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Finally landed my first IT job with an MSP! What to expect?

marko_polomarko_polo Member Posts: 8 ■□□□□□□□□□
So I received an offer for a smallish (20+ employee) MSP that's been around for 25 years, if you can believe it. I'm pretty excited about the job. They seem to be a more high-touch, boutique-y outfit. Apparently they have no sales staff and rely 100% on word of mouth. I'm not sure how many clients they have but most have been with them for years. I would be one of about 6 Service Desk Engineers in a remote (to start) support position.

I have a BS in IT and A+/N+/S+ certs but not much real experience. The company seems to be willing to take a chance on me and I don't want to blow it. I intentionally chose an MSP because I don't have a lot of time to waste (this is a mid-life major career change) and like the idea that this is similar to getting thrown into the deep end of the pool without floaties. My goal is to soak up as much as possible the first year and then reevaluate my options from there.

For those of you that have worked for an MSP, what can I expect to encounter and do you have any tips for making it through the first few months? Thanks!

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    VeritiesVerities Member Posts: 1,162
    -Find the smartest person on your team and try to learn as much as you can from them. Usually they will have more efficient methods of getting things done, making you more proficient faster.

    -If you have any questions about anything ask them, the more questions you ask the better.

    -Get a notebook and write down everything you learn. This will not only help you with having a point of reference but also shows you are serious about learning the ropes.

    Congratulations and good luck!
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    ande0255ande0255 Banned Posts: 1,178
    I would HIGHLY suggest jotting down tickets you have no idea how to go about troubleshooting, go home and youtube the technology, or read forums on the specific issue. I got thrown into a Firewall / Network / Phone engineer level role with no experience, and had to learn extremely fast, and this helped me walk in every morning with at least a plan of attack.

    Also never shy away from calling support on devices in warranty, pay attention to how support troubleshoots, and ask questions if you don't get what they are doing. After Cisco TAC finishes troubleshooting any device on the CLI, I 'copy all to clipboard' and paste it to a text file, and have a small collection of them to refer back to when troubleshooting issues now.

    Don't quit because your frustrated, learn to embrace high pressure and stress, cause at 5pm it all goes away ( usually ) :)
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    networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    Congrats! It sounds like you have the right attitude to succeed. I don't have a lot of "what to expect" advice for you, but learn all you can, be dedicated to your craft and you will find your career advancing as fast you want it to. Good luck!
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
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    joemc3joemc3 Member Posts: 141 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I have been with an msp for about 4 months now. From what I have read is that msp's very greatly in how they run the day to day. At my place we are worked to the bone for little money. I do around 65 tickets a day in a 10 hour shift. I am allowed 2, 15 minute breaks and a lunch I get to eat at my desk while still taking phone calls.

    I do concur with everyone else about learning and taking notes. I also looked at older tickets to see how it moved to second tier and their responses. I would also follow any tickets I couldn't resolve to see if it was anything I could have done.
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    ThackerThacker Member Posts: 170
    Verify you are hourly and not salary. Most MSP jobs, especially lower level are due overtime pay for anything over 40 hours a week.

    You are certified, understand your worth. Companies will say "we are taking a chance on you" to justify paying you less than you deserve.

    You will learn a lot.

    You will feel a lot of stress due to the nature of a billable environment.

    Soak up the experience, and look to get out.
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    greg9891greg9891 Member Posts: 1,189 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Congrats, I am waiting to hear similar news myself....Blessings
    :
    Upcoming Certs: VCA-DCV 7.0, VCP-DCV 7.0, Oracle Database 1Z0-071, PMP, Server +, CCNP

    Proverbs 6:6-11Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard?
    When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep, So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler And your need like an armed man.
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    oxymoron5koxymoron5k Member Posts: 68 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I have worked for 2 MSP's and am currently still employed with the 2nd. Mine is pretty laid back and an awesome group of guys. Like Verities said, find the smart guys and stick with them. You will learn a TON. The game with MSP's are learn as much as you can while you can. MSP's typically have a short turn around because you learn enough to find a better job that pays more after about a year or two. If you can mix being technical and being customer friendly you will be golden. A lot of tech's are either one or the other as you will find out. The better you are at finding billable hours and managing your clients the better off you will be. The knowledge will come regardless.
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    InfoTech92InfoTech92 Member Posts: 75 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I worked for two MSPs as well. I'm still currently at the 2nd one. The first one was a **** with 1-2 people clients and they barely had servers. I learned an "okay" amount.

