Progressing my and your career in ICT.....[Blog/Thread]

BaroneBarone Posts: 36Member ■■□□□□□□□□
I turned 36 this week.

It got me thinking with how I have been approaching my own goals and ambitions, lately I've been feeling fairly jaded and frustrated for some reason. I haven't quite been able to put my finger on what has been bugging me the last few months...maybe it's because I haven't made much progression on the professional front as I'd hoped or received the internal support from my current employer as I'd envisioned.

Either way I'm over whatever has been bugging me and things need to move on.

I plan on using this as a thread/blog to put in my progress/thoughts/updates as I progress along with my own plans. I actually like using this forum, the vast majority of people on here seem fairly intelligent and helpful. Which is a vast change from some of the other forums I've been on and encountered.

I feel that I haven't had much success with my career in ICT, through a combination of bad decisions and perceptions on my own part and also bad luck. This is something I'd like to seriously rectify, I like working with and in ICT, I enjoy my role and my job but it's also important to me that I feel that I have some form of career progression and advancement. What it takes to achieve that is something I'm not sure how to do and usually trawl the internet for rather helpful or useless advice :D

This is turning into an essay.....

Presently I'm in a fairly well paid job, with a good working environment with almost no idea on how I can tackle my goal of advancing my career other than approaching the HR department and asking to be considered for "internal" opportunities.

At this stage I feel I need to sit down and actually work out what I am interested in and then how I can get there, might be an idea to work out a flexible study plan and then go from their.

Thanks for reading, comments welcome :D
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Comments

  • iBrokeITiBrokeIT GXPN GPEN GWAPT GCFE GCIH GSEC eJPT Sec+ Posts: 1,207Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    You are not going to progress in this industry very fast just by showing up, filling a seat and going through the motions. YOU need to be the one to take responsibility for your career and professional development because no one else will. Your boss, HR and company will put their own interests a head of yours more often than not - don't even forget that, "It's just business".

    If you want career progress and a higher paying job then you need to challenge yourself and develop higher paying skills. What is your plan to do that? Have you identified a career path? Have you looked at actual job postings and identify the skills you'll need to "take the next step"?

    If your employer won't promote you and you quality for a higher level position then look else where. You owe your professional development to yourself a head of loyalty to a company. "It's just business", remember?

    I am glad to see you made an excellent first step by seeking advice from those that have been in your shoes before. My last bit of advice is don't stop... don't stop learning, don't stop networking with those in your field and don't stop challenging yourself to be a better professional than you were yesterday.

    Best of luck to you OP.
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Glad you've thought of making positive changes to your career mate. Pray tell us:

    - how long you've been in IT for
    - how long you've been in your current role
    - what you do now and where your interests lie (virtualization/storage/security etc?)
    - when you last took a vacation
    - where you are located
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • BaroneBarone Posts: 36Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    iBrokeIT wrote: »
    You are not going to progress in this industry very fast just by showing up, filling a seat and going through the motions. YOU need to be the one to take responsibility for your career and professional development because no one else will. Your boss, HR and company will put their own interests a head of yours more often than not - don't even forget that, "It's just business".

    If you want career progress and a higher paying job then you need to challenge yourself and develop higher paying skills. What is your plan to do that? Have you identified a career path? Have you looked at actual job postings and identify the skills you'll need to "take the next step"?

    If your employer won't promote you and you quality for a higher level position then look else where. You owe your professional development to yourself a head of loyalty to a company. "It's just business", remember?

    I am glad to see you made an excellent first step by seeking advice from those that have been in your shoes before. My last bit of advice is don't stop... don't stop learning, don't stop networking with those in your field and don't stop challenging yourself to be a better professional than you were yesterday.

    Best of luck to you OP.

    A bit of background might help....

    With this current mob, when I "came on board". I was initially given a very, good sell on how the company develops it's employees and helps them achieve their career goals...even if they plan to move on. I'm more perceptive than people give me credit for, I know a good sales pitch when I hear one. To be honest at that stage I needed work and money, I'd have taken anything that would have gone on the table.

