Don't think I'm cut out for helpdesk...

AnonymouseAnonymouse Member Posts: 509 ■■■■□□□□□□
Well I finally got back into IT support in a helpdesk role on phones two months ago. In my mind I was thinking I'd work my way up to this companies desktop support. I feel like I'm really not cut out for this volume of user interaction doing support remotely. Frankly, I absolutely positively suck at helpdesk. I loved desktop support. I was comfortable and confident in that role. Sadly it was only a short 9 month contract. I really miss working with my hands I guess.

What kind of role would work for a former computer repair/ desktop support/ helpdesk tech who likes working with his hands and getting dirty? I just want to do the technical hands on stuff with limited user interaction. Where should I be aiming in IT? What should I study to be more specialized in that sort of thing? Help?
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  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    If you really want to work with you hands then you are going to be limited to the lower level jobs in IT. You could do something like Desktop Support/Technician etc. but there aren't really any higher end positions that you work with your hands and get dirty that I know of.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Member Posts: 4,212 ■■■■■■■■□□
    There is definitely an art behind the help desk. It isn't just being a nerd. You have to have excellent communication skills to compensate for the fact that you might be sitting on the other side of the world from the person you are assisting.

    My advice would be to just stick it out for the experience on the resume, and jump at the desktop support position when it shows itself, whether it is with this company or another.
    Decide what to be and go be it.
  • ehndeehnde Member Posts: 1,103
    So right now you're doing mostly phone support and talking people through computer issues, correct? I can empathize with how that would suck.

    You may just need to switch what company you work for, giving you a role that doesn't involve mostly phone support. I'm not a people person either, but we have to do a good job at our interactions with others. Your technical role may advance over the years, but you will always have to deal with people in some way or another.

    In the mean time if you're stuck where you are at, try focusing on the other person....being genuinely interested and focused on their problem instead of thinking in your head "God I suck at this!" while you're talking to them. Sounds trivial but it has made the difference for me.
    Climb a mountain, tell no one.
  • SteveLordSteveLord Member Posts: 1,717
    I sympathize. I am not a good phone communicator period. Luckily, all my jobs have been 90-95% deskside support and I never had to start in a call center. I prefer to develop a physical relationship with whomever I support. Obviously this is far less common. The few calls I do get from the public are almost always routine, so it's easy for me to take care of them. For field staff, I have LogMeIn setup on all laptops, so I spend more time fixing the problems instead of trying to understand what the person is telling me.

    Anyway, I am sure others will have some tips for you! Good luck!
    WGU B.S.IT - 9/1/2015 >>> ???
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    Anonymouse wrote: »
    Well I finally got back into IT support in a helpdesk role on phones two months ago. In my mind I was thinking I'd work my way up to this companies desktop support. I feel like I'm really not cut out for this volume of user interaction doing support remotely. Frankly, I absolutely positively suck at helpdesk. I loved desktop support. I was comfortable and confident in that role. Sadly it was only a short 9 month contract. I really miss working with my hands I guess.

    What kind of role would work for a former computer repair/ desktop support/ helpdesk tech who likes working with his hands and getting dirty? I just want to do the technical hands on stuff with limited user interaction. Where should I be aiming in IT? What should I study to be more specialized in that sort of thing? Help?


    AM:

    I understand I have been doing it for 3+ years now. I started off doing deskside support like you did for 9 months. I actually like the phones better, I get to deal with more problems and get to use the remote tools. I've actually become very good a fixing problems remotely.

    With all that being said I understand how you are feeling. When I did the deskside support I would get to know the people and I can just sit down at their workstation/laptop and correct the issue. If it was to reimage bam I would reimage there! If I had to fix a profile or replace a systemboard all was good.

    I would stick this job out at least 6 months while looking for another. IMO there is a 3 month learning curve when doing a new job. And since you have never done help desk I would give yourself at least 3-6 months to really get a feel for it. If then you still feeling this isn't for you proceed on to the new adventure.

    I've been in helpdesk / deskside support my whole career except for a 6 months contract where I was a team lead and a project manager. I've longed to go back to a position like PM, change, and or configuration manager. I've also applied for several data analyst positions and came soooooooo close, but came up short. I am getting to the point of leveraging my sales skills to cell COTS software to large scale environments. I know two people who can get me a job in that field. One of my friends brother in law is the CEO of the company. So I defiently have a in, but I just don't want to throw the towel in quite yet. I'll be quite frank and in my opinion this goes for anybody, once you bail on the technical side of IT you are pretty much finished.

