Sour Taste at New Job

snipzasnipza Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey everyone. Well, it's my 2nd day at my new job and I'm not sure about it (or maybe my expectations were high?).

The past few days have been a lot of sitting around and not doing much. Like today, I was scheduled to come in a couple hours before my trainer came in. I was proactive, checked with users to see if they needed help or if any issues were coming up (no ticketing system here - so I was manually walking around taking notes).

When my trainer comes in we just sit around. I am bored to tears. I wish my station was already set up with a phone so that I can start handling calls. The call volume here is minimal. Many of the issues that come up are either network related or regarding some proprietary software/macro formula that I haven't yet been trained on. I'm usually very patient but I am just so eager to get my hands dirty with calls! I no my limits and don't dare touch anything vital to the network, but I'd rather be thrown to the wolves and scream for help when I need it than to just sit around...

Was this how it was for you when you got your first IT job?


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    kriscamaro68kriscamaro68 Member Posts: 1,186 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Why not look at setting up spiceworks so you guys have a ticketing and documenting tool to rely on. It will also inventory all your workstations so you know more about the computers in the environment. Plus it costs nothing and won't mess anything up.
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    cyberguyprcyberguypr Mod Posts: 6,928 Mod
    You guys judging jobs in the first couple of days need to relax. I've been doing It for 15 years and every single job I've had started the same way. No responsible manager will just start assigning you a whole bunch of tasks without making sure you are properly trained and acclimated to the nuances of the environment. As a point of reference, I started a new job a bit over two months ago. The first week it was horrible because my new computer was delayed. I literally did nothing other than review documentation, multiple times. The second week I got my computer, but it was extremely slow due to the fact that I had to shadow a another engineer. The third week if when things finally started getting a steady flow.

    Takeaway is that every job has a learning curve. Even if you are a master of all thing IT there's always specific institutional knowledge that needs to be communicated and absorbed. Don't over think it, go with the flow, pay attention, ask questions. I don't mean for you to sit around and stare at the walls, just don't expect to get all kinds of privileged access right away. Explore what you can, get to know stuff, talk to people.
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    markulousmarkulous Member Posts: 2,394 ■■■■■■■■□□
    cyberguy has a point that it's definitely going to start off slow. If it stays at that pace (which is definitely possible) then it at least gives you time for certs/studying. The guys I supervise have that same problem and I'm consistently trying to get them to do certs and give them loads of study info.
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    snipzasnipza Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□

    Thanks for the replies. I understand that its only the second day. I'm just super enthusiastic to learn as much as possible. I should calm down and take it one step at a time.

    As far as studying goes, I was reading some material for the MCSA: W7 I'm trying to get. So, the time was definitely not wasted! icon_cheers.gif
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    techfiendtechfiend Member Posts: 1,481 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I can relate about the job being slow and/or unexpected at first. It looks like a help desk position so getting to know the network probably isn't really possible. I'd suggest staying pro-active and if it is slow get to know your colleagues a bit, both will pay off in the end. Stay with it though, it took me a good 3 weeks to get into my first job as a desktop support tech and by being proactive I get to mess with the network which helps a lot.
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    apr911apr911 Member Posts: 380 ■■■■□□□□□□
    cyberguypr wrote:
    You guys judging jobs in the first couple of days need to relax.

    Cyberguypr is right on. Its an irresponsible manager who throws you to the deep end on day 2. Its irresponsible of the manager from a company perspective because you havent shown yourself to be capable of handling their environment and you most certainly dont know the politics or the nuances involved. It irresponsible of the manager from their perspective because if you F up they're the one's that are going to get the blowback. Finally, it should be irresponsible of the manager from your perspective because if they're willing to toss you to the wolves on day 1 what will they be willing to toss you to on day x+1 or for that matter when you have fixed all the problems in the environment and they bring in the newbie and let him raise a muck on day 1? If you have an employer just throwing you out there with no lifeline, support contact or any understanding of the environment you should be worried about how that bodes for the future.

    That being said, if you're still bored to tears on day 90, you might be on to something though I'd still give it another 90 days to determine if its something that can be solved either through your own efforts to create interesting work, conversations with your boss or even just volunteering/making yourself available for various projects.

    Day 1 is too early by, day 90 you should have a good indication of whether its something you need to start considering how to fix and by day 180 you should have a good indication of whether your efforts were successful at which point you can decide things are getting better and to stay or things have stayed the same or gotten worse.

    If things are worse or the same and you still want out you can start to brush off your resume, working your social network and posting it passively on some job boards. You'll get an idea of what's out there from the recruiters reaching out to you. Maybe go to a couple first round interviews with them to get back into practice and maybe look internally (a lot of companies require 1 year in a position before a transfer is allowed but you can see if there's something that might interest you internally for when you hit that point or maybe even ask your manager if it'd be possible to waive that requirement).

    By 9 months in I would start searching in earnest if it still hasnt worked out, its not going to work out. The end goal is you have a new job a year from your initial start. You gave it a good try and it just didnt work out. You still got a year at the company to go with and you're less likely to have issues with it on your resume.

