Being a JOAT is a PITA

minitminit Member Posts: 77 ■■■□□□□□□□
I am good at a bunch of stuff, great at nothing. I'd like to have a career with a more focused direction. Where I could really master something. Where I wouldn't be pulled in a million different directions every day and expected to know everything about everything. Where I could consistently speak intelligently and confidently on my subject matter.

Has anyone else felt this way? I'm thinking about focusing on networking and even niching that out.

Maybe I just need to be thankful I have a job.

/vent

Comments

  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,294 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Yep, used to work at a pretty small company where I was pretty much the whole IT Dept. Work at a bigger company now and get to focus on one area now, security. Much more enjoyable icon_thumright.gif
  • PCTechLincPCTechLinc CISSP, CHFI, CEH, MCSA Server 2008, Project+, Security+ce, Server+, Network+, A+ King City, CAMember Posts: 636 ■■■■■■□□□□
    minit wrote: »
    Maybe I just need to be thankful I have a job.

    /vent

    I really hope this doesn't come across as preachy or disrespectful. I sincerely mean the opposite. That way of thinking would have kept me at RadioShack for longer than it did (7 years). I can't stand when other people (including family) give me this excuse as not to pursue a higher challenge in my career. "Just be happy you have a job" is the biggest cop-out to trying to better yourself. If that were true, go make minimum wage. You can stay there as long as you want. Me, no? I want to be in a job where I am happy, contributing to the objectives of the company or organization, learning new skills, and taking care of my family. There have been multiple challenges for me lately, including being laid-off due to IT outsourcing. It sucks, a LOT, but considering that as a hurdle and not a roadblock is what keeps me going.

    /rant

    As far as getting more specific, I would start out with some entry-level cert studying, and see what piques your interest most. Maybe even doing some contract work, if you have the extra time. Building home labs is a good way to help figure out which aspects interest you the most. Heck, for me, it was getting a part-time teaching job.
    Master of Business Administration in Information Technology Management - Western Governors University
    Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance - Western Governors University
    Bachelor of Science in Network Administration - Western Governors University
    Associate of Applied Science x4 - Heald College
  • jamesleecolemanjamesleecoleman Member Posts: 1,899 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I understand what you're saying minit but I also agree with what PCTechLink wrote about working minimum wage.
    Take the time to try and focus on something that you like. I'm the only person that does IT at my job and I gotta know a lot. Theres a lot of opportunity to do server administration and networking stuff. Since I would like to add InfoSec stuff into the organization, I can. Plus it's what I went to school for as well. InfoSec is where I want to be so I'm using the opportunity to build my resume more for it.

    You have a great opportunity compared to just working for a big company and being stuck at helpdesk for a few years before moving up to learn something new and how it works in a live environment.
    Booya!!
    WIP : | CISSP [2018] | CISA [2018] | CAPM [2018] | eCPPT [2018] | CRISC [2019] | TORFL (TRKI) B1 | Learning: | Russian | Farsi |
    *****You can fail a test a bunch of times but what matters is that if you fail to give up or not*****
  • alias454alias454 Member Posts: 648
    I can relate to wanting to have a deeper knowledge in certain areas but the good news is, there isn't anything stopping us from following those paths. One thing about being a JOAT is that you get to see a lot of different things. I personally like the chaos factor but find that it is hard to package what you do into a nice neat little ball that can be explained over the phone in 2 minutes. For me, it is part of my nature. I joke about having ADD but I think it might actually be true. What were we talking about again? Oh ya, I like spaghetti ;)
    “I do not seek answers, but rather to understand the question.”
  • VeritiesVerities Member Posts: 1,162
    PCTechLinc wrote: »
    "Just be happy you have a job" is the biggest cop-out to trying to better yourself.

    @PCTechLinc: I like this so much I want to put it in my signature here.

    @minit: Have you asked for additional help; perhaps a junior administrator could be hired to help pick up the workload?
  • PCTechLincPCTechLinc CISSP, CHFI, CEH, MCSA Server 2008, Project+, Security+ce, Server+, Network+, A+ King City, CAMember Posts: 636 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Verities wrote: »
    @PCTechLinc: I like this so much I want to put it in my signature here.

    Haha, I've been saying that for years! You're more than welcome to steal that one from me! icon_smile.gif
    Master of Business Administration in Information Technology Management - Western Governors University
    Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance - Western Governors University
    Bachelor of Science in Network Administration - Western Governors University
    Associate of Applied Science x4 - Heald College
  • PC509PC509 CISSP, CEH, CCNA: Security/CyberOps, Sec+, CHFI, A+, Proj+, Server+, MCITP Win7, Vista, MCP Server 2 Oregon, USMember Posts: 790 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Maybe I just need to be thankful I have a job.

    I used to think the same way. Now, I'm thankful I have a career. Invest in yourself. Sometimes, it doesn't cost a penny. You're a jack of all trades. Which ones excite you? Which ones are you glad when problems come up? Pick that one and hit Lynda/Cybary/YouTube for some more knowledge. Play with the tech, learn it more in depth. Maybe go for a cert or two. Ask your employer if you can get some more hands on with the networking equipment.

    Hardest part is leaving someplace comfortable, though. If you're content where you're at, even if a better opportunity comes up, you might stay for the secure, comfortable job. You'll have to take a risk at some point and believe in yourself and your abilities to move forward. I lacked that confidence, so I wasn't sure I wanted to move up to a place where I had less experience. I was good at what I did.

    Good luck!
  • TrailRunrTrailRunr Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Being the JOAT is a career dead end. You won't be good at anything despite spending what seems like a ton of time on everything from networks to Linux. Don't make excuses to stay comfortable in your job by getting more certs, watching youtube videos, or going to WGU. The problem is you never spend quality time with senior peers that could help you specialize and become an expert in that specialization. If you're the sole JOAT in your department with no senior peers, that's even worse. This is one of those instances when you'd be better off working for a big company and learning from the more senior folks at a place with a larger IT department.
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