Did I Make the Correct Long Term Career Choice

Mr. MeeseeksMr. Meeseeks Member Posts: 98 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hi all,

Let me start back at the beginning. I live in San Joaquin County, CA. I started in IT at a marketing/sales company in 2009. I was initially hired on as Data Entry. Before this, my only work experience was a combined 3 years as a security guard at 2 different companies (1.5 yrs each). In my data entry position I worked hard with very minimal mistakes, if any. This was with 60 hour work weeks while attending college. And after about 6 months I became their in-house "tech guy". No official title change. But I was no longer doing order entry and was doing basic troubleshooting and repairs. As the years went on I took on more responsibilities and higher pay rates. No official title change or list of duties. They performed yearly reviews here were my rates:

2009 - $10/hr (paid dental/med/vision)
2010 - $12.50/hr (paid dental/med/vision)
2011 - $16/hr (paid dental/med/vision, 1 week vacation)
2012 - $22.50/hr (paid dental/med/vision, 1 week vacation)
2013 - $22.50/hr (paid dental/med/vision, 2 weeks vacation)

A note on vacation: it is given out yearly. After completing 2 years, you get 1 week vacation per year. 2 weeks after 4 years.

During my time there I managed everything IT. From the IP phones, network equipment, servers, AD, cell phones, IP cameras, purchasing new hardware, and so on. The company had about 80 FT administrative employees and anywhere from 40-1,500 warehouse employees. My final 2 years I implemented many technologies that helped the business out of the technological stone age. Including:

Better email solution company wide (migrated to Exchange)
Hyper-V (migrated servers and services to VMs)
Network redesign (hardware upgrades, Cisco managed router and switches, IP addressing, ect.)
IP camera security system/DVR server
VDI (actually fully implemented this after I left the company as a consultant)

A few other major projects and many other minor projects.

Going back to the pay rates. In 2012 I negotiated them to a higher rate. They were at $20, I was at $25, we met in the middle. I had a hunch they were going to offer me $20 going in so I researched what I felt I should be making and presented my boss with my findings. It's good to have charts and information to back up your opinion. Management loves charts. This is when I started my job search. In 2013 they did not award me a pay raise. I took this as a slap in the face. I would expect at least a COL increase. This really intensified my job search. And the fact that the work environment felt toxic to me.

After about 4 months of hardcore searching, send out apps, going to interviews, I landed a new job and put in my 2 weeks notice. A great company. A lot more structured (opportunity to move up). Making $55k (26.44/hr). But start accruing 3 weeks vacation per year, from day one. 401k (they put in 3%, even if I dont contribute). Group medical/dental/vision - I have to pay now though which eats up about $3,500 yearly. Target bonus of 7.5%, that jumps to a possible 15% if the company meets their goals. Less responsibilities, more focused because of a separation of duties. Part of a team. I am more focused on desktop and client support. Never make changes to the servers or network equipment unless it is something that is part of my imaging LAN. And Analyst is in my job title.

I feel it is better for me all around. I am less stressed out and more on target with what I feel I am worth given my credentials (80% finished with my 2-yr degree, Aced the CCNA academy but never tested for my CCNA, did get a network cert from my college, 5 years IT experience mentioned above). What I would like feedback on is this: How does it look going from my first position that could be considered systems/network administrator to my current position as a Desktop Analyst? It feels like I have regressed. I could explain it in an interview but its hard to do on paper and dont want my resume skipped over because of it.

My goal is to move up the ladder as quickly as possible. I really want my next move to be into some sort of an IT Manager position. I have managed people before (temps, interns) and I am trustworthy with money. I am willing to move depending on the climate. Thinking about enrolling in Western Governors University for BS IT. I think with the classes I transfer in, I can get it done in 2 terms.

Thanks for any input! And sorry for the disorganized post, haha.


  • Options
    roch_gregroch_greg Member Posts: 87 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Firstly I wouldn't get to hung up on job titles these days. Take a look at any job board and look at the job titles, then the description/duties, and finally the requirements. You'll see many times they are all out of whack.

    One reason for this maybe that as technologies become cheaper to deploy you have companies of all sizes using them. But in a large organization job roles are clearly defined, but in small shops you have to wear many hats.

    Secondly, it appears you made decisions for your career based on the same metrics many do. Pay, responsibility, work/personal life balance, and most importantly improving your skill set. Nothing wrong with that.

    Look over the job boards for the target job you want to be in and see what the qualifications are. Develop a consensus of those requirements and go from there.
    Goals for 2014: Cisco ICND1[X], Cisco ICND2/CCNA R&S[X], Junos, Associate (JNCIA-Junos)[ ]
    Ain't Nothing Illegal til You Get Caught --> Tickle from Moonshiners TV Show.
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