    Six months or more on, I've passed my probation period and am still employed. Before these guys, my work environment was pretty terrible; I had a lame duck director over a know-it-all-control-freak-manager with no people skills or staff management ability. My old manager was incredibly good at stealing your ideas and making them his own....it really, really killed my interest in IT and I was pretty much coming to work at operating at a bare minimum.

    Now...I'm starting to get interested in IT again but it's taken a few months.

    I'm at the stage now where I realize I need to formulate an actual plan and start progressing it on my own terms.

    I expressed an interest to HR about transiting into a Management position and what it would take to get there. I received the distinct impression that this will not occur nor would I get any support internally. However if I want to pursue the IT Technical route.....that was pushed as a MUCH better option for me.....*sigh*

    So now I'm looking into possible career paths and what it will take me to achieve this, at this point I'm still researching my options.
  • BaroneBarone Posts: 36Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    - I've been working in IT for 15 years.

    - My current position is eight months and counting (new mob) but I'm essentially still in my old position and environment..so 15 years.

    - I'm technically a tier 1-2 help desk/desktop support. I'm not to sure where my interests currently lie, I've always very much been a generalist. Now I see the need to pretty much pick a particular area and just focus on that discipline. Only problem is I have no idea what to pick or start with.I'm the first to admit I need to improve my technical skills, especially if I want to progress and challenge myself.

    - 2010....man.....that was awhile ago.

    - Australia. My local doesn't have a lot of job opportunities for IT, when they do....their is a lot of competition. I need to give some serious thought about moving to one of the capital cities.
  • BaroneBarone Posts: 36Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Recently I've started shopping around for local ICT jobs, cold canvasing other IT companies...which is something I haven't done before.

    - I had one interview that was really promising but after a couple of follow-up e-mails I still haven't heard back from them about the position that was opening up. After no response for nearly a fortnight and them missing their own deadlines to get back to me twice, I've concluded I'm out.

    - I had another interview for a call center with a large, international firm. That was quite an eye-opener and once again the interview process was very positive and quite promising, I should hear back this week. The only issue is the pay cut is quite large nearly 20k but the prospect of career progression and advancement looked much more promising.

    I've been asked a number of times "What certifications I have?"....I've only got ITIL v3...so it's certainly an area I need to look into.

    I'm thinking of getting my MCSA: Windows 7 and then progressing into MCSA: Windows Server 2012 or Network+ and my CCNA.

    I'm also slowly working through my Certificate IV in Frontline Management, mainly also to force myself to get back into an actual "study" mindset.

    Thoughts?
  • daviddwsdaviddws Posts: 303Member
    I was in your shoes around the same age, and its a good time to get serious. I would get the Win7 MCSA and some other certs. Time to put some time in on the credentials, you'll be glad you did.
    ________________________________________
    M.I.S.M:
    Master of Information Systems Management
    M.B.A: Master of Business Administration
  • BaroneBarone Posts: 36Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'm going to look at a couple of things first.

    - Complete my Certificate IV in Frontline Management.

    I'd like to follow this through to completing a Diploma in Management and a Diploma in Business.

    - Study and pass the exam for Network+

    I've never really sat and studied for IT certifications before and I'd be interested in refreshing my networking knowledge area before seriously looking into the CCNA pathway.
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    PM me your exact location mate, if your on the eastern seaboard I may be able to hook you up with a recruiter or two (if you like).

    As for the N+, don't waste your time. It's an entry level cert and your not entry level, aim higher. The CCNA/VCP have much better ROI.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • BaroneBarone Posts: 36Member ■■□□□□□□□□
  • bridgestonebridgestone Posts: 36Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'm in a somewhat similar position to you.

    But don't necessarily think you have to specialize. It's true that the working world seems to reward those who do but I believe that generalists are not cut out for extreme specialization. It goes against the grain of our personalities.