    I remember speaking to a director or IT for a large distrubution company at a IT event and in passing he said if you are out of IT for more than 6 months you have become obsolete.
  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    SteveLord wrote: »
    I prefer to develop a physical relationship with whomever I support.

    Where and how do I even begin with this...... icon_lol.gif
  • SteveLordSteveLord Member Posts: 1,717
    erpadmin wrote: »
    Where and how do I even begin with this...... icon_lol.gif

    Don't bother...I'll just surrender that one. icon_rolleyes.gif Touché!
    WGU B.S.IT - 9/1/2015 >>> ???
  • MrAgentMrAgent Member Posts: 1,307 ■■■■■■■□□□
    erpadmin wrote: »
    Where and how do I even begin with this...... icon_lol.gif


    Bow chicka bow wow
  • Jack2Jack2 Member Posts: 153
    erpadmin wrote: »
    Where and how do I even begin with this...... icon_lol.gif
    Start with HR..
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  • AnonymouseAnonymouse Member Posts: 509 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Sorry for the long rant in the OP, folks. Bad morning haha. I had four days off of work and ended up getting sick. Had two hours of sleep before coming into work Monday and still sick. Come to work and find I've been messing up a lot at work lately. We have a time limit on how long to be on phones 'til we pass it on to the next level. Today my users were just so busy giving me their life stories that I didn't even get the time to resolve simple issues and passed them on to the next level which just makes me look like a moron if they think I can't even figure that stuff out. Bad start to a bad day I suppose.

    You guys are right though. I should and will stick to it as long as they decide to keep me. Another co-worker told me I really have to work on sounding sympathetic to the users which I admit is a big problem of mine. I just want to figure out what's wrong and fix it then move on to next ticket. It's kinda discouraging to start out in desktop support and then do a bunch of crappy jobs and finally back to support though only helpdesk. I've only been there two months and I already feel burned out which is pretty bad. I decided a few weeks ago to use my downtime to study for certs to get me by and feel like I'm accomplishing something. Wish me luck, guys. LOL.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    Anonymouse wrote: »
    Sorry for the long rant in the OP, folks. Bad morning haha. I had four days off of work and ended up getting sick. Had two hours of sleep before coming into work Monday and still sick. Come to work and find I've been messing up a lot at work lately. We have a time limit on how long to be on phones 'til we pass it on to the next level. Today my users were just so busy giving me their life stories that I didn't even get the time to resolve simple issues and passed them on to the next level which just makes me look like a moron if they think I can't even figure that stuff out. Bad start to a bad day I suppose.

    You guys are right though. I should and will stick to it as long as they decide to keep me. Another co-worker told me I really have to work on sounding sympathetic to the users which I admit is a big problem of mine. I just want to figure out what's wrong and fix it then move on to next ticket. It's kinda discouraging to start out in desktop support and then do a bunch of crappy jobs and finally back to support though only helpdesk. I've only been there two months and I already feel burned out which is pretty bad. I decided a few weeks ago to use my downtime to study for certs to get me by and feel like I'm accomplishing something. Wish me luck, guys. LOL.


    If you are getting burnt out, maybe a few weeks off from IT outside of work would recharge your batteries.
  • IRONMONKUSIRONMONKUS Member Posts: 143 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I would like to add that if you are not happy in the position you are in, keep on looking. Use this job as a placeholder for something you will like more. If it is at this company then work in help desk until you get the opportunity to move up into a more hands on role. If not, keep on looking and putting in resumes until you find what you like.

    Me, I quit help desk after one month! They would not allow me to help support the customers the way I thought they ought to be treated, so I quit. I then found a Desktop Support job and have worked in this position for the last five years. I am now using what I've gained from this position to aid me in working towards my goal of a Networking position.

    I hope everything works out for you!
  • AnonymouseAnonymouse Member Posts: 509 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I figured I'd update a little on this post.

