning organic chemistry. After some 5 years I was fired during a reorganisation of the company (20% of all employees were fired). At that moment I allready worked during evening hours as a trainer (lotus 123 and wordperfect) for a computer training company. I got the job full time next day. I worked for that company for 7 years. They went bankrupt and three employees desided to start their own training centre. I worked there for 8 years and they to went bankrupt. I was unemployed for some months and got a job again as trainer for New Horizons. I work there now for 4 years.
    Certifications: See my signature
  19. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Originally I always wanted to be a games developer, since about the age of 10. I did the usual GCSEs, and A-levels, unfortunately my local sixth form dropped computer studies A-level. I took double maths and didn't focus on my A-levels as had other distractions when I was 18 :wink:. After that I enrolled on a HND course to get back on track then a computer science degree. Since graduating I've been in IT full time mainly as an Analyst/Developer since 1995.

    Between 17 and graduation at 21 I worked part time evenings and weekends and took full time summer jobs, started off in a DIY store on £1.75 per hour, no minimum wage then. Various other jobs, supermarket checkout, food processor factory, perfume factory, baby food factory, tool rental shop, all pretty awful jobs that made me even more determined to complete my HND and get a career.
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  20. AArcher

    AArcher Nibble Poster

    Well I have always worked in sales and just started studying for my CompTIA A+

    Im currently an estate agent going grey quickly with the market as it is and gladly ripping people off HA HA
    Certifications: None
    WIP: CompTIA 2006 A+

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