How Do I Get Off The Help Desk?

NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Posts: 1,400Member ■■■■■■■■□□
How Do I Get Off The Help Desk?

I couldn’t find other posts like this on TE, so I made own.

My background:
For 2 Years:

I did N-able AV, backup ,and patching product support at a small MSP.

For 6 months:
I supported field techs that were installing PCs. Any problem that arised, they would call us.

Currently:
I’m in a supportrole for a company that does online student testing.

I haven't I didn’t do anything with AD, exchange, Group Policy, or Office 365. Will this hurt me?
Currently, I’m getting a lot of experience with Service Now.

I’m not sure what I want to specialize in. Desktop supports sounds good, but so does system administration, Networking(maybe Network Engineer down the road), and Security sounds good too.

It’s just these help desk roles I get into, I start seeing the same problem over and over. I remember an old boss said something about the 80/20…applying to desk roles..? I forgot what he said though.

Anyways………….. How Do I Get Off The Help Desk? Any advice?
When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

--Alexander Graham Bell,
American inventor

Comments

  • PhalanxPhalanx I have many leatherbound books... United KingdomPosts: 330Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Pick the area you want to go into first, then work to get off it. If you're after sysadmin, the natural progression is 2nd line and upwards. If you want management, then Helpdesk Team Leader or Manager is a spot to look at.

    If you want to move to desktop support, you're looking at becoming a field engineer or whatever, depending on the role/business.
    Data Privacy & Project/Service Management: PECB GDPR DPO/Practitioner | ITIL 2011: Foundation
    Client & Security:
    MCSE: Mobility | MCSA: Windows 10 | MCITP: Windows 7
    Server & Networking:
    MCSA: Windows Server 2016 | MTA: Networking Fundamentals
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  • mzx380mzx380 ITIL, ACA, CCNA, Linux+, VCP-DCV, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM New YorkPosts: 453Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Your boss was referring to 80% of problems are due to 20% of organizational root clauses, this is a very common estimation in help desk. First thing you have to do is decide what you want and then make a plan to upskill where your skills are shallow to compensate. Once you do that, try and use those skills in your current role with the hopes of springboarding up or out.
    Certifications: ITIL, ACA, CCNA, Linux+, VCP-DCV, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
    Currently Working On: Microsoft 70-761 (SQL Server)
  • lacagrl17lacagrl17 Posts: 40Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Have you looked at doing some online courses and getting certified? DevOps might be a good place to start for what you mentioned above.
  • xagreusxagreus Posts: 81Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    +1 to what's been said here. Help Desk skills tend to be "an inch deep and a mile wide," so to add value to yourself, you'll need to find something to specialize in, either

    1) An area of expertise that really interests you personally, or

    2) An area of expertise that's really in demand at your current workplace or that's hot in your geographical area (or in a new place where you want to live)

    For example, on the help desk where I started about 5 years ago, lot of us have branched out:

    -one of us is a network engineer at the same company (me)
    -one of us works desktop support tech at same company
    -one of us worked desktop support, then recently became manager of the same Help Desk where he started
    -another moved on to being a self-employed PC repairman
    -another took a position last month as a systems/network admin at an organization we're affiliated with

    On a related note, another of our help desk "graduates" (who moved on before I joined it) has become a rockstar system admin, consistently receiving recognition for his reliability and his "whatever it takes" attitude.

    In short, find your passion, be diligent and patient in your skill development, and don't be afraid to take some risks.

    Hope that helps!
  • si20si20 Senior Member Posts: 471Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Everyone has got this covered. I recently ended up in a service desk role (was lied to ...or shall we say "not told the whole truth" on the interview for the role). It can literally destroy your career if you stay there too long.

    Picture this. I finished university with a First class degree and was getting anywhere from 5-10 calls PER DAY for different IT roles. After working on the service desk, I was getting ZERO calls per day. In a short space of time, i'd gone from being a hot prospect, to a "ticket/telephone monkey". My love of IT was almost dead, I was taking 40+ calls per day from angry customers. I was actually depressed for a while.

