1 Year at a Job Enough?

N7ValiantN7Valiant Posts: 299Member ■■■□□□□□□□
Curious about this one.  Direct supervisor was recently laid off, and a supreme moron (guy who gives users Domain/Enterprise/Schema Admin privileges, sets backups then ignores them when they fail continuously for 2 months, leaves the default password on a hypervisor, commits fraud, etc.) was elected to be in charge.  I'm thinking of walking the second I make the 1-year mark, and there's no guarantee I won't just walk off when they announce the Supreme Moron's promotion.

Thing is, can I sell myself with just that?  I would only have 1 year of work experience in IT, but some of the things I end up doing are pretty staggering.  Expanded a forest schema so I can put Bitlocker keys in AD, wrote scripts to start up broken vendor software that doesn't start up on reboot like it should, built an MDT/WDS deployment server because I didn't want people to install an OS full manual, and now I'm tinkering around installing Windows Server 2016 on an ESXi host (which I also installed) on an old server to make sure I get the right settings before doing it on a production server.

Problem is, I don't have anything cert-wise to show for it.  I've been doing some studying for the MCSA, but after my first failure I get a deep impression that it's not something I can just force my way through.  So with just 1 year under my belt, is it possible for me to break through the HR barrier and get another job, preferably one that lets me touch servers?  I personally feel like if I transition to another Help Desk or Desktop Support position, my skills will rot.
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Comments

  • DZA_DZA_ Untitled. Posts: 277Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    There are similar threads like this on TE - As I mentioned in the last similar post to this, it all comes down to your previous work experience. How long was your last job at your previous company? Was it 3 years? Was it 5 years? When I came across a video on a business site, they say if you have a short history of staying at your previous roles, you want to stick it out for another year or so before jumping ship. On the other hand if you've been at your last company for 5 years or longer and your next role you hold down is for 1 year when you leave, that's OK. 

    In your context, you might have the opportunity to fix his mistakes and come up on the green side ( turn a bad situation into a good one and maybe get a good bonus in the end). Otherwise, you might have to keep your head down for another year before you can jump to your next role. It depends in the eyes of the recruiter and your next potential manager whether they see you as worth keeping if you're constantly jumping jobs ever 1-2 years. The newer work environment/work culture is that jumping 2-3 years is where you make you most of your money, some tend to go against that notion as it takes multiple years to train up an individual before they really start deep diving into their work. 

    Cheers, 

  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Posts: 3,866Mod Mod
    Well you have two issues now. First, you don't have another job lined up. And Second you lack experience and certs. So I'd start by working on those problems

    Figure out the kind of role that you want to be in, figure what experience and certs are required for this role, then get busy!

    Update your CV, start applying for the target role, while simultaneously pursue the certs and labs that will give you the required knowledge. Don't walk out with a plan. Don't be reactive. 
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Posts: 299Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    This is my 1st IT job out of college (only an Associate's).  My interest is in Server Administration, but not quite Systems Administrator in the sense that networking is not my strength.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Posts: 3,866Mod Mod
    N7Valiant said:
    This is my 1st IT job out of college (only an Associate's).  My interest is in Server Administration, but not quite Systems Administrator in the sense that networking is not my strength.
    Well then, you know what you to do. Update your CV, apply for jobs, finish those certs and do Labs. Get busy, and spend every minute you have to achieve your goals. Don't waste energy worrying about the new boss..spend all your energy working on your goals. 
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Posts: 299Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I have a relatively clear vision of what I want to do and how to get there.  I like servers, I'm studying for an MCSA Windows Server 2016.  The problem I'm having is that it feels like the MCSA is a true time commitment even for the most motivated individual and I'm not sure whether my patience will run out or whether I'll be able to pass all 3 exams first (currently 0/0 here).  My impression after failing the first exam is that there are no shortcuts.

    I suppose I need some peer review on whether or not what I've done can be adequately emphasized in a resume to be eye catching or whether the MCSA is my only ticket.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Posts: 3,866Mod Mod
     Post questions about MCSA in the MCSA foru, sections and read what others who passed the MCSA did to pass and do the same....you can always post a resume review thread.

    Honestly it's your own career, do what's best for your. Good luck.


    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • kaijukaiju Posts: 249Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited January 4
    Get at least your 2016 MCP so you will be more attractive to potential employers. Do you have A+ or Sec+?

