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Two Months Into First IT Job Report

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by craigie, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

    Well, I'm currently a little over two months into my first IT job and thought it would be a good idea to give you a little feedback about what has been happening.

    I work as a Helpdesk Analyst for a large IT provider and work on a government contract supporting a little over 10,000 PC's and 2,000 Laptops.

    I log calls and advise people on how to fix these (1st line support) heres the clincher, as someone who is awaiting security clearance, we cannot Remote Assist or even connect to the government network in anyway.

    This means that we have to resolve all of our calls using the end customer and talking them threw possible solutions. Calls range from Password Resets, to hardware failures, to complete building network connectivity losses, to Outlook setup, to permission requests.

    Even though it can be frustrating not being cleared it has allowed me time to study whilst waiting for the clearance to come through.

    So whats happened over the past two months?

    From a work prospective, I was granted the ability to 'invoice' calls within two weeks, which basically means they do not have to be checked by someone else before being invoiced. Which I was really pleased with as most people do not achieve this within six months!

    I was also recently asked to start training new starters and recently trained my first Helpdesk Analyst which was great fun (used alot of previous experience for this from other jobs).

    I put forward two plans to my Team Leaders to change:

    1. The way that calls are assigned to 2nd line.
    2. Internal procedure to identify training areas for Helpdesk Analysts.

    Both of these have been implemented in the past month.

    I have passed three exams gaining an MCP, MCDST and MCTS. With the MCTS I recieved an email from the Service Desk Manager and the Chief Executive of our company (not a bad feat considering the SDM has 500 people to consider and the CDE has over 2500!)

    Then today out of the blue, I was asked to sit the Senior Technical Advisor examination (2nd Line Exam) by my Team Leader. Which is used by the company to grade all second line people, those with industry experience and MCP's and those who have experience only.

    I scored 65% which was the highest score that any Helpdesk Assistant has scored who has been with the company for less than 12 months. Apparently the score is pretty much the average from people who are actually 2nd line with MCP's including 70-290 and/or two/three years experience.

    Based around this and my work ethic, my Team Leader will be proposing to the SDM (Service Desk Manager) that I should be escalted to 2nd line support within one month of recieving my clearance!

    The reason I bring this to the forums to share with everyone is as follows:

    1. Listen to the advice here, gain your qualifications and show commitment to being in IT.
    2. Work hard and smart you will be recognised.
    3. You can break into 2nd line support without having years and years experience of IT. Just make sure that your experience counts (e.g. dont get one years experience x three, get three years experience).
    4. Make a list of what resolved a call or an issue, what was the outcome, what could you learn from 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
  2. JonGlory

    JonGlory Byte Poster

    A very nice post, looks like your doing well for yourself, keep up the good work.:D
  3. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

    A hearty pat on the back m8, sound slike you're fitting in there very nicely !

    Keep up the good work ! :biggrin
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  4. Jubei_Jedi

    Jubei_Jedi Bit Poster

    Hi craigie1977,

    First of all well done on the job and the progress so far, its a real good indication of what can be achieved in very little time and also very motivating for someone like myself looking to get into the I.T industry.
    Just a few questions if i may...

    1. You say about having experience for x many years, what experience did you have before stepping into this role and for how long?
    2. I know it may be a little rude, but what sort of pay are you getting in that type of role? (approximate is only needed)
    3. I see what type of certs you have and did you self study for those and get them? or have you been to a college? plus what knowledge did you have before you started into this study?

    any answers would be greatly appreciated and once again , Well Done!!
    WIP: A+
  5. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

    Well done mate. Good to hear that we are putting people on the right track. :thumbleft
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP (270,271,272,290,620) | MCDST | MCTS:Vista
    WIP: MCSA, 70-622,680,685
  6. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

    I will try and answer your questions to the best of my ability.

    1. A small part of my previous jobs had an element of IT work in them, some basic server stuff e.g. password resets and connecting new starters pc to the domain. However, it was only a small part of my job.

    The reason I got the interview for my current position is that I played heavily on the customer service side of things and also 'bigged' up my IT role as well. Many first line positions like you to have IT experience, but if you can prove that you are customer focused then opportunies will arise.