    This second one I'm learning SO much. Got invited to a project this Friday actually. What I can tell you is this from my experience;
    1. You will learn a lot
    2. There will be after-hours projects, volunteer.
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    TheNewITGuyTheNewITGuy Member Posts: 169 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I feel as if I'm an MSP veteran at this point - on my 5th one since 2012 - They all vary.. depending on size/scope of work they do. Most of them are junk and someone (the owner) decided one day to "Fix computers" or they were involved in something else in the lat 80's early 90's and then decided IT was a good business model.

    You're going to learn a ton, but i'll be honest.. A LOT of what I do doesnt apply to the enterprise/internal roles you'd find at a larger organization. Most MSP's are focusing on the smaller business 25-150 employees and offer a managed service offering (proactive, RMM etc) and charge per device; this is how they make most of their money. They might do T&M and when they do.. jesus H... most of the time the end user is on win2k and excel 97 (exaggeration)


    I'd hit and quit, about a year in and bounce out once you feel comfortable touching/talking about various technologies.
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    ShdwmageShdwmage Member Posts: 374
    Oh I have nightmare stories about being on Windows 2k and old versions of office. I am currently working with a customer/former employer of mine to get them upgraded to at least Win 7 pro and office 365 subscription for the few users that need office.

    When I started working for them 8 years ago it was a hybrid of windows 2k, 98 and office 97. The first thing I did was upgrade everything to XP with the purchase of new computers.

    I agree with the a lot of the advice above. Find the brightest person you can and figure out what they do. Learn from them. Then figure out how to do it better.
    --
    “Hey! Listen!” ~ Navi
    2013: [x] MCTS 70-680
    2014: [x] 22-801 [x] 22-802 [x] CIW Web Foundation Associate
    2015 Goals: [] 70-410
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    markulousmarkulous Member Posts: 2,394 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Are you remote working at a help desk or do you work in the field?
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    marko_polomarko_polo Member Posts: 8 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I've been told I will be remote initially but then transition to the field (which he described as a lot of "glad handing" the client--and wanted to make sure I was all right with that) after a year, once I gain more experience. Also, it sounds like if I want any project experience, it will have to come outside of regular work hours (eves/weekends), which sucks because it's a salaried, exempt position so no overtime.
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    marko_polomarko_polo Member Posts: 8 ■□□□□□□□□□
    They might do T&M and when they do.. jesus H...

    What's T&M?
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    markulousmarkulous Member Posts: 2,394 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I work at a remote MSP at the moment. I'd recommend utilizing your downtime. Study for certs, read tech articles, etc. Doing that will separate you from the others and is a great way to accelerate your career.

    Another thing is I'd say learn and absorb as much as you can. Find a couple guys that you can ask tech questions to and get their knowledge. Follow your tickets if you have to escalate it. And once you've learned as much as you can there, move onto something else. I.e. if your goal is networking try to get in as a junior network admin.
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    kurosaki00kurosaki00 Member Posts: 973
    marko_polo wrote: »
    What's T&M?

    Oh gosh, NOT T&M!!


    I...I have no idea whats T&M
    meh
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    kohr-ahkohr-ah Member Posts: 1,277
    kurosaki00 wrote: »
    Oh gosh, NOT T&M!!


    I...I have no idea whats T&M

    Time and Materials is what we always called T&M
    I also seen it referred to as Troubleshoot & Manage
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    bigdogzbigdogz Member Posts: 881 ■■■■■■■■□□
    marko_polo:

    I am currently working at an MSP for 15 years. Before I was working for Professional Services companies.

    Bigger MSP's may want to see if you have specific knowledge for higher level positions.

    Since this is a smaller company, you will learn a great deal about; hardware, software, networking, security, SAN's... etc. In order to do this you have to work after hours which will help you connect the dots and build/ expand your fundamental knowledge and give you an understanding how some projects make the customer environments run better/faster. You may also be performing a great deal of upgrades in of application or another (Exchange, Office, 3rd party application), upgrading servers, P2V'ing hosts, network changes like swapping out a workgroup or core switch, and maybe a cable monkey of sorts.

    During any down time you may want to study for more certifications or subjects to be better at your job. Your boss may want you to get vendor certifications (Cisco, Microsoft, VMware) for partnerships.

    I hope this helps.

    Good Luck!
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    marko_polomarko_polo Member Posts: 8 ■□□□□□□□□□
    bigdogz wrote: »
    P2V'ing hosts

    Oh boy... another acronym I'm not familiar with. :)
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    bigdogzbigdogz Member Posts: 881 ■■■■■■■■□□
    It is when you make a host run from Physical hardware to Virtual or VM.. Physical to Virtual.... P2V.
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    Mike-MikeMike-Mike Member Posts: 1,860
    bigdogz wrote: »
    P2V'ing hosts

    marko_polo wrote: »
    Oh boy... another acronym I'm not familiar with. :)


    caitlyn jenner
    Currently Working On

    CWTS, then WireShark
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