    2016 isn't that difficult if you set up a proper study plan:
    - Get the Official Study guide(s) or watch/listen media related to the test.
    - Download an evaluation copy of 2016 and setup a lab (VM or hardware).
    - Study study study at your own pace.
    - Ask questions about issues that are difficult to comprehend.
    - Pass the 1st test to get your MCP.
    - Update your resume, apply for jobs and continue to study for the remaining test.

    Oh yeah, strengthen your network skills because knowing Systems and Networking makes you a well-rounded candidate for employment.
    Work smarter NOT harder! Semper Gumby!
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Posts: 299Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    kaiju said:
    Get at least your 2016 MCP so you will be more attractive to potential employers. Do you have A+ or Sec+?

    2016 isn't that difficult if you set up a proper study plan:
    - Get the Official Study guide(s) or watch/listen media related to the test.
    - Download an evaluation copy of 2016 and setup a lab (VM or hardware).
    - Study study study at your own pace.
    - Ask questions about issues that are difficult to comprehend.
    - Pass the 1st test to get your MCP.
    - Update your resume, apply for jobs and continue to study for the remaining test.

    Oh yeah, strengthen your network skills because knowing Systems and Networking makes you a well-rounded you candidate for employment.
    Yes, I have the basic 3 (A+, Net+, Sec+).  We used to have a forum space for that next to each of our names <_<

    I have an evaluation copy of 2016 and recently I blew away my virtual lab in favor of a headless Server Core configuration and also spun up an eval copy of Windows 10 Enterprise to act as the Privileged Access Workstation.  I just blew away my last virtual lab because I was having a bit of trouble routing traffic to the internet from a nested virtualization setup.

    My own pace was the original plan, was originally planning 4 months between each exam to really get to know every nook and cranny of Windows Server 2016 as well as how to do everything in Powershell.  What makes me anxious is that there are a series of bad management decisions that might end up sinking the company while I'm still in it.  Kind of wondering if at this point my goal should shift to "take the test to pass a test" rather than "study for the certification to learn the OS".
  • kaijukaiju Posts: 249Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    If you have decent experience with 2008R2 and/or 2012R2 you can pass the 2016 MCSA test by reading the Sybex study guide and then taking the prep exam. Once you hit 90% on the prep you should be ready to pass it. Read the study guide with great detail so that you can retain the info. Many orgs are still using 2008/12R2 so having the 2016 MCP/MCSA will be a jewel on your resume BUT try to actually learn the info because there is a chance you could be jumping into the deep end of the pool at your next position.

    Stay positive and stay away from the drama. Do what is best to further your career.
    Work smarter NOT harder! Semper Gumby!
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Posts: 1,577Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    In the 25 years I have been working I have noticed a few things. One of them is that even when things are bad at work you can usually show up do your job and buy yourself a few more days/months/years. The company folds that's out of your control and maybe gives you the push you need. What really matters is the steps you are taking up to that point.

    I have had to lay people off and I have been laid off. Some of them had no idea it was coming because they didn't pay attention. Others were well prepared and followed a plan.

    What is interesting is that years later I know that all of them landed on their feet again and the main difference was the amount of stress they endured before that happened. It is hard to see this when you first start out but remember nobody has experience in the beginning. Everyone that is employed today was given a chance at some point.

    My suggestion is show up and take advantage of the flexible environment that is giving you exposure to lots of new technology. Prepare a resume and look for opportunities. Interviewing is a skill and practice makes you better at it. Keep studying and apply for jobs that look interesting to you.



  • LonerVampLonerVamp Senior Member Posts: 228Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I think this is fine. Even if you have the last 3 years with 3 different jobs, I'd be fine with it. Just don't dwell on the lack of experience unless asked about it or something. Dive right into what you have done in that time, like you did later on in your original post.

    Being able to touch servers after 0-2 years in IT can be a special situation, or work out if you get an internship early or junior sysadmin type of position. Some companies allow the tech support people a server or two. Personally, unless I'm going cheap or have junior-like tasks for someone to do, I'd prefer someone with 2-3+ years experience working with servers. It's not fun to be the clean-up for the entry level mistakes being learned. :)  That said, from your single post here and the topics discussed, I think your future looks good.

    And I know you said you suspect your skills will rot, but that's gotta be something you deal with sooner than later no matter what. Keep that drive to get certs or learning down on paper.

