Desktop Support to sysadmin

toptektoptek Posts: 15Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi,

Would you consider the move from a Desktop support role for a large organisation (~1000 users) to a sysadmin role in a small organisation (60-70 users) a step up or a step down? I'm currently on a desktop support contract with limited access to servers. I got an email from a company asking me if I would be available for interview next week for what appears to be a sysadmin job, looking after server 2008, exchange 2007, SAN and VMWare but also supporting the desktops and users, i.e. the sole IT guy. I'll be going to the interview. I figured why not...I thought it looked interesting as they've obviously invested in their IT infrastructure recently and I'd like to get hands on experience with the likes of VMware and Exchange.

I'd be interested in your thoughts on a move like this, both positive and negative. Would it be a good career move? I'm trying to advance my career beyond helpdesk/desktop support.

Cheers.

Comments

  • nicklauscombsnicklauscombs Posts: 885Member
    if you are trying to move from help desk into sysadmin by all means yes that sounds like it would be a step up (as long as what they are advertising is what you will actually be doing). as the sole IT guy you would have some leverage as well as far as your salary goes if they offer you the job.
    WIP: IPS exam
  • earweedearweed Posts: 5,192Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    It is definitely a step up but you will have a hard time for a while learning on the job. Be prepared to put in a lot of your off hours studying what you will be doing at work.
    Good luck! Hope you get it.
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
  • xenodamusxenodamus Posts: 758Member
    Sounds like a great opportunity if Systems Administration is where you want to go. I was in a similar position recently. I had to decide between a SA type of postion with a small organization and a Desktop Support position with a large one. If SA were my long term goal I would have taken that job over the other even though the pay was lower. I took the Desktop Support position, however, because I want to get my hands on some network equipment (which the small organization had very little of).

    If you're looking at other jobs as well, you have to keep in mind the potential for advancement within the organization. There usually isn't much room in a small operation like that one. There will also be a steep learning curve I'd imagine as well.
    CISSP | CCNA:R&S/Security | MCSA 2003 | A+ S+ | VCP6-DTM | CCA-V CCP-V
  • earweedearweed Posts: 5,192Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    If Sys admin is his short term goal he could use the small org he's going to as a stepping stone to a larger org later. just my $.02
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAPosts: 4,170Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Think three steps ahead, like chess. If you want a way out of desktop support, then you should at least consider a move like this.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCSA 7, learning Ansible
    Future: RHCE? VCAP6.5-DCD?
  • Tyrant1919Tyrant1919 Senior Member Posts: 519Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'd say take the small company job. I did the same thing at my last job. I learned a ton.

    Blargoe: Let's play some chess!
    A+/Net+/Svr+/Sec+
    MCSA 03/08/12/16 MCSE 03 EA 08
    CCNA
  • shaqazoolushaqazoolu Posts: 259Member
    I'd take the SA job. Seems like it would be better experience to me. Like earweed said however, plan on putting in a lot of personal time to study the things you need to excel.
    :study:
  • phoeneousphoeneous Go ping yourself... Posts: 2,333Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    Go for it. A lone wolf can easily handle 150 users. I would know icon_thumright.gif
  • toptektoptek Posts: 15Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for all the replies and words of encouragement.

    I'm still intriqued as to why they contacted me to attend the interview. Only one way to find out! Interview is in a few hours.

    I think the steep learning curve would be a good thing. I'm not learning a whole lot where I am now really.

    Cheers,
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    toptek wrote: »
    Hi,

    Would you consider the move from a Desktop support role for a large organisation (~1000 users) to a sysadmin role in a small organisation (60-70 users) a step up or a step down? I'm currently on a desktop support contract with limited access to servers. I got an email from a company asking me if I would be available for interview next week for what appears to be a sysadmin job, looking after server 2008, exchange 2007, SAN and VMWare but also supporting the desktops and users, i.e. the sole IT guy. I'll be going to the interview. I figured why not...I thought it looked interesting as they've obviously invested in their IT infrastructure recently and I'd like to get hands on experience with the likes of VMware and Exchange.

    I'd be interested in your thoughts on a move like this, both positive and negative. Would it be a good career move? I'm trying to advance my career beyond helpdesk/desktop support.

    Cheers.