    Build up the certs in a variety of areas. You can eventually transition into a sysadmin/system engineer role (i.e. pure 3rd line/Infrastructure) or it will simply better equip you for a combined helpdesk/desktop/infra role.

    And it will even help you into management. Whilst there are some great non-technical managers out there, I'd say that there is more of an emphasis these days on hiring technical managers who know their s**t when it comes to al the big changes in IT in the last 5 years i.e. failover, clustering etc. Definitely in enterprise environments.

    My ideal job would be Head of IT/Director of IT at a company of around 300 to 500 people but for various reasons in my own case I cannot directly transition into this. I plan to go the enterprise route first.

    And don't forget that MSPs love people with a wide range of skills. So becoming a super-generalist/eventual manager is no bad thing. Some of us are simply not cut out to become DBAs and the like.

    Basically, get those certs!
  • BaroneBarone Posts: 36Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Moving forward...slowly. Applied for a few jobs now, mainly using these for interview practice.

    - Job application for a Call Centre position; got rejected on the grounds I was "a little too" negative when discussing past employers.

    - Job application for a Call Centre position; got rejected on the grounds of "salary expectation was too high".

    - Job application for ICT Support position; emailed, phoned, interviewed, follow-up, another follow-up...no response at all icon_sad.gif...I'll take the hint and move on. Thought the interview went really well, but it felt like I wasn't quite what they were hunting for.

    - Job application for ICT Support position; cold called; resume sent; follow-up phone call and e-mail.....no response at all icon_rolleyes.gif

    Locally their is little in regard to IT work that is advertised, I've still a few options to try out but I haven't been getting a positive vibe about the employment prospects in my local area. I'm going to get into shape and seriously make a run at the military, which will either be ICT or Intelligence or I'll just try for a trade ticket.

    Good interview practice so far, I'll seriously tone down how I comment on former employers in the future.
  • iBrokeITiBrokeIT GXPN GPEN GWAPT GCFE GCIH GSEC eJPT Sec+ Posts: 1,207Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Barone wrote: »
    Good interview practice so far, I'll seriously tone down how I comment on former employers in the future.

    Sounds like you have learned about the interviewing process and you'll be ready the next time a good one comes along.

    I have found you need to be very politically correct when discussing reasons why you left your former employer(s). Look at this way, how would you feel if they said they fired the previous employee whose position you are interviewing for and they trash talked them? It would be very unprofessional and you may question if they are going to be unprofessional towards you if something doesn't go as expected.
  • DeathmageDeathmage Posts: 2,496Banned
    to side track from my review for the VCP, I'd like to add that its always a good time to move on and it's not always the easiest. I know this 1st hand, as being a guy whom just moved on from a job I worked for 4 years....

    I sometimes think I'm late to the rodeo being 29 but I guess I'm better off than some; took me a long-time to realize what exactly I wanted to do and I like being a System/Network Engineer, but as we all know those two words are very broad in there definition so I got a ton of work ahead of me to validate my skillsets, never stop learning...

    I went to a MSP back in September only to find out they lied to me about my role and the fact the company was shrinking and I ended up going to a different local MSP I should have taken 4 months ago exactly 2 days after they left me go because they couldn't afford me, and boy has it been fun the past two weeks plus at 55 an hour you can't beat that...I've done two VMware deployments, two Cisco networking configurations/deployments and countless small business server/network survey's and/or repair related services; Last week in-fact I ran 5 miles of Cat6 on 4 floors along with configuring Cisco 2960-S switches in a building at West Point and used really overly priced fluke testers for over 450 connections; I'm getting the hands-on exposure I've wanted for a long time..

    But I'm always pushing the boundary of my career and went on a interview yesterday in White Plains for a different jack-of-all-trade job for a medium sized company (about half the size of my previous long-stint job) and I asked for 75k and they felt that was fine with bennies....

    Plus my current job since it's contract based will let me work on weekends for deployment projects of Cisco/VMware/Microsoft so if I land this other job I'll still have hands-on experience in another avenue...