    There was a guy on the desk who I got along GREAT with. We were best friends - until I told him I was leaving. It turns out he was a "lifer". He used to be somewhat technical, but ended up being stuck in service desk jobs. He had been unable to get a job that didn't involve being stuck on a desk taking calls. He got jealous, turned on me, reported me to the manager - basically made my life hell because he was jealous I was moving on. Sadly, those kinds of personalities really come out in roles like this. Backstabbing, bitchy people who are competing with each other. There is no "team" in a service desk, it's every man for himself.

    In short: get off the desk as soon as you possibly can. It's the career dustbin - i'm not saying this out of spite, i'm saying this from personal experience. The second recruiters saw I worked on a service desk, they didn't even respond to my CV. I was lucky and due to prior experience, got out. If you stay in this kind of role for 1 year+, it's going to be an uphill battle.

    So, how do you get off the desk? As everyone says: study and specialise in something. Forget the rest of your colleagues: study. Get a book at lunchtime and read it. Work at home. Take courses and work your butt off. That is the only way out, unless you've got good contacts in a more technical role. Good luck.
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMP Posts: 2,476Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    +1 si20

    I've seen it destroy some really good people. Had a buddy years ago who went through A+, N+ and even a few other certifications. Was on a mission to get off the desk and something happen.

    10 years later he is still on it and now he has been typecasted as service management..........
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Senior Member Posts: 2,297Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    to get off of the helpdesk roles you need to look and apply to non-helpdesk roles. its that simple.
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Posts: 3,277Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Look at jobs you'd like to do. See what skills they are looking for. Get those skills (and possibly certs in that area). Try to incorporate those skills into your current job. Apply to those jobs you want.

    All there is to it. Just depends on how bad you want it on how fast you move on. The opportunities are out there.
  • si20si20 Senior Member Posts: 471Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    +1 si20

    I've seen it destroy some really good people. Had a buddy years ago who went through A+, N+ and even a few other certifications. Was on a mission to get off the desk and something happen.

    10 years later he is still on it and now he has been typecasted as service management..........

    That's what happened with the guy in my post (he doesn't have certs though). But he could script, use powershell, servers, AD etc and he's stuck answering 40+ calls per day.

    What people don't realise about service desk roles is that as the agent on the phone, you're being monitored - and rated by internal members of staff. If you say one word out of place, you're picked up on and management will find out. Calls are supposed to be as short as possible - if you go over 10 minutes per call, you get told off by management. Sounds ridiculous doesn't it, "told off" like a child - but it's true.

    Hellish environment, perhaps worse than many SOCs i've worked in.

    Again OP:get out as soon as possible and chalk it up to experience. The guy I knew who had been stuck on a service desk for 10 years is stuck there for life because he didn't study up whilst on the desk and after 10 years in various service desk jobs, he had learned one tool and one tool only: remedy. Yeah.....nuff said. Best of luck!
  • volfkhatvolfkhat Posts: 947Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    You can also try lying on your resume.

    lol

    Seriously.
    Well... maybe not "lying".... but definitely embellishing.

    Let your resume paint a picture of Who you Want to be (not of who you currently are).

    Study hard in the area that you want to specialize in.
    Really learn the theory.

    That way, if/when you eventually land that interview, you will be able to pass the technical questions.

    my 2 cents!


    EDIT:
    I'm referring to fudging Job titles and/or the Day-to-Day responsibilities.
    Not talking about Actual Employment, Education, Certifications (or anything else that can be easily disproven).
    just sayin
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Senior Member Posts: 360Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    What are you good at? Do you enjoy one part of your job over others?

    I'm 2 weeks into my Help Desk job and I'm pretty sure that I'm stronger with systems than networks, and I enjoy coding and fishing through blocks of HTML text to dig up relevant information. Which might suggest I'd enjoy being a SysAdmin writing a lot of scripts and figuring out how to keep things efficient. But I'd probably want to go towards System Analyst before that.

    With 2 years of experience you should have a better sense of where you want to go. As for how to get there, are you being silo'd? Is your boss denying you more challenging work? Did you ask? How about studying in your off time? Did you try learning Active Directory?
    MCSE: Core Infrastructure
    MCSA: Windows Server 2016
    CompTIA A+ | Network+ | Security+ CE
  • nisti2nisti2 Posts: 486Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Show your improvements in your resume. You can put whatever you are learning in the Help Desk Role for example if you are dealing creating users in the VPN you can put the name of the VPN appliance, the other part you will have to understand how it works when they ask you in the interview (Do some labs and check some videos youtube before).

