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Is IT (support) for me?

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by exonje, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. exonje

    exonje Byte Poster

    Hi peeps,

    I did not know what section to post this in! And sorry for the long post but I need some outside perspective.

    I have worked in IT support now for quite a few years now and for the last year I have been thinking about a career change, but to what I am not sure. I really do not think my personality is suited to IT support (or even IT in general), I do not care about any new technology. A guy in work asked me today “are you a HP guy”? I was baffled, how can someone like a brand of equipment?! Also, I just want clear instructions on how to do things, if a new problem comes in that I have not seen before I get stressed. I just want to know how it can be fixed instantly.

    Here are my previous roles and my likes/dislikes:

    My first IT job was in a local PC repair shop. I loved it here, it didn’t feel like work. No real complex issues, building new machines, replacing components, formatting. Any software problems we couldn't fix, just reinstall the OS, simple. Here it was extremely relaxed, with great colleagues who were close friends outside of work too. Not much pay was the only downside, otherwise I would have stayed here for life.

    Second IT job was 1st line support role for a multi-national organisation - 100s of calls a day, little problem solving, fixes were simple, anything complex sent to specialist teams (long and pass mainly), really enjoyed this too, people my age I could talk to all day and very down to earth manager. Often worked 6/7 day weeks, and overtime all weekdays without batting an eyelid.

    3rd line support for the same organisation - got promoted from 1st line straight to 3rd, little to do with my technical skills though, more down to my hard working nature and working any hours asked. Did not enjoy this, little structure, difficult calls, no instructions and more techy people, who I could not converse with and had little in common.

    For my latest job I joined a much smaller company as a 1st line agent again, just so I could get the experience I thought I missed by being at such a large organisation. This has been awful though, I really feel like I do not belong. I don’t feel comfortable asking questions. People at work are constantly discussing new technology and I could not care less. I do not feel happy at all at my new place, I sit in silence most of the day and again, have little in common with the more techy minded people. Here is also much more money orientated and strict, making me very uneasy and in turn, introverted.

    What are your thoughts? Am I suited to IT support? If not support, perhaps another sector of IT? Do you have to be an IT enthusiast to make a career out of it?

    Reading that back, when I am ease in a workplace, with similar minded people, I am happy. I just want to know all the answers, or be able to find them easily and not have not browse for hours or ask questions where I am not comfortable.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015
  2. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Personally I don't class easy first line jobs in large companies as 'doing IT'.

    I've seen support departments, that coming from a development background, honestly I thought it was the circus full of clowns. They spent so much time slacking off and talking it was unreal.

    To me you have to enjoy solving difficult or at least moderately difficult problems. If you expect to be spoon fed or always have someone else pick up the pieces you are in the wrong job, but then I'm a developer.

    If you ever have 'down time' then you should be training and looking at ways to improve the work processes. Can you create a new Sharepoint page or App ? Can you write a new powershell script ? Are the backups working ? etc.

    People that make careers out of IT but potentially don't give a toss ?

    1st Line support
    Project Manager
    Business Analyst
    Software Tester
    Technical Author

    Depends on the individual and the role, I've even met fair few developers, but they don't tend to last long and are in the minority.

    “are you a HP guy”?
    Maybe in some areas (Vertica ?) HP have standout products, but to me this just shows ignorance and bias.

    Some of the IT bods I've worked with, have said 'how can you get excited over boxes', so its by no means unusual.

    Facebook and Google don't buy lots of large vendor servers for good reason, they build commodity clusters. They also don't buy SAN's.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015
    Apexes likes this.
  3. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

    IT isn't for you I guess.. you kind of answered your own question, is there any other sectors of employment you find interesting? the HP bit had me in stitches lol, that guy is probably passionate about IT, as you aren't it would make you think he was crazy, it happens to me at work all the time, my colleagues will be talking about the job and saying it gives them frills etc and I will be thinking that they must be mentally unstable to enjoy the job.
    WIP: A+
    Jaron78 likes this.
  4. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    Doesn’t sound like IT is doing it for you mate.

    The HP question is fairly common. I’m asked that type of thing when we are discussing a hardware refresh with customers – some will mention a bad batch of Laptops they may have bought years ago (Dell laptops going on fire anyone?) and therefore stick to HP. In saying that I spoke to a new customer a few weeks ago that didn’t like HP as all his desktops had crap HDs and they all failed within the warranty period.

    Link to Dell laptops - forgot how long ago it was!

    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Office 365, Server 2016, CEH
  5. Apexes

    Apexes Gigabyte Poster

    I think you've summed it up all in one mate, perhaps it's not for you.

    Particularly echo dmarsh's comments about difficult problems / tasks - i get these all the time and enjoy planning and working my way around them.
    Certifications: 70-243 MCTS: ConfigMgr 2012 | MCSE: Private Cloud
  6. Nyx

    Nyx Byte Poster

    I think dmarsh hit the nail on the head, you need to enjoy solving problems - that's what I like most about support, fixing stuff. To do the job well you have to analyze and draw on your experience, if all you want to do is follow instructions you'll never progress too far.

    People you work with have a big impact on job satisfaction, it definitely helps if you have inspiring and supporting team.

    I don't want to suggest IT isn't for you - ultimately this is your decision to make, perhaps you should try and get the most out of your current job before moving to something else. Any trade will require you to get out of your comfort zone if you want to progress and ultimately, be good at it.
    dmarsh likes this.
  7. reverb

    reverb Byte Poster

    Perhaps a desktop support role is more suited to you? I mean there are people who enjoy 1st/2nd line or desktop support roles as they are comfortable in such role which matches their skill set; and have no interest progressing further into more specialist roles where you will perhaps have to learn new things etc. There's nothing wrong with that.
  8. JK2447
    Highly Decorated Member Award 500 Likes Award

    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator

    In my humble opinion IT support certainly isn't for you and I'd go as far as to say IT as a whole for these reasons. You'll always work with nerds, difficult people, rude people. Wanting to work with like minded people is a bigger ask than it sounds I find. In my IT career I've pretty much learned that most will not be as easy going or social as I am. Since I moved to Architecture I've met more characters than ever but I'm fine with that as I like the work.

    "Reading that back, when I am ease in a workplace, with similar minded people, I am happy. I just want to know all the answers, or be able to find them easily and not have not browse for hours or ask questions where I am not comfortable."

    The best thing you can do in IT is accept you'll never know it all. Even the worlds best will tell you straight away "but I know nothing about XYZ". The fun in IT for me personally is not knowing and finding out, but of course that can differ from person to person.

    One thing I'd think about is what do you think you'd like to do? Any job will put you with people who are quite different to you and not like minded. If you wanted to be a stock market trader, electrician, or any complex job where you might work in a team, you'll always come across a scenario where you don't know the answer, and the answer will be difficult to find, and the people around you might be nothing like you at all.

    Please don't take any of this as me being harsh, you sound like a smart person and I think it's great you're contemplating this. I'd be really interested to know if you have any hobbies or activities you love doing. My final comment would be, just because you don't love something doesn't mean you can't make a long and successful career out of it. I know plenty of people in IT who aren't really into IT. What I'd say there tho is why spend your life doing something you don't love. I dont like it I love it. I've spent countless hours studying IT and working on my own labs breaking things, unpaid, just because I enjoy it and want to get good. I'm still trying to get good and feel like I'll never get to a position where I feel like I've done enough. We'll see. Ask me in 10 years.

    Best of luck
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV, VSP, VTSP
    WIP: AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate
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