    As for the day 90 "create interesting work" tack, you could look at the things you've observed and try to determine why thing are the way they are. For example, you said they dont have a ticketing system -
    Maybe its because of office politics... The IT manager and the CTO cant decide on the ticketing system to use so none is used (thats not to say there isnt one actually out there somewhere, there's a good chance the CTO mandated a ticket system that was installed and implemented but is now unsupported/unused because the IT manager didnt enforce its use)

    Maybe its because of user training. My new job has a ticketing system but most of the work we do still is done via email. We've been trying to get our users to switch to the ticketing system but they've been resistant to the change.

    Maybe its because of the costs. There are free ones available but not everyone is aware of that (spiceworks comes to mind) and while the software is free, you still need hardware to run it on which isnt free.

    Maybe its because of an actual lack of need. You've only been there 2 days. Maybe the work load or type of work legitimately doesnt require a traditional ticketing system.

    Maybe its because of a perceived lack of need. You can certainly show how a ticketing system would be helpful on many levels (tracking techs, status of issues, better collaboration, increased visibility of issues (no more so-so was sick so this issue wasnt resolved during the 3 weeks he was out).

    All of these scenarios have solutions that could see you spearheading an effort to implement a ticketing system but you arent going to know the reasons or the right way to attack the situation until you've been there long enough to figure out why they dont have a ticketing solution. In fact, trying to undertake that project now could see you putting your foot in your mouth or resparking an old issue.
    Currently Working On: Openstack
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    devils_haircutdevils_haircut Member Posts: 284 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I've been in a similar boat before, although I was a contractor. It took them 2 weeks to provide me with a login (hooray for large hospital networks). During those 2 weeks, I sat in the datacenter with a group of people while some of the more "senior" technicians (who had been there 1 month longer than the rest of us) went over our training, which consisted of showing us how to network boot, map drives, and install printers. Yes, you read that correctly. I was going out of my mind. And being in a somewhat secure environment, we could only go where our badges allowed, which was very limited. I started bringing in my laptop, connecting to my cell phone hotspot, and applying to jobs. That was a terrible 2 weeks.

    So while getting thrown off the deep end is bad, so is sitting on your hands for 2 weeks. The fact that OP's current employer doesn't even have a ticketing system in place is a bit disconcerting as well. The fact that a workstation is not setup makes me think this is a large environment, but if that's the case, why no ticketing system?
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    snipzasnipza Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□

    The environment is actually medium-ish. They have about 120-150 employees. I consider this small next to the internship I had which was at a school district with over 75 elem, mid, and high schools + facility buildings (thousands of end-users/client computers and devices). The calls were non-stop and we were missing calls constantly, even with 6 help desk staff on duty.

    I was surprised by the fact that my station wasn't ready to rock as they are paying me pretty well for help desk and not having any qualifications except my BA and an internship.

    I'm assuming this is the calm before the storm because not only was I hired as help desk, but I am also expected to be the back up for the network engineer, eventually. If they threw me off the deep end on the networking or production equipment stuff, I'd run away with my tail between my legs. But the desktop support stuff, even though I don't know everything, I can probably tough out unless it's a very unique problem on some proprietary stuff.

    Regardless, I will make the most of this opportunity. It's a job. Someone will gladly take my place for less money.
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    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I call it the rule of 90. You have to work a position for 90 days before you know if you are going to like it or not.

    There are always exceptions but not usually. That's what I go by. If the job is "still" junk after 90 days I start to think about an exit strategy.

    *** This also goes the other way. You may love the job to start but then it goes sour.
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    RHELRHEL Member Posts: 195 ■■■□□□□□□□
    My experiences were similar... Give it a few weeks. A lot of times, companies are busy and even though it seems they knew you were coming and they should have had everything ready for you, many times they just don't...

    My first full-time IT job -- UNIX admin for a global aerospace/defense company (200K employees) -- Laptop was not ready for the first week at all. Seating situation was temporary and did not get sorted out until they built me a new cube a few weeks later. I had zero access and remember being EXTREMELY bored.

    Second job -- UNIX admin for a mid-sized organization (6K employees) -- Temporary laptop (mine had to be ordered... Why hadn't they ordered it weeks prior???), phone was not ready for me, and I just ended up shadowing the other admin for weeks. Desk was a complete dirty dusty disaster with someone else's stuff. Also extremely bored a lot of the time. When a senior project manager started and they decided to give my desk away to him (and relocate me), they actually made me clean the workspace up for him. The area I moved to was disgusting and dirty.

    Third job -- UNIX admin for a mid-sized organization (7K employees) -- Brand new laptop, monitor, phone all ready for me. I had login credentials and everything I needed. My cell phone would have been ready, but they wanted to let me choose which model I wanted. HOWEVER, still very bored the first few weeks.