    Like others have said always, always push your boundaries and become uncomfortable. I'm glad I choose to move on 3 months ago I've grown from it and now I see after being on some many interviews that people want skilled IT people you just need to talk the lingo and have the skill sets to back them up...
  • BaroneBarone Posts: 36Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    iBrokeIT wrote: »
    Sounds like you have learned about the interviewing process and you'll be ready the next time a good one comes along.

    I have found you need to be very politically correct when discussing reasons why you left your former employer(s). Look at this way, how would you feel if they said they fired the previous employee whose position you are interviewing for and they trash talked them? It would be very unprofessional and you may question if they are going to be unprofessional towards you if something doesn't go as expected.

    This has occurred to me as well, I'll be fairly politically correct and quite professional. The main reason I will give will be that "I feel I have reached a peak within my current role and am exploring my options for future career enhancement. I honestly feel as an employee for any prospective employer I need to continue to develop and refine my skill sets so I can bring value to an organisation".

    It sounds canned but I want to be positive and professional, I've worked with and have been a negative doomsayer for to long.

    Registered with the military the other week to, so I'll need to knuckle down and get into shape.
  • BaroneBarone Posts: 36Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Currently the military route is looking pretty strong. If I don't find another job locally, I'll be signing up for 4-6 years. The only thing holding me back currently is my weight, which is coming off slowly.
  • aderonaderon CISSP, CCNA:S, CCNA:R&S, AWS:CSA Assoc, Sec+, Lin+, A+, Net+, Proj+ Posts: 404Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I must say it's pretty inspiring reading this post. It's nice to see someone grab life by the horns and cut their own path. You got my support man! Good luck icon_thumright.gif
    2019 Certification/Degree Goals: AWS CSA Renewal (In Progress), M.S. Cybersecurity (In Progress), CCNA R&S Renewal (Not Started)
  • Kai123Kai123 Posts: 364Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Barone wrote: »
    Currently the military route is looking pretty strong. If I don't find another job locally, I'll be signing up for 4-6 years. The only thing holding me back currently is my weight, which is coming off slowly.

    I was about to join the army mostly for IT related work (Royal Signals) before getting my current job! I'm sure the Australian army has a IT corp that you could go for (it if comes to that).
  • BaroneBarone Posts: 36Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'd be honestly looking at the Airforce and trying to get into Intelligence work. If I cannot do that, I'll do a trade ticket in something....if I cannot do that, then I'll look at doing tech support again.
  • Kinet1cKinet1c Posts: 604Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    What certs are you currently studying for? It's good that you have the ITIL v3 but the one thing I've learned is: Study for the job you want.

    I wanted to move towards *nix and since getting the Linux+/LPIC1 last year, I've been getting calls/emails from recruiters trying to get me to move to positions where I would put that knowledge to work. The process works, LinkedIn has been invaluable to me and has shown me that my skillset is in demand.= but I'd prefer to stay where I am and have applied for a role internally so fingers crossed.

    If you're not learning, you're not growing and will be stuck with tech support for life.
    2018 Goals - Learn all the Hashicorp products

    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity
  • BaroneBarone Posts: 36Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    None currently.

    Which needs to be addressed.....I need to knuckle down and finish my Certificate IV in Frontline Management.
  • BaroneBarone Posts: 36Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    So with some thought towards goals and plans.

    Long term:
    - Weight loss and then transition into the ADF (Airforce). As to what, I'm not to concerned at this stage, I'll research it and make the decision when I am much closer to the date.

    Short term:
    - I want to get better at ICT, which means knuckling down for study and learning. The immediate areas I want to get better at are.

    - Active Directory
    - Group Policy
    - SQL (Microsoft MTA: Database Administration Fundamentals)
    - Macintosh OSX certification
    - Windows 7 and maybe Windows 8 certification.

