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Helpdesk Support Overqualified

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by happystew, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. happystew

    happystew Bit Poster


    3 Days ago i started a new job, IT Helpdesk support with my local council, and i'm not enjoying it, i know 3 days is not really enough time to judge but its so tedious and boring, im not really learning anything either cause i have been given literally 20 minutes training on there database system and told to take calls without any prior knowledge about the network infrastructure and in house software.

    Is this common practice? i asked today for a manual about the Heat database system and was told there was none, i have users calling me up about remote access to the network, but i have no idea what system is in place so it near impossible to help, so all i can do is assign an engineer, which makes me feel useless.

    The worst part is i have a honors degree in Network and Computer support, i graduated from Uni about 2 years ago and this is the first real sniff of anything, i just feel overqualified, my manager says there is a good chance of progression into Desktop support etc, but i dont know how long i can handle the helpdesk for.

    My main downfall at the moment is lack of a driving license and actually forgetting a lot of stuff from uni since ive not really been doing much IT for the last 2 years

    Anyone got any tips?, im making my driving license a priority right now, cause i had to turn down two interviews because they required a full driving license.

    Anyone in or has been the same position that can offer some advice?

    Sorry about my first post been so long winded haha, lot to get off the chest
    Certifications: Bsc Hons Computer & Network Support
  2. Triton.Deep

    Triton.Deep Bit Poster

    Sometimes. :) Different strokes for different folks. I've experienced both ends of the spectrum. One day you'll be all, "Sheesh, I got this, go away so I can do my job."

    I don't doubt that you're very knowledgeable, but considering the two years you've been away from IT it is probably a good time to jump in with both feet and take the "sponge" approach to learning. Soak it all up. Learn whatever you can learn, whatever they are teaching, whatever you can teach yourself.

    Don't just sit there telling yourself that you’re overqualified, let THEM see that you are actually in fact overqualified. Who knows, they might surprise you. Good managers recognize when they have over-performers on staff and take care of them. Course...good managers usually make sure incoming employees have a better experience to, however; you can't control that part, you can control your own attitude. Have a positive one.

    Just remember, no matter where you go or what you do; this job no matter how tedious can help you along the way. Do excellent work, don't burn any bridges, learn everything you can learn, and of course...I'm not one of those guys that believes in being a lifer anywhere, so if months down the road you are still feeling like this job is the pits and hating it, by all means go find another if you can. Just don't forget the golden rule of job hunting, don't EVER let your current employer find out. Or at least, if they are going to find out, let it be on your terms when you are ready. Yes, I have been in this position. In fact, I got a good laugh out of your HEAT experience. I've used that ticketed system in the past and had the EXACT same issue. It was so customized that the normal manual was useless and they didn't have any documentation on their customizations. I was reduced to simply exploring and trial and error and whatever anyone would teach me.

    I think most IT professionals over the course of a career run into that sort of thing. Hang in there, do excellent work, learn what you can, have a positive attitude, and when a better opportunity presents itself go for it.

    Hope that helps.

    Certifications: MCITP EMA, MCTS, MCSE (x3), CCNA, A+,etc
    WIP: MCM for Exchange probably. Not Sure
  3. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

    I wouldn't have thought that you are over qualified, as even though you have gotten your degree you have been out of IT and without sounding harsh, degrees are 10 a penny.

    In relation to the network infrastrucutre, I was told exactly the same thing as you, pretty much nothing lol.

    Time to think outside of the box, rather than thinking poor me I havent been trained properly, hows about thinking, how can I increase my knowledge, with your degree your should know to start looking at things like:

    - Follow all calls on that I was unsure about to see what the resolution was.
    - Look at the GPO's to see what access to available to what users.
    - Look at the network topologies etc.
    - Ask questions!

    Mate your lucky to have a job in IT, sorry to sound harsh, but appreciate what you have got and get interested. You might find out you like it!
    Certifications: CCA | CCENT | CCNA | CCNA:S | HP APC | HP ASE | ITILv3 | MCP | MCDST | MCITP: EA | MCTS:Vista | MCTS:Exch '07 | MCSA 2003 | MCSA:M 2003 | MCSA 2008 | MCSE | VCP5-DT | VCP4-DCV | VCP5-DCV | VCAP5-DCA | VCAP5-DCD | VMTSP | VTSP 4 | VTSP 5
  4. NoCompanyIT

    NoCompanyIT Nibble Poster


    Well at worst you can use this job to finance driving lessons, it will at least give you motivation to work there until you pass. However you're only 3 days in and the first week or 2 at any job you feel pretty useless because you don't have much to do and don't know anything. Besides, some jobs require some helpdesk experience.