    Been here for three months now and I feel like I'm doing a lot better on the job and have gotten the hang of it. Though I still don't plan to stay here longer than 1.5 year though I hope. Planning to cert up now and will start looking again once I've been here for a year.
  • rsuttonrsutton Member Posts: 1,029 ■■■■■□□□□□
    A lot of good techs have started out on the phones, put your time in, master the art of dealing with unreasonable people and prosper. I spent a few years on the phone and developed some good habits that still benefit me today.
  • HypntickHypntick Member Posts: 1,451 ■■■■■■□□□□
    rsutton wrote: »
    A lot of good techs have started out on the phones, put your time in, master the art of dealing with unreasonable people and prosper. I spent a few years on the phone and developed some good habits that still benefit me today.

    Ah the joys of dealing with a drunk hotel guest who can't connect to the internet at 2 am. Almost brings a tear to my eye. icon_lol.gif
    WGU BS:IT Completed June 30th 2012.
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  • AnonymouseAnonymouse Member Posts: 509 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Do you guys think it would look bad to start searching for other opportunities after a year? I've only done 9 months of desktop support preceded by 3 months of computer repair. If I somehow don't get my MCITP administrator and desktop support certs by the time I've been here for a year then I will not look for other opportunities until I've done so. I'm just worried about looking like I've hopped around to too many jobs.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,313
    Anonymouse wrote: »
    Sorry for the long rant in the OP, folks. Bad morning haha. I had four days off of work and ended up getting sick. Had two hours of sleep before coming into work Monday and still sick. Come to work and find I've been messing up a lot at work lately. We have a time limit on how long to be on phones 'til we pass it on to the next level. Today my users were just so busy giving me their life stories that I didn't even get the time to resolve simple issues and passed them on to the next level which just makes me look like a moron if they think I can't even figure that stuff out. Bad start to a bad day I suppose.

    You guys are right though. I should and will stick to it as long as they decide to keep me. Another co-worker told me I really have to work on sounding sympathetic to the users which I admit is a big problem of mine. I just want to figure out what's wrong and fix it then move on to next ticket. It's kinda discouraging to start out in desktop support and then do a bunch of crappy jobs and finally back to support though only helpdesk. I've only been there two months and I already feel burned out which is pretty bad. I decided a few weeks ago to use my downtime to study for certs to get me by and feel like I'm accomplishing something. Wish me luck, guys. LOL.

    I had similar experiences many years ago when starting out. Today Im a Lead Technical Architect. There is hope :)
  • PishofPishof Member Posts: 193
    I would suggest looking at the schools in your area and see who may be hiring tech staff. I never hear anyone speak about public school jobs outside of the circle but k-12s hire a lot of entry level techs for support.

    I'm on the Indiana list serv for technical staff and weekly there are jobs posted for entry level techs as well as network administrators, database admins, even tech coordinator/director jobs open up frequently.

    The reason is that k-12 jobs don't typically pay as much as private corporations so that means turnover is more frequent opening up many opportunities for entry level positions.

    The biggest advantage is working for a corporation usually you working with a wide variety of teachers and have a ton of teacher/administrative staff interaction working on new stuff. Also, you'll have multiple principals to give you excellent recommendations for when you're ready to move on!

    Primary education is a constantly evolving process with new equipment and new programs into place so there are constant projects to work on and just looking for innovative ways to support teaching staff.

    I guarantee it's a much better and varied experience than boring desktop/call center support jobs.
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  • MentholMooseMentholMoose Senior Member Member Posts: 1,524 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Anonymouse wrote: »
    Do you guys think it would look bad to start searching for other opportunities after a year? I've only done 9 months of desktop support preceded by 3 months of computer repair. If I somehow don't get my MCITP administrator and desktop support certs by the time I've been here for a year then I will not look for other opportunities until I've done so. I'm just worried about looking like I've hopped around to too many jobs.
    A year is enough. You may get questions about it during interviews, but if you are looking for a higher level job, you can explain that you want a job you can do for a long time, and help desk does not meet that requirement.
    MentholMoose
    LFCE - MCITP: EDA7, VA, SA, EA - MCSA:S 2003 - CCA (PVS 5, XD 3 / 4 / 5, XS 5 / 6) - VCP 4 / 5
  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    Pishof wrote: »
    I would suggest looking at the schools in your area and see who may be hiring tech staff. I never hear anyone speak about public school jobs outside of the circle but k-12s hire a lot of entry level techs for support.

    Eansdad works for a k-12 school district for the largest municipality in NJ (by area, not population). He has mentioned it in a number of posts about how the good and bad of supporting such a shop.