    In the other part for an IT Career you can go for what ever you want.

    If you like Sysadmin go for MCSA.
    Cloud: AWS.
    Networks: Net+, CCNA RS
    Security: Sec+, CCNA Cyber Ops.
    (Etc.. etc..)

    Don't limit to learn what you are doing on a daily basics in your spare time grab some books and in your home start building a lab.

    Search the market on Indeed.

    Start making some networking in Linkedin.

    Hope this help! Wish you the best!
    2019 Year goals:
    AWS Cloud Practitioner
    Willing to take: ITIL Foundation, 70-410
    "Certs... is all about IT certs!"
  • EANxEANx Posts: 1,078Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    The help desk is a great way for people new to the industry to gain experience but there's a tipping-point, beyond-which you start losing points as opposed to gaining them. Evereyone's a little different but if your goal is to move up, I'd say you shouldn't spent more than 12-24 months there.

    How do you get off once once you've been there too long? Persistence is key. The longer you're there, the harder it is to get a different job so make sure you aren't there more than 36 months in the same role. Get the certs the new job needs and keep applying over-and-over-and-over.
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Posts: 1,400Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Phalanx wrote: »
    Pick the area you want to go into first, then work to get off it. If you're after sysadmin, the natural progression is 2nd line and upwards. If you want management, then Helpdesk Team Leader or Manager is a spot to look at.

    If you want to move to desktop support, you're looking at becoming a field engineer or whatever, depending on the role/business.

    Yes, I would like to be a system admin or move into dev ops. I’m going to start studying for Windows 10 MCSA.
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Posts: 1,400Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    si20 wrote: »
    That's what happened with the guy in my post (he doesn't have certs though). But he could script, use powershell, servers, AD etc and he's stuck answering 40+ calls per day.

    What people don't realise about service desk roles is that as the agent on the phone, you're being monitored - and rated by internal members of staff. If you say one word out of place, you're picked up on and management will find out. Calls are supposed to be as short as possible - if you go over 10 minutes per call, you get told off by management. Sounds ridiculous doesn't it, "told off" like a child - but it's true.

    Hellish environment, perhaps worse than many SOCs i've worked in.

    Again OP:get out as soon as possible and chalk it up to experience. The guy I knew who had been stuck on a service desk for 10 years is stuck there for life because he didn't study up whilst on the desk and after 10 years in various service desk jobs, he had learned one tool and one tool only: remedy. Yeah.....nuff said. Best of luck!



    Yes this!!!!!!!!!!!!! i need to leave the help desk. I feel like I'm five years old.

    We sign on/in on our Shortel phones. Also, we sign on a sheet of paper too saying we are here and we mark the time.

    We are constantly being monitored, but it’s not as bad as other places.

    Mostly if the calls go over an hour then people get worried.

    It’s really silly though, because there is a KB for everything. In fact, there is a KB to deal with angry callers. Ha

    What’s crazy is when you need to go home and you're on a call, then you need to get a script from a lead and then read that script off to the customer. It’s sad they won’t give
    us the script, because they think we will abuse it.

    Another funny thing happened today.
    I talked to one of my leads and he said he wanted to put next steps into the ticket.
    This was for tickets I didn’t resolve. I said ok I can do that. Is everyone going to do this?

    He said “yes”

    I said “ok great!!...We have 300-400 agents, can we send an email out so they know to do this…crickets..crickets..”

    Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want my next job to be desktop support. If it’s not desktop support, then I want it to involve Active Directory, so I can move closer to a dev ops or system admin role.
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • SpiegelSpiegel Taco Tuesday FLPosts: 298Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Yes this!!!!!!!!!!!!! i need to leave the help desk. I feel like I'm five years old.

    We sign on/in on our Shortel phones. Also, we sign on a sheet of paper too saying we are here and we mark the time.

    We are constantly being monitored, but it’s not as bad as other places.

    Mostly if the calls go over an hour then people get worried.

    It’s really silly though, because there is a KB for everything. In fact, there is a KB to deal with angry callers. Ha

    What’s crazy is when you need to go home and you're on a call, then you need to get a script from a lead and then read that script off to the customer. It’s sad they won’t give
    us the script, because they think we will abuse it.