    Security Engineer/Analyst/Geek, Red & Blue Teams
    OSCP, GCFA, CISSP, OSWP, CCNA Cyber Ops, Sec+
    2019 goals: GWAPT, Linux+, SLAE (possible: SEC573, CCSP, Splunk F&PU)
  • LonerVampLonerVamp Senior Member Posts: 228Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    N7Valiant said:
    This is my 1st IT job out of college (only an Associate's).  My interest is in Server Administration, but not quite Systems Administrator in the sense that networking is not my strength.
    I want to just add that you don't need to know a ton about networking for most sysadmin jobs. If you understand layers on paper, difference between TCP/UDP, some of the common ports, differences between how switches and routers work (on a very general level), understand how a firewall rule operates, and can understand how to IP address things, you should be fine. Bonus points for being able to fire up and (at least marginally) read pcaps for troubleshooting purposes. And further bonus points the more you feel comfortable with firewall rules and how they block things and how to troubleshoot them and open the least amount you need to get the thing you need done.

    Security Engineer/Analyst/Geek, Red & Blue Teams
    OSCP, GCFA, CISSP, OSWP, CCNA Cyber Ops, Sec+
    2019 goals: GWAPT, Linux+, SLAE (possible: SEC573, CCSP, Splunk F&PU)
  • yoba222yoba222 Posts: 889Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Don't leave until you have another job offer in writing.
    Obtained: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | CySA+ | PenTest+ | CAPM | eJPT | CCNA R&S | CCNA CyberOps | GCIH | LFCS
    2018: Virtual Hacking Labs
    2019: eCPPT &/or OSCP | CISSP
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Posts: 299Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    yoba222 said:
    Don't leave until you have another job offer in writing.
    Dilemma:
    Most businesses are regular business hours only, hence the only times when they can interview you.

    I typically skip my lunch and I was told that my lunch is only 30 minutes despite being scheduled to work 9 hours with no official 15 minute breaks either.  Do I just make some excuse or something?  Typically all medical leave of absence must be accompanied with a doctor's note.
  • kaijukaiju Posts: 249Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited December 2018
    Take annual leave if you have it (1~4 HOURS). Do not show up at work in clothes that are different from your normal attire so find a place to change clothes if you have to return to work.

    A good friend was hassled by his team lead after it became apparent that he had gone to a couple interviews. On one occasion he, my friend, showed up at work in a suit & tie and took an early lunch when he normally dressed VERY casual and often ate at his desk. The second incident happened when he came back from lunch wearing a suit & tie when he went to work in the morning wearing slacks and a polo shirt.

    Keep your job hunting to yourself. Once you have your offer letter, gather all of your personal items prior to submitting your two week notice.
    Work smarter NOT harder! Semper Gumby!
  • EANxEANx Posts: 941Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    kaiju said:
    Take annual leave if you have it (1~4 HOURS). Do not show up at work in clothes that are different from your normal attire so find a place to change clothes if you have to return to work.

    A good friend was hassled by his team lead after it became apparent that he had gone to a couple interviews. On one occasion he, my friend, showed up at work in a suit & tie and took an early lunch when he normally dressed VERY casual and often ate at his desk. The second incident happened when he came back from lunch wearing a suit & tie when he came to work in slacks and a polo shirt.

    Keep your job hunting to yourself. Once you have your offer letter, gather all of your personal items prior to submitting your two week notice.
    Truth. I was laid off after I made this mistake at my first job. Don't even talk about it to people at work you consider friends.
    2018: CCIE Written (R/S) (done - Jan), CCIE R/S
    After that: MBA, OSCP
  • MooseboostMooseboost Posts: 764Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I think the important factor that is going to influence how potential companies view the short term position is that you are still at the entry level. When I look at peoples career experiences, I expect to see quicker turnover in the first few years because lets face it: No one wants to stay in a tier 1 entry level support position for long. In fact, it would be more of a red flag to me to see someone with multiple years as a Tier 1 support tech for a call center. Why didn't they move up? Are they not ambitious? Are they just doing this for a check? The only advice I have to give to frequent early hopper is: Try not to lateral move more than once. If you are IT Analyst I, try to only make a move to another IT Analyst I position once. At that point, you can justify it was for more exposure to technology. After that, it becomes a red flag. If you go I -> II -> II -> III, then I am not going to red flag you. Once you move up in experience and seniority, it does become more of a questionable practice. 
    2018 Certification Goals: OSCE
    Blog: https://hackfox.net
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Posts: 299Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    edited December 2018
    https://imgur.com/a/Qj1UI5h

    https://imgur.com/a/eU4BRh0

    Hmm, too wordy?  I'm not the least bit interested in lateral movement given what I've been doing (just reconfigured an ESXi host in production this weekend, as well as making gMSA so that services don't break everytime we change our domain admin password).

