Looking for some career advice

Hello! It's been a while since I've browsed these forums. So to get up to speed, back in November I took a job at a NOC to get experience and hopefully become a network engineer someday. I moved out of my parents house about 2 hours away for the job. As of right now, this job is not working out for several reasons and I'm stumped on what to do next.

First off, There's minimal experience to be gained here. I keep hearing 'you get to touch a lot of different technologies" which is true, I've touched a lot of things. That's it, just touched. There's very little learning because we aren't able to go into any depth. I think part of this is because we work on customers networks and not our own, so obviously there are many more restrictions. Everybody knows this is an issue, even the supervisors admit it. My second issue is that there's really no way to move up in the company unless you want to become a supervisor. During the interview process I was given the impression that there are advancement opportunities in the company, however this is not the case. The last big issue I have is the hours. This is my own fault because I was told that I could have any hours, I just got unlucky with the least desirable shift. Now, I knew I'd have to suck it up and work bad hours going into this, however I was ready to accept that IF I were going to be gaining experience. This isn't the case, so I'm really not able to accept garbage hours plus no experience being gained. There are a lot of other little things I'm not fond of, but those are the big ones. It's just a really bad environment.

Honestly, I've become pretty depressed because of this job and living here. I feel like this was a terrible career move. I can't move up in the company and since I'm not getting any experience, I wont be able to get a better networking job elsewhere. I'm just not learning anything that I can put on my resume without severely stretching the truth.

My background is just over 2 years experience doing desktop support/user support type work. Basic stuff, fix PCs, set up PCs, some AV equipment, general support for a small or medium business. I've been applying to some jobs back home to get back into that side of IT. I enjoy it much more than being in the corporate world and at this point I'm not even sure I want to continue with networking.

So here's my big question. How bad would it look on my resume to leave? I'm considering giving my 2 weeks mid March and being back home by April if I don't get something else by then. I've got one (possibly two) interview lined up already. How bad would it look on my resume to have a gap? I'm currently in school as well, so I feel like I could use that as an explanation. Honestly, this job and these hours have impacted my studying. My plan would be to move back to my parents place and finish focus on my bachelors full time until I get another position. I'm just really tired of being depressed and afraid to go to work because I never know who's going to call in pissed off at me because their site in down. I'm disappointed because the job isn't what was described. I wouldn't have taken it if they actually told me the way it really was.

Sorry for the long rant. Any insight would be appreciated.


  • volfkhatvolfkhat Member Posts: 947 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Hey Q007,
    sorry to hear the job isn't what you thought it would be :[

    I immediately remembered your previous post (from last November). and i remember saying NOT to move out of the Parents so fast. (it might have been better to evaluate the j-o-b first before moving)

    To answer your Question:
    If you want to quit; then Do it. It's no big deal, honestly.
    But Talk to your landlord; he/she is the person who really matters :] Figure out how to exit your lease amicably (hopefully you are not in a 12-month contract).

    You can certainly leave this job off your resume.
    If any employer asks about the gap... just say you needed to be in school Full-time for the semester (to stay on schedule, etc).
    You can further smooth it over by saying your degree is in Networking(?), but the job was desktops; so it was time to move on regardless.

    Voila :]

    Don't be depressed.
    Your employer misrepresented/lied to you about the Position.
    (Been there, Done that)

    You have just Learned that Interviews go both ways; it's up to both sides to figure out who's lying :]
    (an important Life Lesson)

    How far away are you from your BA? (Do you have your Associates yet?)

    Cheer up Dude.
    You took a Leap; it didn't work out.
    But if you never Lept... then you'd still be at your old Job... and probably MAD that you passed on the current gig.