    Another funny thing happened today.
    I talked to one of my leads and he said he wanted to put next steps into the ticket.
    This was for tickets I didn’t resolve. I said ok I can do that. Is everyone going to do this?

    He said “yes”

    I said “ok great!!...We have 300-400 agents, can we send an email out so they know to do this…crickets..crickets..”

    Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want my next job to be desktop support. If it’s not desktop support, then I want it to involve Active Directory, so I can move closer to a dev ops or system admin role.

    Yeah man, persistence is the key to leaving. I just got out of the Service Desk role a couple of months ago after working there for a little over a year. I've submitted over 7 different applications for an internal position as a field tech. It truly is difficult to leave the longer you're there. What helped me honestly is having all of my required certs and going above and beyond as a Service Desk analyst, like creating new documentation and trying to resolve as many tickets as I could. That was the platform that I used to promote myself with to convince hiring field tech manager to pick me up.


    I recommend going for a natural transitioning role. Field tech was the natural upgrade to the Service Desk so I went with that first but I'm looking to transition from here soon to a network analyst role, then network engineer. It makes it easier to move around the company until you land the job you want.
    Degree: WGU B.S. Network Operations and Security [In-Progress]
    Current Certs: A+ | N+ | S+ | MTA: OSF | CIW: SDA | ITIL: F | CCENT | CCNA R&S
    Currently Working On: CCDA


    2019 Goals: CCENT [X], CCNA R&S [X], CCDA [ ]
    Future Certs: LPI Linux Essentials | Project+| Cloud Essentials + | CCSP | CCNP Enterprise | CCNP Security | MDAA
  • technogoattechnogoat Posts: 73Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I want to get out of helpdesk as well

    would love to get into Networking then inch my way into security

    having problems finding a gig in networking since most jobs require experience already

    currently looking at network analyst role
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMP Posts: 2,476Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Like a lot of others I found out the hard way there is no easy button. Certs didn't get me off the desk or education. I finally had to button down my tail and specialize in something.

    Once I committed fully to that it was easy street. It was a long journey, but what was even more distracting was coming here and trying to find the magic potion.

    Here are some questions that will derail you and you just have to tune them out.

    What if I am not good enough / Never will be the best or the worst
    What if the technology goes away / IT WONT
    I don't have the time / Then rot on the desk
    My family comes first / So then does poverty

    And the list goes on and on.
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Posts: 3,277Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    technogoat wrote: »
    having problems finding a gig in networking since most jobs require experience already

    Try to find things you can do in current position that would be related to networking. (might take a little effort to search out and create tasks that are networking related) Put that on your resume. BOOM, now you have experience.
  • technogoattechnogoat Posts: 73Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Try to find things you can do in current position that would be related to networking. (might take a little effort to search out and create tasks that are networking related) Put that on your resume. BOOM, now you have experience.


    that's what I did

    I can PM you my resume if you want to critique it
  • PantherPanther Posts: 114Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    si20 wrote: »
    Everyone has got this covered. I recently ended up in a service desk role (was lied to ...or shall we say "not told the whole truth" on the interview for the role). It can literally destroy your career if you stay there too long.

    Picture this. I finished university with a First class degree and was getting anywhere from 5-10 calls PER DAY for different IT roles. After working on the service desk, I was getting ZERO calls per day. In a short space of time, i'd gone from being a hot prospect, to a "ticket/telephone monkey". My love of IT was almost dead, I was taking 40+ calls per day from angry customers. I was actually depressed for a while.

    There was a guy on the desk who I got along GREAT with. We were best friends - until I told him I was leaving. It turns out he was a "lifer". He used to be somewhat technical, but ended up being stuck in service desk jobs. He had been unable to get a job that didn't involve being stuck on a desk taking calls. He got jealous, turned on me, reported me to the manager - basically made my life hell because he was jealous I was moving on. Sadly, those kinds of personalities really come out in roles like this. Backstabbing, bitchy people who are competing with each other. There is no "team" in a service desk, it's every man for himself.

    In short: get off the desk as soon as you possibly can. It's the career dustbin - i'm not saying this out of spite, i'm saying this from personal experience. The second recruiters saw I worked on a service desk, they didn't even respond to my CV. I was lucky and due to prior experience, got out. If you stay in this kind of role for 1 year+, it's going to be an uphill battle.

