First Day of Help Desk Done -- What's my Exit Strategy?

NicheNiche Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi all. This is my first post but I've been addicted to TE for a few months now. It's been really helpful for advice while I'm pursuing my career in IT :) You guys are a really great community!

Today I finished my first day on the service desk that supports a semi-national company. It's a 6 month per day contract. I'd like to form a plan on how to use this current job as a spring-board, but I'd like your help.

The definitions of Help Desk are broad and varied so I'll just list what I observed the woman I shadowed do:
+It's a first-point of contact
+They have 2 virtualised desktops for each of the two parent companies. One uses AD 2008 and the other uses 2003.
+The employees we support use a Citrix-based platform for their access portal (I think, never encountered Citrix before)
+We log and assign tickets using a website that's tied in with the system
+Total user size is pretty big, multi-sites in the country. I'd say 1000-1500?
+I observed the woman use AD to unlock accounts, reset passwords and various
+Seems like a large portion of the job is issuing requests (like a mailman); Deskside Support go here, XYZ support call this person, ABC do this task etc
+Support field engineers and their devices
+The emails need to be answered with 3 hours and phone-calls are to be kept >5 in general

(Good work atmosphere but it seems very very busy. Seems like a great place to cut my teeth.

I'm also deciding whether to pursue an MCSA in Server or go for the CCENT. Still trying to figure out which side of things I'd like to do.

I'd like to know how I can leverage my job to learn more skills and tech? Once I can do my actual job description of course!

I've read asking for more duties is an option or show you're willing to learn.
What is the best way to do this in a very busy environment - one where you don't really get any down time?
Examples would be great!

There seems to be potential for branching out into a Desktop/Field Engineer path. Should I consider this? Is a Desktop Support much of an upgrade vs Help Desk?

There's also a NOC upstairs which I would LOVE to sneak my way into as I think it's a perfect balance of stuff I don't know vs stuff I can learn and be useful. I think I'd need to do a combination of really buckle down and achieve a cert as well as display to my supervisor's supervisor a willingness to learn.

My background: I'm trying to get into IT, with not much working experience; daily user of computers since a kid, some part-time work for my Uni tech support for a year. Not that they count for much, but I have also passed 4 of the MTAs for Infrastructure (server, networking, security and os fundamentals). They were free and gave me something better than 'good with computers' to put on my CV.

The past 6 months I worked in a call centre. I could say I learned soft-skills and troubleshooting, but to be honest I already had those skills. At best I did something a monkey can do. However, that said, I did consistently make very strong connections with strangers over the phone (people sharing personal stories, facebook/email contact etc) that I have empirical 'proof' of.

The most advanced stuff I did, outside of the product, was conference call customers' ISPs. We werent encouraged to do this, but I did it anyway - we all know how Reps try to baffle normal every day users. So I guess I did some tertiary network trouble-shooting.

[Record was a 4-way conference call and a 5hr 30 min call]


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    omi2123omi2123 Member Posts: 189
    it totally depends on what state u r located at & what major companies are there in that state & which positions they r hiring & what qualifications they r looking for....2012 MCSA is pretty hard as far as i've seen.....not very many ppl r passing it.....just to put a good one on ur resume, u may wanna consider CCNA first & then start ur MCSA 2012 server prep. I myself is bout to take the win8 mcsa first test cause to me it seems like lot of the stuff from win8 materials carry over to the 2012 server......that's just my 2 cents.....good luck
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    ande0255ande0255 Banned Posts: 1,178
    Once you learn how to do your job competently, find ways to improve processes or new troubleshooting methods to close calls at the front line, and share this info with your team. If you demonstrate for 6-12 months that you will bust your chops for the company, you will move up to better things.

    The flip side which happened to me at my last job, is that I was such an asset to my help desk, that the director (my managers boss) was calling hiring managers of internal positions I was applying for, and telling them not to hire me cause she "couldn't afford to lose me." I was passed over for a couple whatever type jobs, but when I got passed over for a network engineer position and I asked my manager WTF, he told me what hsd been happening. Two months later I started my current job, which is absolutely awesome atmosphere / coworkers / experience.

    So if your busting butt yet not moving up, I'd suggest starting to look else where at about the 1 year mark, as then you'll have some experience to make it through some technical interviews.
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    NemowolfNemowolf Member Posts: 319 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Throwing in my two cents, definitely stick with this job until about the 1 year mark. Ask your employer if they offer tuition reimbursement and if they will be willing to cover costs on cert tests and classes/seminars/conferences etc. Some may and some may not be willing to educate you.

    Once you feel settled, network and get to know what other departments do and what their workload is like. If you have a DBA, then find out about their job and ask questions. If they have a network engineer, do the same. etc. Once you get an idea of what you want and you have proven yourself in your current position, then look for an exit strategy that aligns with what you want to do. Without a clear goal, an exit strategy at this point is never going to last more than a couple of months.
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