Tips/advice on staying in the game (so to speak)

andrew09andrew09 Junior MemberMember Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey everyone!

So here's my situation. I finished a 3 year Computer Engineering diploma at a community college (mostly Cisco and Microsoft server focused) in April 2010. At that point, I got a job (still have the same one) as desktop support & helpdesk. My employer reimburses certification as long as they are passed so while the material was fresh, I went and took a few server certs. I've been doing this desktop support assuming that it's what I'd have to deal with for awhile as I gain experience in an entry level position.

My concerns are:

1- How long before I start to really push for a server/ jr. administration job?

2- How do I justify not having server experience for the past year?

3- How can I keep fresh with server administration tasks when I don't have a job that allows me to deal with server issues on a daily basis? VMs?

Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated! I just really dont want to be stuck in a desktop support job because I took too long to get out of it.

Thanks!
Completed: [A+:2009, MCP, MCSA:2003, MCTS x6, MCITP:EDA7]

Studying for: [MCITP:SA (646), MCITP:EA (643, 647)]

Comments

  • EssendonEssendon Stopped chasing the VCDX Member Posts: 4,546 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Given that you have been doing Desktop Support for about a year now, you should start looking for a server job. You have paid your dues in a support role long enough (though some folks may recommend staying there longer), you have the certs, you have the degree, go for gold dude.

    You can word your resume in such a way so it doesnt look like you havent had any server experience. I mean instead of saying - Troubleshot a variety of Outlook 2003 issues, you should say - Troubleshot a wide variety of Outlook 2003 issues including Exchange Server connectivity, GAL synchronisation, mailbox and calendar issues. Put that magic word "server" quite frequently, dont go overboard though. Also, maybe not in your resume, but in your cover letter and at the interview you can say how you have a home lab setup, you run VM's and lab the hell out of it.

    Keep working on those certs, maybe dont whiz through them, but keep plugging away so the knowledge doesnt go stale. But to really utilize the knowledge and learn more, start looking for that server role!
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • mikedisd2mikedisd2 Artist's impression Member Posts: 1,096 ■■■■■□□□□□
    andrew09 wrote: »
    So here's my situation. I finished a 3 year Computer Engineering diploma at a community college (mostly Cisco and Microsoft server focused) in April 2010. At that point, I got a job (still have the same one) as desktop support & helpdesk. My employer reimburses certification as long as they are passed so while the material was fresh, I went and took a few server certs. I've been doing this desktop support assuming that it's what I'd have to deal with for awhile as I gain experience in an entry level position.

    Have you spoken to your IT manager about having some server tasks handed to you? Seeing that you now have server certs, a quick meeting to put forward your desire for some systems work might get you just what you're after. Any task you get handed can then go straight onto your resume as experience.

    Going for sys admin job of any kind with zero server experience won't work; you need to show that you have had some handling of a server in a production environment. It doesn't matter what, just get something then go for another job.

    This is how I broke away from being a mere hardware techinician. I worked in a small company and asked the manager if I could do some server work. He gave me some things that needed working on internally (8x server environment) and I put the effort into sorting it out and learning along the way. This coincided with my MCSE studies. When it came to move on, I had something on my resume that showed I had handled DNS, DHCP, CRM, Exchange, WSUS, etc. Tese were the building blocks and I've never looked back.
  • andrew09andrew09 Junior Member Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks a lot guys, the advice is helpful considering I'm new to the field and trying to get a feel as to how things work. I had a meeting today with my boss and expressed my desire to handle server roles and it sounds as though I'll be given print server tasks (server migration, queue migration) over the next little bit. I've also been told that they will try and assign me A.D. tasks whenever possible. Although these tasks might be boring and easy, I see this as an opportunity to get exposure to production servers and add this to my resume.
    Completed: [A+:2009, MCP, MCSA:2003, MCTS x6, MCITP:EDA7]

    Studying for: [MCITP:SA (646), MCITP:EA (643, 647)]
  • EssendonEssendon Stopped chasing the VCDX Member Posts: 4,546 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Grab ANY server work that comes your way, even if it's repetitive and boring. Doing a task multiple times hammers in the concepts. Keep pumping out those certs too, might just help you get more noticed.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • mikedisd2mikedisd2 Artist's impression Member Posts: 1,096 ■■■■■□□□□□
    andrew09 wrote: »
    I had a meeting today with my boss and expressed my desire to handle server roles and it sounds as though I'll be given print server tasks (server migration, queue migration) over the next little bit. I've also been told that they will try and assign me A.D. tasks whenever possible. Although these tasks might be boring and easy, I see this as an opportunity to get exposure to production servers and add this to my resume.

    Good stuff, that's just what you want in order to move up. Be sure to coincide this with your studies and add to your resume.

    And now that you have access to DCs, a bit of advice I was given years ago, "Don't f*** anything up". icon_smile.gif Good luck.
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