    2. My current salary is £17,500 for this 1st Line role (had to take a MAJOR pay cut to get into this IT lark). With the promotion I expect to be on around £20K - £25K. This will depend on how many certs I have by the time I have my appraisal. Clearance should be in a couple of months, with my appraisal being in four months time. I hope to have achieved my MCSA then and proven myself on the servers as well.

    3. I self study for all of my certs. Before the MCDST, I knew what a Domain was, how to do basic things like Add a New User, PC, join a PC to a domain but that was it. What I did know that I have massive discipline and motivation to achieve an end goal. So I just buckled down and went on a drive to get certified and be the best Helpdesk Analsyt (or and did I say I'm competitive lol).

    Hope this helps a little.
    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
  7. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    Props to you, Craigie.

    You're taking your IT career in a great direction with a great ethos, and I hope a lot of new people to the industry manage to look at this post and a lot of others you've made (including your study pattern one for the MCDST - taking a lot of note of that one myself).

    Long may your burdgeoning career and CF contributions continue :)
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  8. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Wise advice. Repped, and congrats! :)
    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!
  9. Jubei_Jedi

    Jubei_Jedi Bit Poster

    Thanks alot for answering those questions , it has all been taken oboard.
    WIP: A+
  10. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Premium Member

    Very good post. I am sure it will motivate and help a lot of people.
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
  11. Dubfire

    Dubfire Byte Poster

    Some cracking advice mate, especially for myself just about to start my first IT post in a few weeks as first line also for a government agency...got a few qs tho...What platforms, software are you using to log calls? any reading material you would recommend to read up before starting how does the MCDST sybex fair? and what security clearance are you being cleared to. Is it DV or SC is it really worth its wait in gold or is that baloney?

    If you can get back its much appreciated mate.:D
    Certifications: N+, 270.
    WIP: 291 then 284 for the MCSA.. ITIL...
  12. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

    If only more people realised this! Pretty much sums up my current aim at work. Out of sheer curiosity... how long did it take you to complete the MCDST with your current 1st line experience? (From first starting study to passing the exam).

    Congrats to you, very well deserved! :D
    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
  13. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

    The platform that we use to log calls is a bespoke internal IT solution. This was probably the hardest thing to learn how to use along with how they catergorize SLA's, into different Priority areas for example:

    P1 - Multiple user issue e.g. exhange server down, slowness, freeze issues.
    P3 - Single user issue
    P4 - Information Request

    In relation to reading material, the MCDST will help you out immensley. I have flicked through the Sybex book and for my knowledge at the time it was to limited. I prefered the MS Press Books 70-271 & 70-272, as they contained much more information.

    In relation to Security Clearance, not sure of the exact level, but what I can tell you is as follows:

    1. Have to sign the Official Secrets Act
    2. You have to have been employed continoulsy for the last five year (no gaps or omissions)
    3. It is third level clearance, not sure exactly what that means, I know first level is Basic, which gets you diddly lol.

    I don't think it is worth its weight in gold, it just means you have been a 'good boy', but it is good to put on your CV as alot of government contracts require this before accessing either there networks or sensitive data.
    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
  14. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

    One month per exam, please take a looksi at my MCDST Study Guide over in the MCDST forums.

    It could be shorter or longer depending on your own experience.
    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
  15. Dubfire

    Dubfire Byte Poster

    Thanks for the reply mate, think ill get on amazon and get those press books been uming and ahing over that for a while now. about sybex its one book that covers 2 exams and the microsoft one covers two books, just what is the sybex one missing I wonder...

    Think the clearance you are getting is SC which is the same level all the armed forces recieve as a blanket level and lasts for 5 years.

    Know what you mean by being good to put on your CV and opens up a loads of other recruitment sites that would not be available if not cleared. just type in secured cleared job into google, tho by sounds of it you wouldnt want to leave your post anyway sounds like you have a good gig going on where you are!!:biggrin Well done for climbing that ladder.
    Certifications: N+, 270.
    WIP: 291 then 284 for the MCSA.. ITIL...
  16. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

    I've just read your post properly, congratulations 8)
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009
  17. moodster

    moodster Bit Poster

    An inspiring report on your first two months! Keep up the good work and well done!!:D
    Certifications: MCP

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