    Just think how great it will be to finally pass your test, and when you want to quit, focus on the car :)

    In terms of knowledge acquired at uni, of course most of it won't be used in this sort of job, but then, it's been 2 years so you've forgotten most of it anyway, like I did :)
    Certifications: Bsc (1st)
  5. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    For the majority, the first IT job isn't going to be the best job in the world (even though landing it is the best feeling), it's a stepping stone to better things. Everyone has to start at the beginning and if you want to be good at what you do, you will have to climb thru the ranks.

    The degree is great, I have one, however I found that while I learnt alot from it, it did not cover alot of what I needed for the job on a day to day basis.

    To be honest, if you could stand it, stay in that job for, at least, 6 months. This will give you time to build up your experience, gain your driving licence, and maybe get a couple of certs in.

    Certifications: CITP, PGDip, 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: MSc in Tech Management
  6. happystew

    happystew Bit Poster

    Cheers Guys

    Some decent advice there, ill take it all into consideration and try and pass my driving test then more oppurtunites might open

    Was talking to my manager today and he says that i will get one day a week off to shadow engineers etc so thats added experience, and thats where ill pick up most of my knowledge

    Its the lack of training thats the worst, but im managing

    Ill just have to stick with it, learn to drive and then hopefully something better comes along, even though this job has oppurtintes i dont how long i can handle waiting.

    Anyway, im think im taking some certs, maybe the Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician, anyone know if its anygood? If not any recommendations
    Certifications: Bsc Hons Computer & Network Support
  7. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    Yes the MCDST is a good qualification to get and along with the A+ & Network+ form a very good base on which to build on :)

    Certifications: CITP, PGDip, 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: MSc in Tech Management
  8. fatp

    fatp Byte Poster

    sound advice from ken and errr also cragie is also right. You should be happy you have a job let alone an IT job. People out there would kill for your job right now. Plus you can use use your current income for any driving lessons and certs. Also withhout sounding harsh, if after 6 months you find IT is not for you, then you could always jump ship and find another career path....

  9. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

    I have to say this, no company is going to start training away a new starter, as most of them will have had experiences of training someone up and they left.

    Im not saying (although by the sounds of it the possibility could be crossing your mind) that this is the case here, but first you will have to prove you are a worthwhile member of the team, and do everything possible to make yourself look like an employee worth investing in.

    Also as well are you studying outside of work? Most people here self certify and self study and that has gotten me my last 2 jobs, motivation and dedication such as this will show your employer that you value IT as a career and you want to bring value to the organisation.

    Hopefully you stick it out and progress to what you want to do quickly enough, but make sure you see this as an opportunity to learn, as thats what it is.

    My advice is to try and stay somewhere for a couple of years, as your CV, and skills, will benefit a lot from it.

    Unless of course it is the wrong place, but then you will need to make sure when you do move it is to the right company and role.
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  10. Evilwheato

    Evilwheato Kilobyte Poster

    You've got some good advice already. As said above, stick with the job. Although your first job might not be the best in the world- it's up on the ladder on to better things :p
    Have you ever thought of making your own guides for the Heat database system? I find that making guides on something that I only do once or twice can help me when I have to do it again. It also shows initiative to your boss ;)
  11. happystew

    happystew Bit Poster

    thats what ive been doing, taking notes all the time, getting to grips with it now

    i think they expect a lot from me cause of the degree, so ill just have to try and be up to the challenge
    Certifications: Bsc Hons Computer & Network Support
  12. Jiser

    Jiser Kilobyte Poster

    You got a job, you have had no experiance before. Sounds lucky for you. Doesn't sound like your over qualified. Pay your dues and your get where you want to be.
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), PGc, MCTS:Win 7, MCSA W7/MCITP EDST, ITIL Foundation, Prince 2 Foundation, C&G: Web Design, MOS 07: Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Outlook.
  13. Luddym

    Luddym Megabyte Poster

    I couldn't agree more.