    So, how do you get off the desk? As everyone says: study and specialise in something. Forget the rest of your colleagues: study. Get a book at lunchtime and read it. Work at home. Take courses and work your butt off. That is the only way out, unless you've got good contacts in a more technical role. Good luck.

    Wow, thanks for sharing!
  • PantherPanther Posts: 114Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    si20 wrote: »
    That's what happened with the guy in my post (he doesn't have certs though). But he could script, use powershell, servers, AD etc and he's stuck answering 40+ calls per day.

    What people don't realise about service desk roles is that as the agent on the phone, you're being monitored - and rated by internal members of staff. If you say one word out of place, you're picked up on and management will find out. Calls are supposed to be as short as possible - if you go over 10 minutes per call, you get told off by management.
    Sounds ridiculous doesn't it, "told off" like a child - but it's true.

    Hellish environment, perhaps worse than many SOCs i've worked in.

    Again OP:get out as soon as possible and chalk it up to experience. The guy I knew who had been stuck on a service desk for 10 years is stuck there for life because he didn't study up whilst on the desk and after 10 years in various service desk jobs, he had learned one tool and one tool only: remedy. Yeah.....nuff said. Best of luck!

    That's me right now. It's kind of crazy. 10min to handle a call, 2min to wrap/write it all up, nicely.

    What's a SOC?
  • PantherPanther Posts: 114Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Like a lot of others I found out the hard way there is no easy button. Certs didn't get me off the desk or education. I finally had to button down my tail and specialize in something.

    Once I committed fully to that it was easy street. It was a long journey, but what was even more distracting was coming here and trying to find the magic potion.

    Here are some questions that will derail you and you just have to tune them out.

    What if I am not good enough / Never will be the best or the worst
    What if the technology goes away / IT WONT
    I don't have the time / Then rot on the desk
    My family comes first / So then does poverty


    And the list goes on and on.

    Good stuff.
    Need more reminders I think, if one ever starts to back track or become complacent.
  • LordQarlynLordQarlyn Posts: 535Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Panther wrote: »
    That's me right now. It's kind of crazy. 10min to handle a call, 2min to wrap/write it all up, nicely.

    What's a SOC?

    SOC = Security Operations Center.
  • SnooperSnooper Posts: 29Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    si20 wrote: »
    Everyone has got this covered. I recently ended up in a service desk role (was lied to ...or shall we say "not told the whole truth" on the interview for the role). It can literally destroy your career if you stay there too long.

    Picture this. I finished university with a First class degree and was getting anywhere from 5-10 calls PER DAY for different IT roles. After working on the service desk, I was getting ZERO calls per day. In a short space of time, i'd gone from being a hot prospect, to a "ticket/telephone monkey". My love of IT was almost dead, I was taking 40+ calls per day from angry customers. I was actually depressed for a while.

    There was a guy on the desk who I got along GREAT with. We were best friends - until I told him I was leaving. It turns out he was a "lifer". He used to be somewhat technical, but ended up being stuck in service desk jobs. He had been unable to get a job that didn't involve being stuck on a desk taking calls. He got jealous, turned on me, reported me to the manager - basically made my life hell because he was jealous I was moving on. Sadly, those kinds of personalities really come out in roles like this. Backstabbing, bitchy people who are competing with each other. There is no "team" in a service desk, it's every man for himself.

    In short: get off the desk as soon as you possibly can. It's the career dustbin - i'm not saying this out of spite, i'm saying this from personal experience. The second recruiters saw I worked on a service desk, they didn't even respond to my CV. I was lucky and due to prior experience, got out. If you stay in this kind of role for 1 year+, it's going to be an uphill battle.

    So, how do you get off the desk? As everyone says: study and specialise in something. Forget the rest of your colleagues: study. Get a book at lunchtime and read it. Work at home. Take courses and work your butt off. That is the only way out, unless you've got good contacts in a more technical role. Good luck.
    I can relate 100% to every word of this post.
    "If you stay in this kind of role for 1 year+, it's going to be an uphill battle." - - absolutely true. Staying long in Help desk job means you are unable to get a better job, that is how many look at your resume when you apply for regular jobs
  • LordQarlynLordQarlyn Posts: 535Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    WOW I'm lucky that I was able to bypass the help desk job!
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