Choosing a career path can seem like an overwhelming decision. Although it isn’t something that you should take lightly, it’s also something that can be a lot less stressful when you do a little homework before making your leap of faith. For those who are thinking about a career in IT support, here’s a useful guide to help you on your way.
Jack of all Trades; Master of IT
The first thing to understand is that a career in IT doesn’t just mean that you’re a technical whizz with no other skills. The best support staff are those who have the knowledge and know how to use it! Although it’s great to understand networks and code like the back of your hand, support is often about helping other people with their problem, and not always rushing in to save the day. Many support services today are great time savers; this is because they can be done remotely, via the phone, or internet. If you work in IT support you may want to make sure that your skill set includes good people skills, patience, and good communication…you’ll need plenty of it all!
Because of the nature of some companies, having knowledge that extends beyond your job description can be a real asset. IT support can be applied in hundreds of different areas and environments, and so you might find that your affinity for art, engineering or business will come in handy!
Different Every Day
Many would think of IT support as being a boring desk job, where every day is the same; fix a computer, answer a phone, watch the clock, rinse & repeat. If this is your idea of a perfect job, then there are plenty available to fit the bill! IT managers, however, usually love it when employees want to be challenged, when they want to take on more responsibility and increase their value within a company.
There’s no end to the knowledge base available in IT, so there’s plenty for you to learn and opportunities to continue to grow! Whether you want to learn a new programming language, study alongside your work for more qualifications and recognition, there are lots of chances to progress. Taking an active mindset into a career will set you miles apart from those who are ‘comfortable’, and the powers that be are likely to take note.
Don’t Forget to Smile
One of the most important factors if you’re going into any career is how you interact with people, including your peers, superiors and customers. IT support isn’t about being locked away with broken computers until your retirement, it’s all about people. As with any career, make sure you share your knowledge, and go out of your way to be helpful. As a ‘support’ staff you might think this is a given, but you’ll quickly notice colleagues who resent their work and don’t give off a friendly vibe. Be kind, respect your workmates, and remember that your reputation will be built by the customers you help. They will notice if you’re polite, helpful, friendly and happy, and will pass news of a good service onto your boss!
Moving On Up
IT support comes with a little bit of a stigma attached to it. Some people think that being an IT technician doesn’t leave much room for advancement as a career, but they couldn’t be more wrong. A career in IT support is a fantastic launching pad. Most people have had interaction with an IT helpdesk at their school, but education is only one of the many areas that IT support is available. Many IT services and organisations are indispensable to some of the biggest, most successful companies in the world today. They allow for huge growth, expansion, and provide great opportunities to move on and up. Why not set your sights on the position of managing director, and work your way from the bottom up?
While some of the advice in this guide may seem like common sense, on a day to day basis it takes motivation to carry you through. Keep learning, keeping reaching for more experience and higher responsibilities, and enjoy the benefits of getting to work with a whole range of people and companies around the country. You may be offering IT support in and around London or Seattle or someday you’ll even be travelling the world!
An article by Nathan Griffiths who is a prolific writer of technology articles.