This might not be the job for me after all...

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by MasterDelgado, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. MasterDelgado

    MasterDelgado Nibble Poster

    After seven months of working in my first desktop support job, I feel terrible.

    I got into this line of work due to video games and system building being my "hobby" and due to the fact that my prior education and career experience didn't mean anything here in Canada and has led to half a decade wasted in minimum wage retail jobs*. Before, I spent about 10 years working in financial media in London, getting to eat out at swanky restaurants on other people's expense accounts now and then.

    I work in the social care sector with 500 users covered by me and the sysadmin. I'm supposed to do tier 1 and (some) tier 2 stuff but it doesn't really work out that way. On average we get 4/5 tickets per day but the only SLA is replying within 24 hours. Many of our staff work part-time or casual shifts, so tickets remain open for days or weeks (!) at a time. I don't think of my job as solving problems, merely indulging in "technology theatre" - looking as though I'm fixing problems when I am constrained by budgets, manpower and users' technical ability.

    I might be lucky as I only get user entitlement issues very rarely as my end-users are social workers and care workers. The user base is a mix of foreign and domestic social workers with varying levels of technological ability. Management is made up of late-middle age people who simply don't get technology and won't add more IT staff (despite being asked numerous times) to work on preventing the fires we put out from happening in the first place.

    Despite all this, my sysadmin is very supportive of my interest in networking and has given me old equipment to play around with at home, with the opportunity of paying for any certs that I want. He's also trusting me to start deploying wireless equipment on sites in production.

    Up until 3 months ago, I was actually studying on the side but I hit what I think is burnout due to the high volume of tickets and the fact that user's seem to make the same mistakes over and over again. I even worked on end-user documentation for a Microsoft Office webinar which only got about 7 people (out of 500) to attend. I actually came in on the weekends to work on this! The feedback I received was that the documentation was "too much" for the end users to understand.

    My work has taken a toll on my mental well-being - some days I leave work in a terrible mood and sometimes just drink for no reason. I used to enjoy playing video games but these days, I come home and don't want to turn on another monitor or look at another screen again. I also used to see a therapist, paying out of my own pocket as I my organisation's health care coverage is a joke, and the mental health "industry" in Canada is shockingly bad if you end up in the system so I think of myself as one of the "working wounded" - just about able to function in society and hold down a job by the skin of my teeth.

    In terms of industry networking, most of the Meetup groups here are for elitist web-devs and start-up people who think having a ping pong table double as a reception desk is cool. Very few groups for people like me starting out in the industry or related to what I used to have an interest in (networking).

    Maybe it's this work environment. Maybe it's the industry. Maybe it's me. But every day at work feels like I've done nothing, and maybe this job and organisation might not be for me. Most other jobs here ask for the usual "5 years experience in a 2-year technology" kind of thing or "must have a degree in computers" (What is this? 1985?). I think I may have to get a job away from this field and just study networking on my own time as a "hobby" that could get me something.

    * Canadian employers don't think much of any foreign work experience or qualifications so people who move to Canada have to do low-level work (typically retail or coffee shop stuff) to get this mythical "Canadian Experience." It results in cab drivers with medical degrees or PHDs doing cleaning work. My career background is in media but the industry here could not give less of a shite about my background but won't hire me because I didn't actually study journalism in the right Canadian universities.
    Certifications: Sec+ | Fortinet NSE 1 & 2
  2. dmarsh
    Honorary Member 500 Likes Award

    dmarsh Petabyte Poster

    Sounds like you had a sweet deal in London, if it was so good, why did you leave for Canada ? You can always go back.

    I haven't spent much time in Canada, but I did temporarily emigrate to Australia, I'm sure Canada is worse for job hunting, but its pretty common as an immigrant to find yourself coming up somewhere down the line for opportunities. That's just how it is, you're not the big cheese anymore. Realize any status you have in life is temporary.

    If you do wish to stay in Canada then you have no choice but to work around it. This to me means one of a bunch of things :-

    1. Keep plugging away using traditional methods, hoping for a 'lucky break'
    2. Obtain the necessary experience or qualifications
    3. Sidestep the whole issue by creating your own opportunities, by setting up on your own, or by starting a media company etc.

    I've got 23 years experience, doing different projects, in different industries, much of it pretty challenging. I look for jobs in the UK which is my country of birth, which I agree is vastly easier.

    I still get all the crap from recruiters. I have kids still wet behind the ears trying to lecture me about the IT industry, when they have never worked in it.
    Refuse to take it, and tell them where they are wrong, and when they are rude or make unreasonable demands.

    Some countries have very good education systems and they aren't uber expensive, employers can therefore take their pick of highly trained people, they don't feel the need to 'take the risk' on people that haven't done the groundwork. Other parts are pure market protectionism.

    Meet up groups are organized by volunteers, they therefore tend to be in areas that are seen as 'hip', try looking at other areas like Dev Ops or Big Data.

    The ping-pong table stuff is only for retards, there aren't many retards in development as it requires a brain.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  3. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

    I can relate on some level.. I often think of leaving the industry (Im on my second IT job) some times I feel really motivated to study etc, other times I leave work thinking “F this” IT is a thankless, high-stress industry to work in IMO and if you arent a programmer the money is often not worth the hassle. I cant give much advice as I am still relatively new in the industry, however if its really causing metal distress then its not worth it.
  4. MasterDelgado

    MasterDelgado Nibble Poster

    Well I was lucky in the end. Got let go a year ago from my last company due to Covid (no need for IT staff if everyone is working from home) and am in no rush to get back to IT Support. Spent the time upskilling with a few job applications here and there.
    Certifications: Sec+ | Fortinet NSE 1 & 2
    JK2447 likes this.

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