    As a first job in IT, sounds like you are a very lucky boy. That degree, though far from useless, isn't an open door into a 2nd line role. Hard work, experience and some professional quals may well be.
    Certifications: VCP,A+, N+, MCSA, MCSE
    WIP: Christmas Drunkard
  14. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    Dude, I've not had a single days training (paid for) by any of my employers to date. I don't see that changing soon as well.

    Try and get as much as you can out of this job and as said the MCDST cert should compliment your current job role.
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Office 365, Server 2016, CEH
  15. Twiggy

    Twiggy Bit Poster

    Hi ya

    Just thought I'd share my experiences (or to be more specific, my boyfriends).

    Firstly, because he spent a few months in america in 2007 he had to leave his previous IT Support post. When he returned it took him at least 2 months before he was able to find work of an IT nature and the old theory of it being easier to find work when you're in work has proved to be true in his experience.

    He has spent the last couple of years doing similar sounding jobs to yours, outsourced Helpdesk Support for BT Broadband, Helpdesk Support for Sky Broadband, IT Support at a local District Hospital, and currently NHS Community IT Support.

    He had the exact same problems at BT & Sky as you had with regard to boredom and inadequate training facilities etc, and neither of them were particularly keen to do anything about it.

    HOWEVER - He did take it upon himself to take his own experiences and document the information he needed/learned so that he could create a database/forum for all staff to use, in the hope of ensuring that future staff would not encounter the same problems as he did. I have to be honest with you and say that while the other staff on his level did appreciate his efforts and he got a sense of satisfaction from creating something productive from the depths of his boredom, he earned no brownie points from his employers who failed to recognise the potential of what he had created.

    His latest place of work has generally been better than others, but he is now studying to do a Foundation degree in computing, meaning that beggars can't be choosers and he has to be grateful to find work that moulds so nicely around his study regime. It's only contract work, and is currently operating on a week by week basis, but he has identified flaws in their systems and again has made suggestions to those who are higher up, and finally it seems someone is going to take notice of what he has to offer and thus it may well secure work for him for a while longer.

    You may not feel compelled to do any of these things, but it could be a good way to demonstrate willing, and earn some extra respect from your employers a bit sooner than you might otherwise do, if not just help to keep you occupied with an interesting project. At the very least, my advice is to by all means look for work elsewhere, but hang to what you've got until something else crops up!

    Certifications: ECDL BCS1, NCFE Networking Essentials
    WIP: HNC in Computing
  16. simonp83

    simonp83 Kilobyte Poster

    One thing i did was just get some postit notes and use them, postit notes for common problems, postit notes that identify information you need to take from the callers, things like that. Had about 15 postit notes all hanging from my monitory lol but it made life so easy.
    Certifications: A+, MCP, MCDST, MCTS, MCITP
    WIP: 70-291
  17. 85head

    85head New Member

    just feel lucky you have a job in ict, some people like me would be unbelievely happy if they could land a ict job!!
  18. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

    Yep - gotta agree. :)

    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
  19. Sco0t

    Sco0t Byte Poster

    Where about in Scotland you working stew and where did you do your degree?
    Certifications: Bsc Net/Sys Support, HND Tech Support
    WIP: Network+
  20. happystew

    happystew Bit Poster

    Yeah, i think the MCDST if defentiely at must, they have a couple of apprentices that get some in-house training so i might ask if i can get in on some of it, i doubt it but worth an ask never less


    I intended to, just wish i was learning something new each day

    Yeah I'm thinking of trying something like that, mostly due to the fact my supposed trainer is not the best at there job, verging on awful, i might offer a write up on Heat or something, think my line manager would be impressed, he's seems like a really decent guy

    That's what i've been doing coming in very handy indeed

    In Falkirk working just now, and got my Degree at Glasgow Caledonian University

    Cheers for the advice guys, it's good to hear about other peoples experiences and is letting my appreciate the fact i' have a reasonable job within the current climate.

    So onto my MCDST cert i think, any advice of the best place to undertake it in Scotland, was looking at home learning but 2 years is rather long.
    Certifications: Bsc Hons Computer & Network Support

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