    You just never know...
  • p@r0tuXus[email protected] Member Posts: 532 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Sorry to hear that, sir. I hope that you can continue with your studies. Those are very important as you've invested in them all ready. As for the hours, I know that stinks, they're not conducive to a social life, to being in your prime learning state and being deprived of the sun (especially in nice weather) is torture on the overnight folks. The pay was good or I wouldn't have done it. But I was in a similar state as you, not really able to touch as many of the technologies as deeply. I did have tons of time to study though. Had circumstances not changed, our department would have gotten some training materials and lab setups for learning those technologies by breaking/fixing and helping current techs keep their CLI-FU strong!!! Perhaps your crew could look into training classes/seminars/lab setups for people to work on? If not, ditch them and follow your heart. Better to follow your heart loving what you do that stuck doing something you hate.
    Completed: ITIL-F, A+, S+, CCENT, CCNA R|S
    In Progress: Linux+/LPIC-1, Python, Bash
    Upcoming: eJPT, C|EH, CSA+, CCNA-Sec, PA-ACE
  • NoNameNoobNoNameNoob Member Posts: 33 ■■□□□□□□□□
    It's really up to you, whether or not you want to stay on the networking side of IT. What aspect of being a network engineer made you want to become one in the first place? You say you cant move up in the company and your not gaining experience currently. 5 months is pretty quick but I can understand where your coming from. You were desktop / user support for 2 years time, and no where in your post did you bring up occasional sys admin duties of any kind. So I would guess you were in the same boat previously but just in a different line of work that you find more enjoyable or at least in a comfortable environment. If your applying for jobs to get back on that side of IT, I would look into studying for your MCSA and go for a systems role. If you want to give networking another shot, I'd recommend studying for ccnp, and continously labbing. You've already got near 5 months invested into being a NOC analyst. Continue studying on your own get more comfortable with discussing the topics and edit your resume to display what you have learned. This should get you to where you want to be... I would guess the least desirable shift is graveyard? There's gotta be at least an hour or two for study, are you having trouble because your body's not adjusting? Are you finishing your degree this year? Going back to desktop support would be a bad move imo, are you applying for jr / sys admin jobs? At the end of the day though do what improves your lifestyle overall and ensures that you graduate.
  • kiki162kiki162 Member Posts: 635
    Take this as a learning experience. First and foremost, don't quit your job just yet. Right now, it's giving you the tenure you need, although you mentioned you'd have to stretch the truth a little. Use this time to really figure out what you want to do from here. You are in school, so that's a good thing. Yes the hours suck, you are dealing with customers directly, and that sucks too.

    You can certainly go back to your parents house, and use the "I left to go back to school full time" excuse, but I think that's going to be a step backward. Think about it like this, even if you did go back home, and went to school full time, how much longer would you really have? You have 2 years in already, so that's a plus. If it gets really bad, and you've had it, go home, regroup, and figure out your next move. Trust me, you are not the first person to do that, and you won't be the last. :D

    I know this may sound harsh, but you need to change your mindset a little bit. In order for you to move forward, you will need to step outside of your comfort zone for a bit, and do the work needed to get you to your goal. Figure out what else you need to do to get into another position, whether that be getting another cert under your belt (another CCNA or CCNP), or learn more about a technology you are "touching" at work.

    If you are getting into Microsoft stuff at your job, think about getting MCSA. That will give you more opportunities, and help you move into something different that's a little more ideal. Now if you have your headset on the networking side, that's ok too, the more experience you get the better.
  • quickman007quickman007 Member Posts: 195
    @volfkhat I definitely shouldn't have made the jump so quickly. I can leave my lease and lose my security deposit, so luckily it's easy to get out of. Right now I have an AS degree in IT. I'm going for the BS in IT Security degree from WGU. I'm 4 classes away from graduating. I've definitely learned a lot of life lessons through all of this.

    @[email protected]Xus Sadly, this company doesn't do much in the way of training.

    @NoNameNoob I wanted to become a network engineer because I really enjoyed learning about it and labbing during my CCNA studies. My old job had minimal sys admin duties. I used to ask constantly for the network admin to let me do some system tasks, but he never let me. My plan was actually to finish up my degree and then look into the MCSA. I feel like that's an area I'm really lacking in. My supervisor is always watching, so unfortunately there isn't a chance to study. I'm having trouble because I'm stuck in the same situation I was in my old job, not really gaining any experience. However, at my old job I had fantastic hours and a great work environment. I was expecting to get some decent experience here and was willing to make the trade off. I should have my degree by June or July.