    Go for the small gig. You can return to the enterprise fold in a year or two with more experience with technologies than you will get in your present job. You can always counter the argument that you have no enterprise experience because you have already been working there. Learn as much as you can in the new job if you get it. Work long hours and be careful with the running systems.
  • brad-brad- Posts: 1,218Member
    What decision benefits your family the most? Dont make the move just based on titling. Make the decision that will best suit you a few years from now. Since contracts expire, it sounds like the SA job would be better, but only you can answer that.
  • thenjdukethenjduke Posts: 894Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I would go for it. I started in a small shop and worked my way up. I was in phone support for 10k customers and went into Admin position for small company and now in a mid almost large company now.
    CCNA, MCP, MCSA, MCSE, MCDST, MCITP Enterprise Administrator, Working towards Networking BS. CCNP is Next.
  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Posts: 4,212Member
    I'd actually like to do system admin for a smaller company over a bigger one. Pay wouldn't be as good, but it allows you to do a variety of tasks rather than sit doing the same 3 things all day.
    Decide what to be and go be it.
  • tomahawkeertomahawkeer Posts: 179Member
    Devilsbane wrote: »
    I'd actually like to do system admin for a smaller company over a bigger one. Pay wouldn't be as good, but it allows you to do a variety of tasks rather than sit doing the same 3 things all day.

    You would be surprised how boring it can get working for a small company as an admin. Now don't get me wrong, I have extremely busy days, but there are a lot of days when everything is just easy as the wind, and there really isn't a whole lot to do. I've enjoyed my experience however, it gives you a lot of time to learn on the fly, and of course learn by making a boat load of mistakes.

    I would definitely recommend going from support (large company) to admin (small company) as it gives you that chance at some different experiences and knowledge that will lead to bigger and better things down the road.
  • NetAdmin2436NetAdmin2436 Posts: 1,076Member
    You will gain very good experience being a one man show at a smaller company. I think a lot of HR people realize the value in hiring someone who ran a whole department by themselves. Being able to juggle help desk, admin/engineering, database, CTO/CIO experience usually makes the day less boring.

    ...and when it get's slow at a smaller company, that's when you study icon_wink.gif
    WIP: CCENT/CCNA (.....probably)
  • jetdynamicsjetdynamics Posts: 129Member
    Do you think with your current position doesnt have the opportunity to move up within the company?

    Its a nice idea to go for this interview and get to know the company and weigh your opportunity....at the end of the day you can decide what's best for you. Like everybody said the good thing with smaller company you will get a lots of hands on experience which you can use this experience to move to a bigger company.
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    You will gain very good experience being a one man show at a smaller company. I think a lot of HR people realize the value in hiring someone who ran a whole department by themselves. Being able to juggle help desk, admin/engineering, database, CTO/CIO experience usually makes the day less boring.

    ...and when it get's slow at a smaller company, that's when you study icon_wink.gif

    It's how I started way back in the nineties and looking back it was a great foundation for my career. A self starter role that you can hold down usually impresses people. Juggling tasks and handling enquiries from all sorts of people is very challenging. Do your best and work hard but dont expect everyone to love you. By the time I finished my end users on site remarked on how I had developed on the job. I did everything I could to solve the local IT problems and experience of my onsite endusers. As for the central IT department, they took a lot of irritating calls from me while I learned everything on the job. This did not endear me to them but then they were really not that interested in making me feel part of the team or helping me come through either. Bad management. But it forces you to cope the only way you can. When you are supporting a site call anyone you need to get the job done ;)
  • deneb829deneb829 Posts: 292Member
    This is definitely a step up and is how many of us, including myself, have gone from desktop support to network admin positions. I started as a bench tech back in 1994 and now I am IT Director for a school district - having have worked my way up through the ranks over the years. Motivated desktop support people can make excellent sysadmins for small organizations where we are required to wear many hats because of our varied knowledge.
    Know it will be more work, responsibility, and longer hours, but if you love it, it will be worth it!
    There are only 10 types of people in this world - People who understand binary and people who do not.
  • toptektoptek Posts: 15Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks everyone for your replys. It was a strange interview. I was headhunted as they emailed me directly... I didn't apply... but then they asked why I applied! They didn't know where they got my details! The role involved setting up vpn connections between different sites which I was abit out of my depth about when they asked me questions. Anyway I was unsuccessful this time. But sure nothing ventured.... I think I'll start applying for Sys Admin roles now... Appears to be the next logical step.
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