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Feeling a bit "stuck" in current position. Advice please?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by MCS, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. MCS

    MCS New Member

    I was wondering if anybody could perhaps help me out with my scenario. I know it's a long one, but I'd be incredibly grateful of peoples' opinions...

    I've been working in my current company for 6 years and have been applying for a few jobs that seem suitable over the past couple of months. I feel that my CV is really well written, and I tailor it to suit each varying position I apply for. By tailoring, I don't mean lie...my CV is 100% truthful, I mean I change my achievements to suit - if a position doesn't require VOIP experience, I'll remove it from my list of achievements/projects, and just put it as a duty, in favour of a project better suited to the job spec.

    Also I write a covering letter, again specific to the role. Of the 4 jobs I've applied for, I didn't hear back at all from one, despite chasing (Agency canvassing for CV's?!), and have had 2 interviews. I didn't get either of the two jobs, but asked for feedback and one said I didn't have enough experience in one of the technologies they use but conducted myself very well. Positive, and I was clean from the start that I was weak in one particular area they had listed. The other said that there was nothing alarmingly wrong, just there was a stronger candidate with more experience.

    All fair enough comments, and not necessarily reflecting badly on me at all. I'm not letting the unsuccessful applications get me down at all, but it's making me start to wonder perhaps if there are any underlying issues, and I can't help but think my current position isn't doing me any favours..

    I'm the "IT Manager" for my current company of 45 employees...the sole IT employee. This might automatically suggest to a potential employer that I don't manage people, and do not work as part of a team. This doesn't mean however that I cannot/am unable to. I do delegate some administrative responsibilities to office admin staff, and I work alongside company directors to discuss requirements/targets of the company, and where IT can facilitate these. This could be considered a team.

    Another thing that could be seen as a negative side is the small size of the company. This really does mean I'm in limited daily contact with different technologies. We've got a main office and a small branch office that gets used once or twice a week by a couple of employees. Both offices are connected and DFS replicates data. So the technologies are there, just on a really small scale. Chances are that for any given job I apply, there will be one candidate who has worked on a similar scale, and thus is more desirable/has less of a learning curve than I would.

    The scale of my current company is my main stimulus to move on to a bigger company, partly a challenge, partly to gain experience, and partly because I have learned about a lot larger scale infrastructures through studying my MCSE and I would like to make use of what I have learned. I am certainly willing to learn, and actually enjoy learning about new things and challenges (I put 30 hours+ a week into my studies, on top of working full time!)

    I'm not being big headed and applying for management positions, but positions where I'd be working as a part of a team in much larger companies (from a handful UK sites, to sites in different countries, to hundreds of sites across tens of countries) in a more specific area of IT (security, etc). Nothing outside of my experience/comfort zone, just on a much larger scale with maybe a few technologies I'm not familiar with, given the size differences.

    I feel that I could apply for a similar position in a similar size company doing a similar role and stand a good chance of getting the position, but that isn't something I want to do. I want the challenge and to work with more technologies.

    Am I asking too much or too much of a change? Is there any way, if asked about my current position that I can turn it around into a positive. Perhaps ideally I would apply for a lower position in these larger companies and work my way up, but I have a house and other financial responsibilities, and not only couldn't afford to take much of a cut, but feel I am paid fairly for my age/experience/qualifications, so wouldn't want to drop to less than I feel my worth either. Without giving away what I get paid, it's not what you'd see on itjobswatch for "IT Manager" at all. In fact, less than Network Support.
  2. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

    All sounds fine m8 - it's just a damned tough market out there !

    I've 10 years in IT running my own support company and have been out of work for 18 months since the company went down. Applied for probably around 500 jobs in that time and had fewer than a dozen interviews.

    There's nothing wrong but in the current climate employers can be really picky.

    At the moment my best option looks like I may end up on a 12 week contract teaching "finance" to foreigh language students ! :ohmy

    Don't sweat it - just keep plugging away
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  3. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

    Maybe you made it too clear how weak you were? Maybe the fact you made an issue of it put doubts in their minds? If they don't ask, don't tell them. If they do ask, you have to be truthful but put a positive spin on it.

    Anyway, you've had 2 interviews from 4 applications. That's a pretty big hit rate in the current job market I imagine so it looks as if you're doing pretty much everything right so far.
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job
  4. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

    If anything think yourself lucky to be 'stuck' in a job.

    A lot of people have come unstuck over the last year or so.

    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  5. MCS

    MCS New Member

    Thanks for taking the time to read my essay guys :) I really do appreciate it.
    I guess it is a tough market out there at the moment, and I shouldn't be taking my setbacks to personally. Perseverence is key at the end of the day.
    Thanks for the reassurance so far. Perhaps I am being too honest about my weaknesses at present. I do try and put across that I am more than keen to learn whenever an unfamiliar subject comes up to put a positive edge to it.
    UKDarkstar, I'm sorry to hear about your company, I really hope something comes up for you soon, especially after all the effort in applications :)
  6. davelee212

    davelee212 Nibble Poster

    I was in a similar sort of position as you a few years ago. I was working for a company as "Systems Support" but promoted to "IT Manager" later on. By this stage the company had downscaled considerably and there was just the two of us in the IT department supporting just 3 sites and around 100 users. I was earning decent money but the prospects for advancement just weren't there.

    I didn't rush into finding a new job. I got a couple of certs out the way and finished my MCSE and then went job hunting. I did revert to use "Systems Support" on my CV as I didn't want to give the impression I was doing management stuff rather than technical stuff though. I think it took me 6 months or so and maybe half a dozen applications to find something. The pay was about the same taking into account the extra travel. The opportunities for learning were much better being that it is a bigger company with more technology to get my hands on!

    My advice, don't rush it - you're working and earning and the moment, that's the main thing. I don't know what certs you've under your belt but if a couple additional ones make your CV look better then get cracking!

    What area of the country are you in?

    Certifications: Network+, CCNA (expired), MCSA 2000/03 + Messaging, MCSE 2000/03, MCTS:Sharepoint Config, VCP4-DCV, VCP5-DCV, VCP5-Cloud, VCP6-DCV, MCSA 2012, MS Specialist: Hyper-V
    WIP: Dunno yet
  7. Danshand

    Danshand Nibble Poster

    Hi MCS, I am in a job which sounds quite similar to yours right now, I am the single IT person in my business and I support 3 sites, with around 150 users. I have all the technology in place and I know my stuff, but I do worry when I want to move jobs (which I do next summer) that I may run into problems. I have past experience working for very large organisations in IT, so I do have 3 years experience there, but I moved here as I wanted to get my hands onto everything, build up an IT infrastructure from scratch and really get into everything.
    I do wonder if I made a mistake by doing this, but only time will tell.

    Which area of the UK have you been applying for jobs?

    EDIT - Also, are you aware of ITIL? It may be that your technical ability is good, but an employer doubts your ability to comply with large IT management procedures. May be try doing the ITIL V3 course?
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
    Certifications: Many.
  8. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Well, keep in mind that advertising yourself with the title of "Network Manager" might cause some employers to think that you're overqualified for positions that you would truly be well-suited to do. As such, I'd recommend that you use a more appropriate job title (like "Network Administrator") when applying for non-management network administration jobs.
    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!

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