    My first job (all of my grown up jobs have been in IT) was a JOAT for a library. That was an experience that was the foundation of my own career.
  • AnonymouseAnonymouse Member Posts: 509 ■■■■□□□□□□
    erpadmin wrote: »
    Eansdad works for a k-12 school district for the largest municipality in NJ (by area, not population). He has mentioned it in a number of posts about how the good and bad of supporting such a shop.

    My first job (all of my grown up jobs have been in IT) was a JOAT for a library. That was an experience that was the foundation of my own career.

    Probably a dumb question but what's a JOAT?
  • Mike-MikeMike-Mike Member Posts: 1,860
    jack of all trades is what I assume he meant...


    Anonymouse, are you supporting customers or colleagues? I did call center work for Bellsouth taking repair calls for customers and it was the suck...

    Now I deal with only internal colleagues, and it is a world of difference... people are polite and friendly, much more competent, and most importantly, appreciative...
    Currently Working On

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  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    Mike-Mike wrote: »
    jack of all trades is what I assume he meant...

    You assumed correctly.

    My bad, I thought it was a generally accepted acronym.
  • AnonymouseAnonymouse Member Posts: 509 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Mike-Mike wrote: »
    jack of all trades is what I assume he meant...


    Anonymouse, are you supporting customers or colleagues? I did call center work for Bellsouth taking repair calls for customers and it was the suck...

    Now I deal with only internal colleagues, and it is a world of difference... people are polite and friendly, much more competent, and most importantly, appreciative...

    I work with internal employee's. Don't know about the competence part though. Users tend to not follow directions very well or try to tell me I am wrong when I am trying to help them. Though I must say it's a nice change of pace when the users are entertained whenever I remote connect to their computers. Usually it's older folks who love that sort of thing I noticed.
  • AnonymouseAnonymouse Member Posts: 509 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Back for another update.

    N2IT suggested sticking with it for 3-6 months to get a feel for it. Around 3 months I didn't feel like a total screw up on the job and I think I'm at 6 months now and I'm finally confident in my skills and results from day to day. I still don't like a few aspects of the job like getting stuck with a few back office type duties like daily and monthly reports that the level 1's here have to do and I especially don't like being stuck with weekends 'cause I'm the new guy. All in all I like where I'm at right now but that doesn't mean I plan to be here forever. While I'm here I'll enjoy the pay, my cool peers, and certing up (MCDST tests next month, wish me luck).
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Anonymouse wrote: »
    Back for another update.

    N2IT suggested sticking with it for 3-6 months to get a feel for it. Around 3 months I didn't feel like a total screw up on the job and I think I'm at 6 months now and I'm finally confident in my skills and results from day to day. I still don't like a few aspects of the job like getting stuck with a few back office type duties like daily and monthly reports that the level 1's here have to do and I especially don't like being stuck with weekends 'cause I'm the new guy. All in all I like where I'm at right now but that doesn't mean I plan to be here forever. While I'm here I'll enjoy the pay, my cool peers, and certing up (MCDST tests next month, wish me luck).

    Good luck. Keep your eyes on the certs and don't get stuck in a helpdesk mentality. Keep your resume updated and save your money.
  • AnonymouseAnonymouse Member Posts: 509 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Good luck. Keep your eyes on the certs and don't get stuck in a helpdesk mentality. Keep your resume updated and save your money.

    Definitely. The weekend shift here isn't as busy so gives me ample time for cert studies as well as messing with tickets I typically wouldn't get on my weekdays. I'm glad I can come to this forum for career type knowledge and advice.
  • Mike-MikeMike-Mike Member Posts: 1,860
    I'm in my 3rd month at my job, and I still really enjoy it.. I have gotten to where I almost always ask to remote in as opposed to trying to walk them through it..
    Currently Working On

    CWTS, then WireShark
  • AnonymouseAnonymouse Member Posts: 509 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Mike-Mike wrote: »
    I'm in my 3rd month at my job, and I still really enjoy it.. I have gotten to where I almost always ask to remote in as opposed to trying to walk them through it..

    I always remote in 'cause I usually don't trust the users ability to listen. At least I won't just be staring at my ticket on the screen while helping the user though. I have an older co-worker who seems to try to avoid remoting in for some reason which I'll never understand why.
  • Mike-MikeMike-Mike Member Posts: 1,860
    the guy next to me does that too, he always seems to try to talk them through it
    Currently Working On

    CWTS, then WireShark
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