    If anything I'd like to be more involved in server work at my next job, but I'm worried that will be a very hard sell unless I have the full MCSA certification.
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Posts: 1,577Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Everyone will have a different experience job hunting. Some will say they are over qualified and some will say they didn't have the right certifications. The list of pros and cons for every job would be overwhelming to compare if you needed a perfect match. My suggestion is the look at your situation with a long term perspective and a goal in mind.

    Few people work in the same job forever. Starting from there ask what you would like your next job to be. Now acquire the skills needed to move in that direction. Finally apply apply apply.

    Good Luck!
  • TechGromitTechGromit Completely Clueless Ontario, NY Posts: 1,847Member ■■■■■■■□□□
     N7Valiant said:
    Thing is, can I sell myself with just that?  I would only have 1 year of work experience in IT, but some of the things I end up doing are pretty staggering. 

    My last supervisor committed fraud and was fired, but I worked of them a whole year and I haven't committed any fraud yet (or at least wasn't caught yet). Start with that.  :p

    In all serious, I'd like to see two years experience on your resume before applying elsewhere, you might have done amazing things for your employer in the year you've been there, but two years is always better than one. Why are you looking to jump ship so soon? Does the pay suck? Didn't get the big raise you were expecting? The Fraud department one step behind you? :p

       


    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Posts: 2,736Mod Mod
    N7Valiant said:
    yoba222 said:
    Don't leave until you have another job offer in writing.
    Dilemma:
    Most businesses are regular business hours only, hence the only times when they can interview you.

    I typically skip my lunch and I was told that my lunch is only 30 minutes despite being scheduled to work 9 hours with no official 15 minute breaks either.  Do I just make some excuse or something?  Typically all medical leave of absence must be accompanied with a doctor's note.
    For phone interviews I will usually utilize my lunch break (or since I'm remote empty slots in my day). For in-person interviews I'll utilize vacation or a sick day, although only if I feel they are serious about me as a candidate.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: eJPT, Learning: Linux/CLI, Git, Python, Pentesting
    Next Up:​ eJPT, eCPPTv2, OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (CLI, Git, Python), eLearnSecurity PTSv3
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Posts: 299Member ■■■□□□□□□□
     N7Valiant said:
    Thing is, can I sell myself with just that?  I would only have 1 year of work experience in IT, but some of the things I end up doing are pretty staggering. 

    My last supervisor committed fraud and was fired, but I worked of them a whole year and I haven't committed any fraud yet (or at least wasn't caught yet). Start with that.  :p

    In all serious, I'd like to see two years experience on your resume before applying elsewhere, you might have done amazing things for your employer in the year you've been there, but two years is always better than one. Why are you looking to jump ship so soon? Does the pay suck? Didn't get the big raise you were expecting? The Fraud department one step behind you? :p

       


    Well on the short list:
    -CTO committed fraud and the Owner is helping him cover that up.
    -CTO gives users Admin rights (Schema/Domain/Enterprise).
    -CTO leaves default passwords on servers (as in, it might as well be on a post-it).
    -CTO setup backups then never checked it once in the months since it failed on day 1.
    -CTO swears at the employees, not swears with them or swears in conversation, swears at them.
    -CTO is a "security expert" who uses a tool to configure GPOs to harden the DC and doesn't know what the hell it does.
    -CTO is still CTO.
    -On-call monthly.
    -No compensation to be on call.
    -On-call was never mentioned in job offer document or job posting.
    -Several experience techs left, management feels no need to hire.
    -No product lifecycle, we'll stick our RMM on Server 2003 or XP.
    -No standardization, we'll try every "new" thing under the sun in order to "corner" all possible markets.
    -Mandatory company events every month, on our time, no compensation.
    -MCSA in 6 months for all techs.
    -Half the company is upper management.
  • PantherPanther Posts: 107Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Sounds like the environment is no longer good?
    Toxic maybe?
    What happens when the change the CTO made hits the fan? Will you be blamed?
    Even if it's a learning opportunity to fix things, seems like it would more of a nightmare then it's worth.
    Why stay another year just to look good on paper? 

    Sounds like you've done good for a year.
    Why not seek a better opportunity now? You don't know how long it will take to find the next job.
    Seems like you already know to start looking, given your circumstance.

    Keep plugging as others commented (certs, apply for jobs, etc.)
    Try to line something up first, and take advantage of what you can at your current job. Don't burn bridges.
    Don't go lateral, if you want to progress up--I see you already know/commented that.