    So... From my experiences, perhaps your level of importance in a role (first IT job vs senior role) has something to do with the urgency in which they prepare for you. A lot of it has to do with the maturity of the leadership.
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    alias454alias454 Member Posts: 648 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I work at a small to mid-size hospital with about 1400 users. When I started on the helpdesk, I had a laptop along with docking station, monitors, and everything else in a pile on my desk. That was part of the acclamation process. I setup my own computer and had someone walk me through installing the speciality apps that were needed. We still do that to this day (only within IT). I then had a 4 day period where I talked to members of the different internal groups (infrastructure, Telecom, EMR systems, UNIX admins. Networking etc). I was taken on a tour of the datacenter and told what systems we had, what they were used for. I was also shown just about every IT nook and cranny within the building. Week two was listening to calls for a a few days to get a feel for the type of calls that came in and then taking calls the rest of the week while someone was close by if I needed help. Week three was on the phones full time after that.

    As far as non-IT staff, everyone else has their equipment setup prior to their second day if they require it. Day 1 is a full HR orientation day where they go through company policies, have the CEO come in and welcome everyone, login to our system to change their password etc. We start new employees every two weeks and it is expected that all of their standard account access is setup prior to arrival, along with any equipment they may need.
    “I do not seek answers, but rather to understand the question.”
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    snipzasnipza Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Well, just wanted to update you all.

    It's now the end of my 2nd week here. And it's changed, slightly. Still a lot of sitting around. But, I am helping users more often, now. Still now desk/station. I'm in the server room with my trainer pretty much all day. One of the chiefs introduced me via email so now everyone knows who to call if they want something done right away.

    I am still trying to learn the politics. There are certain people that my trainer is reluctant to give expanded rights to and others where it's okay. Because our company is heavily audited for security (gov. sub-contractor) I have to e very careful of what I do. So, although I do a little bit more on a daily basis, I am still limited by all the regulations and rules I am not yet familiar with.

    My trainer doesn't really follow up on any of the requests that didn't get seen. I am the one that has been keeping track of what people need and have to remind him of what needs to be done. Yesterday I asked him what he would like me to do and he told me to research something. Lol. He likes to sit around until something urgent comes along... then again, that's why I was hired to care of the non-urgent stuff. icon_cheers.gif
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    VAHokie56VAHokie56 Member Posts: 783
    Your trainer has found complacency at that job and hit his ceiling...job sounds kind of wack IMO...use the down time to study for a cert and keep your eye out for a new gig.
    "A flute without holes, is not a flute. A donut without a hole, is a Danish" - Ty Webb
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    David1990zx00David1990zx00 Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    It was something like "hey boy, you'd better not touch enything" :D
    When I came to this company, everything was like in the other workplaces. Silent atmosphere, easy tasks, a lot of sitting, and then it becomes more and more iteresting as you receive more advanced tasks.
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    anhtran35anhtran35 Member Posts: 466
    snipza wrote:
    Well, just wanted to update you all.

    It's now the end of my 2nd week here. And it's changed, slightly....

    Yup. Sounds like my typical IT job. During your down time consider studying for more certs.
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    snipzasnipza Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Just wanted to update you all, again.

    I'm finishing up my 2nd month during the first week of March. Things have changed a bit. I am definitely getting more and more autonomy, but mainly on client side issues (software help/ "my computer won't start" type of stuff).

    Learning a lot on the server side things and about how our manufacturing equipment operates. I'm slowly starting to get used to it. Drama is rampant, though. I take care of the big wigs first, no matter what. But it's a mind game with everyone else. That being said, I am passively looking for another gig. I am trying to get into officer candidate school for the Marines, just need to get my dang PFT up (curse Carne Asada fries), just because it's something I feel I need to do in my life. I love IT, but I need to take care of this call to service before I get too old (i'm 23).

    So, it's either stay here until I am accepted into OCS, which is September at the earliest, or find another gig after probation (mainly because I want the potential raise to benefit me in a new position) and stay there until OCS. Of course, I will try to get into a tech field in the Marines - but as an officer you don't choose your job, you just make a wish list and your staff will choose for you.

    Anyways, little update for you all! Hopefully my sticking around will help a new guy push through the initial disorientation of a new position.
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    IIIMasterIIIMaster Member Posts: 238 ■■■□□□□□□□
    My job is slow too but the average handle time for 1 call is usually 1 hour. Typically from experience the call volume is usually slow either because their is no business or when you do get a call get ready to do a lot of detail work or tshoot. Dont rush it man but you can ask questions.

    Sorry didnt read your last post. That sounds like a good move. IT miltary as an officer will look great on a resume. Just dont forget your education and try to knock out a few certs.
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    rensationalrensational Member Posts: 30 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'm surprised so many people have slow tech support/help desk types of jobs. I remember a year or two ago when I was complaining/upset about all of my tech support/help desk jobs throwing me to the wolves immediately people acted like that was normal. I really am not sure what's worse--being bored to death or being thrown right into the mix--but I know it's way more uncomfortable being thrown right into the fire. None of my jobs were ever boring, "password reset 90% of the time" type of jobs. They were incredibly stressful from the beginning and, really, the whole time I worked at those places. One of the places I worked for, there were several more "easy" days...but that was more than balanced out by all the days when there'd be a complete meltdown with either the network or the web server or something that affected massive amounts of angry clients.

    Basically, I think you're fairly lucky.
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