    @kiki162 Well, I really want to relocate back to the area I left. I moved to the city for this job. The city life isn't for me, and that's part of the reason I'm anxious to go back. I guess I'm just a little confused right now. I've always wanted to get into networking, but now I'm not so sure. I enjoyed being hands on and interacting with my coworkers. Even the little tasks felt rewarding because I could see the persons face light up when you fixed their issue. I'd like to get back into that small to medium sized business environment again and figure getting a decent desktop support/user support job that's a step up from what I was doing (now that I've got experience) could allow me to gain a bit more experience and transition into a network admin and possibly system admin job. Those are the types of jobs available in the town I moved from.
  • volfkhatvolfkhat Member Posts: 947 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I should have my degree by June or July.

    Dude, you are golden.
    Don't let a dead-end job impact your studies. The finish-line is in sight; Push yourself across!

    Most people don't have the luxury of quitting their crappy-job and moving back home.

    If you can afford to NOT work for 2-3 months... then maybe your time would be better served Finsihing your classes AND learning some MCSA stuff (at the same time).
    Look into the Microsoft Virtual Academy; it's free, and many of the videos are worthwhile

    Perk up... you're gonna be fine :]
  • kiki162kiki162 Member Posts: 635
    Well, I really want to relocate back to the area I left. I moved to the city for this job. The city life isn't for me, and that's part of the reason I'm anxious to go back. I guess I'm just a little confused right now.

    I understand what you are saying. You have 4 classes left...which is nothing. I'd take a look at what other opportunities you have within the city, or just outside of it. I'd take this time to start studying for your next cert, you can use that time to your advantage during interviews. You can add that you are studying for XYZ, and are looking to get X role. Desktop support is always a good platform to get into a spot as an NA or SA. I'd continue to interview, but give yourself a drop dead date to drop your 2 weeks to your current job if you really done with it.

    One other thing I wanted to mention. If you are interacting with VMWare at all in your job, look at stanly.edu VMWare academy (https://vmware.stanly.edu). See if you can get on the waiting list to take the class for VCP-DCV6 certification. It's the cheapest game in town, and couldn't hurt to get.
  • quickman007quickman007 Member Posts: 195
    I plan is to continue with the interview I've got and see where that goes. If it works out, I'll be leaving. If not, I was planning to give my two weeks by the 17th of March and be back home for April. I'm just concerned the gap will hurt my chances to get a job. I don't know if I want to leave the job off my resume, I feel like that could come back to bite me if a future employee found out. Plus, that would leave an even bigger gap of unemployment. As far as being able to afford not to work, I can afford that.

    I actually took the Stanly course for VMware in 2015. Never actually got the cert. Now that I'm leaning more towards NA and SA jobs, I'll definitely have that cert on my radar.
  • Danielh22185Danielh22185 Member Posts: 1,195
    I think you are feeling the pains of an entry level NOC analyst, I've felt the same pains not long ago. Since you are so close to finishing your degree I would say go for that and keep that heading. However I can't tell you enough that becoming successful in the networking industry is majority based on your experience. I know you said there are no / little opportunities for advancement at your current company. However some things to consider: You are building that experience each day that you are there. Also are there not next teir network support roles you can aim your sites for? If so really try to develop relationships with those guys / their management and try to take on some of their work that might get you in the door.

    Getting to where you want to be or in a role you really want to fulfill is a marathon not a sprint. I am still with the same company I started as a NOC analyst doing nothing but clicking on red alarm button but punting those tickets off to the network support guys, so I can say from experience its possible to build into something more if you have the patience. You just have to stay dedicated to learning and growing. As mentioned earlier getting more certs too would be a huge start / continued focus.

    Also I take it that you are young / have less obligations than some of us married folks with kids. TAKE ADVANTAGE of that! I wish I would have been younger getting my start in this field and had more time to dedicate to it and not have to worry about other obligations. This is the time where you can make a lot of growth very fast if you really strive to achieve that.

    However I am not going to sit here and cram networking down your throat if it's just something you are not enjoying. I do full heartitly agree you have to enjoy what you do. The learning and growth comes easy that way.

    Good Luck!
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
    My ultimate career goal: To climb to the top of the computer network industry food chain.
    "Winning means you're willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else." - Vince Lombardi
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