    That'll probably do for the time being.
  • anhtran35anhtran35 Posts: 466Member
    You need to bunker down and get more certs. 15 years in IT and you only have an ITILv3 certification shows that you are not really into IT. Never talk badly about A PREVIOUS company. Always be political. Companies don't want a DEBBIE DOWNER. You are there to sell yourself and market yourself as a team player and go getter...RAH RAH RAH BS. I know it's tedious and basically you are faking your enthusiasm but that is the nature of all employment.
  • BaroneBarone Posts: 36Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the input.

    At this stage, I'm mainly applying for jobs to get interview practice and chase feedback on my interview technique; what I need to improve my chances at getting an actual employment offer; resume and cover letter polishing. Once I'm back into shape, I'll go into the Airforce unless I get a fairly decent job offer in the short term.
  • BaroneBarone Posts: 36Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Applied for a couple more jobs yesterday, probably to simply get it out of my system than anything else. It's always nice to know you have potential options even if they don't go anywhere, both wanted experienced IT support personal with ITILv3 certificates. I dropped my salary expectations to near entry level (40-45k in Australia) the last couple of times my salary expectations were to apparently to high icon_rolleyes.gif

    I'm also going to start reading up on Group Policy this week, want to progress those long term study goals.
  • anhtran35anhtran35 Posts: 466Member
    Barone wrote: »
    Applied for a couple more jobs yesterday, probably to simply get it out of my system than anything else. It's always nice to know you have potential options even if they don't go anywhere, both wanted experienced IT support personal with ITILv3 certificates. I dropped my salary expectations to near entry level (40-45k in Australia) the last couple of times my salary expectations were to apparently to high icon_rolleyes.gif

    I'm also going to start reading up on Group Policy this week, want to progress those long term study goals.

    What is your career aspiration? Windows System Administrator? Network Administrator? Figuring this out can narrow your CERT studies.
  • BaroneBarone Posts: 36Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I used to think I could progress into ICT Service Mangement, everything I completed in the last few years was working towards moving into IT Service Management. I learned a lot with the courses I completed but couldn't get the opportunities to improve my skill sets, I either got passed over or had my proposals shut down or stolen and watched others claim credit for them. In hindsight I should have moved on a couple of years ago, even with new management I've indicated my interest to learn and develop skills to move into IT Service Management but I feel all I've recevied is a pat on the head and

    "That's nice dear".

    So moving on.

    I'm interested in Network Administration, I always have been so I'll begin here.
  • anhtran35anhtran35 Posts: 466Member
    Barone wrote: »
    I used to think I could progress into ICT Service Mangement, everything I completed in the last few years was working towards moving into IT Service Management. I learned a lot with the courses I completed but couldn't get the opportunities to improve my skill sets, I either got passed over or had my proposals shut down or stolen and watched others claim credit for them. In hindsight I should have moved on a couple of years ago, even with new management I've indicated my interest to learn and develop skills to move into IT Service Management but I feel all I've recevied is a pat on the head and

    "That's nice dear".

    So moving on.

    I'm interested in Network Administration, I always have been so I'll begin here.

    CCNA is your best bet.
  • BaroneBarone Posts: 36Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Bounced on another job interview...Desktop Support Officer, ITIL environment with built in progression from the Service Desk to other areas after a period of time....should have been a shoe-in with that one honestly, I was surprised I bounced icon_sad.gif

    I don't expect any feedback from the interview process, most companies are pretty tight lipped with that these days.

    Need to sort out my study plans this week...
  • BaroneBarone Posts: 36Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'm struggling a bit to maintain a positive spin with ICT at the moment, I've bounced off my last four job interviews which were all for "entry" level. It's surprised me a little since I'm fairly experienced at what I do and I like what I do, but I get the impression the last couple of times when I was asked about my career expectations I shot myself down. It appears it's a sin to have some form of ambition and want to move beyond the service desk level after twelve months or so (my current employer included).

    Currently revising some material before I start my CCNA, I'm likely going to get certified in Mac OS just to get that certification ball rolling.

    ADF interview next week, I'm keen to see what I'm eligible for with my current skill set.
  • BaroneBarone Posts: 36Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    So the "nail in the coffin" occurred yesterday and it only took a minute.
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