    Someone commented on TE, don't apply for tier 1 or 2 jobs, if you want to be tier 3; which I think is true.
    But what if you can't get tier 3?!
    Or, even had a hard time getting tier 1 or 2.

    My background, I was tier 1 and 2 for 10 years, and was laid off.
    I did not want to be unemployed for much longer.
    I wanted to stay knowledgeable/experienced with IT support/operations.
    I'm doing tier 1 right now, for a reputable big company, and learning tons.
    I'm hoping to move up within the company.

    I don't know myself what the "secret" is to break the tier 3 barrier.
    I thinks what others commented is the secret, keep plugging (certs; apply for jobs to progress up to tier 3; networking with people? etc.)
    So if you're laid off or the next opportunity comes up, you're ready.


  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Posts: 299Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    The plane is on fire, kind of want to bail before this flaming mess slams into the ground.  The CTO screwed up again and potentially exposed all of our PII (SSN, Bank Info, etc.) to the wide internet.  He went into full coverup mode when our Engineers notified the owner, like installing a non-company RAT on one of their workstations to get rid of the evidence.  The owner has called a meeting to try to find an excuse to keep the CTO on.

    The problem I'm having to deal with right now is that thus far only DoD contractors have made offers, typically for cabling or desktop support/installation.  That's not really a lateral move so much as it is a step down in terms of skill level and type of work.  It might get me a security clearance, but I'm not so sure I'm interested in moving towards security anymore.

    I did apply for some server admin and datacenter jobs, but thus far not even a call back.

    My passion is in Tier 2 and above work.  I feel pretty confident about myself after having duplicated and reconnected a Wordpress site to a SQL database because the vendor wanted to do it the hacky way to get a translated site while maintaining 2 databases instead of doing it the proper way by using a Wordpress plugin.  Had no documentation or escalation (Engineer didn't have any exp with Wordpress or web dev) to help me, but I got it done and it was damned satisfying.
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 2,860Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Jon_Cisco said:
    In the 25 years I have been working I have noticed a few things. One of them is that even when things are bad at work you can usually show up do your job and buy yourself a few more days/months/years. The company folds that's out of your control and maybe gives you the push you need. What really matters is the steps you are taking up to that point.

    I have had to lay people off and I have been laid off. Some of them had no idea it was coming because they didn't pay attention. Others were well prepared and followed a plan.

    What is interesting is that years later I know that all of them landed on their feet again and the main difference was the amount of stress they endured before that happened. It is hard to see this when you first start out but remember nobody has experience in the beginning. Everyone that is employed today was given a chance at some point.

    My suggestion is show up and take advantage of the flexible environment that is giving you exposure to lots of new technology. Prepare a resume and look for opportunities. Interviewing is a skill and practice makes you better at it. Keep studying and apply for jobs that look interesting to you.

    @N7Valiant - I'm requoting what @Jon_Cisco said because I entirely agree with the advice. It sounds from your last update that you actually are doing activities where you are getting satisfaction and learning new skills. You mention there is fraud - is that real or imagined? If real and you witnessed criminal fraud - then report it to the relevant authorities. Did you call out the owner or CTO about it? Incompetence is not fraud.
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Posts: 299Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    paul78 said:
    @N7Valiant - I'm requoting what @Jon_Cisco said because I entirely agree with the advice. It sounds from your last update that you actually are doing activities where you are getting satisfaction and learning new skills. You mention there is fraud - is that real or imagined? If real and you witnessed criminal fraud - then report it to the relevant authorities. Did you call out the owner or CTO about it? Incompetence is not fraud.
    Both were called out by the Engineer.

    It was ordering hardware using a non-profit client's Techsoup account, then keeping some of the assets in our possession.

    In the end they'll probably weasel out of it by claiming that the hardware was simply being held in reserve (not our job) for the client's use.  But when they repeatedly duck questions about the hardware for over a month, it begs the question.
  • MontagueVandervortMontagueVandervort Senior Member Posts: 256Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    What I've learned is to stay out of the politics and drama in a workplace. I think when we have our first job in IT we can tend to get a bit too wrapped up in all of that.

    Important thing is if you're enjoying your work and learning from it. I would assess by that and keep my nose out of everything else.


  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Posts: 299Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I just put in my notice.

    We're short-staffed, things are falling through the cracks, and we had multiple server outages in 2 days due to those.

    I figured step 1 is commit to leaving, and I just did.
  • DZA_DZA_ Untitled. Posts: 277Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    On to new and better things @N7Valiant !
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 2,860Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Good luck.
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