How long should I stay at first IT job? - Tier 1

keeranbrikeeranbri Member Posts: 97 ■■■□□□□□□□
Hello Everyone,

I'm not really new to this site, but I have not posted in awhile. Ever since October 2011 i have been working as a Tier 1 level helpdesk agent as a contractor untill now so that is about 5 months now. This is my first IT job ever since I finished my Bachelors degree in technical management and concentration in network communications back in 2010

I do all the basics that a level 1 helpdesk does and i'm sure everyone in here knows the jobs duties.
How long should I stay untill I start looking for another IT job with possibly more money or do most people stay for about a year or two before moving on to get that experience or has anyone ever left a contract job within 3 months or so and got a better offer.
i'm eager just to update my resume and apply to some jobs to see what happens.
Also, I have my bachelors degree but no certifications, so which certifications do you recommend would be a good foundation overall.

Comments

  • bertstarebertstare Member Posts: 17 ■□□□□□□□□□
    1 year is a good minimum to shoot for. I'd say stay until you are not learning anything new and become bored. Meanwhile, be sure to decide which certs you want to obtain, and keep studying.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    bertstare wrote: »
    1 year is a good minimum to shoot for. I'd say stay until you are not learning anything new and become bored. Meanwhile, be sure to decide which certs you want to obtain, and keep studying.

    All good points

    I would also add that try to do the best job you can you might end up getting promoted.
  • RoguetadhgRoguetadhg CompTIA A+, Network+. Member Posts: 2,486 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Im here for 2 years now? I quite like having a job. Yes, I can go look for another job right away... but the best thing about this current job is that I have time for myself, to study.

    I have a lot of loyalty for my co-workers in the IT department. They treat me well, and I know what politics I've had to deal with when I came into this position down here... Im paranoid, and ask for everything in writing for a reason now :P

    Although, im getting itchy to get out of this place and look for an ISP to try to get a job with.
    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
    TE Threads: How to study for the CCENT/CCNA, Introduction to Cisco Exams

  • ptilsenptilsen Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Get your A+. Then get Net+ or start into Cisco, MS, or Linux -- or whatever specialization interests you.

    Definitely stay there until you've hit the point of diminishing returns. Try to stay at least 18 months for resume purposes, and indeed, do your best job and see if a promotion is an option.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
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    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • kurosaki00kurosaki00 Member Posts: 973
    The longest you can/afford/want I guess.
    What tilsen said "Definitely stay there until you've hit the point of diminishing returns".

    Your job doesnt return any learning value? You seem to be tired every day or in bad humor?
    Are you bored? Even though you meet deadlines, make positive impact, "raise the bar" on your tasks but you dont feel accomplished?
    Time to bail bro, is not disney anymore.

    Sadly when you're in a "newbie" position (entry level), we have to suck up and put up with stuff...
    You need to balance to that too.
    meh
  • techdudeheretechdudehere Member Posts: 164
    To the person wanting to work for an ISP, be careful what you wish for! Back to the matter at hand, do you want to be a hands on tech guy or some kind of manager or what direction are you heading? If you just want to be a really great technician, then I'd start applying for something more involved now. After 5 months of level 1, you've probably learned the job. I find the pay for your average "help desk" type person in private industry is pretty bad. If you really want that type of position, I would research companies with internal helpdesk positions rather than working contractually. University might be good if you'd be interested in getting further education while working for them. I worked University helpdesk for a short time and it was a great environment, but it was a specialized school so I would not have gotten any education breaks there. The certifications you need depend on what you want to do. Certifications can be a lot of work, so I wouldn't bother getting them unless it's going to be relevant to your goals. Why did you wait a year after graduation to begin working? Where you traveling or ?
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,313 ■■■■■■■■■□
    6 - 12 months. Then run off. Long enough to be credible, not so long so you get slotted as a level 1 lifer.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Turgon wrote: »
    6 - 12 months. Then run off. Long enough to be credible, not so long so you get slotted as a level 1 lifer.

    Don't you think that you have to explore the idea of staying with the company if they promote you. Even if it's just to a level 2 tier tech.
    Example spend 18 months at level 1 get promoted stay at level 2 for 2 years, now you have 3.5 years of employment at one position and then you move on.

    I think with this strategy you are showing you are capable of committing to a position for a sustained period of time and you are promotable which shows the prior organization saw value you in you enough to promote you.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,313 ■■■■■■■■■□
    N2IT wrote: »
    Don't you think that you have to explore the idea of staying with the company if they promote you. Even if it's just to a level 2 tier tech.
    Example spend 18 months at level 1 get promoted stay at level 2 for 2 years, now you have 3.5 years of employment at one position and then you move on.

    I think with this strategy you are showing you are capable of committing to a position for a sustained period of time and you are promotable which shows the prior organization saw value you in you enough to promote you.

    Sure. Running off from tier 1 to tier 2 within the same company is just fine, if you want to stay there. Either way, run off.
  • TheCudderTheCudder Member Posts: 147 ■■■□□□□□□□
    All good advice so far. I did L1 Help Desk for 14 months and left to do L2 Desktop Support, and have been doing so for the last 4 years while I finished my degree. Now looking to move again since my current situation offers no way to move up. You may want to consider hanging around while you get certifications, it'll give you the opportunity to get a better salary if you do decide to leave.
    B.S. Information Technology Management | CompTIA A+ | CompTIA Security+ | Graduate Certificate in Information Assurance (In Progress)
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    You don't want your resume covered with a bunch of couple month stints, but if you can find something better then I'd take it.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    You don't want your resume covered with a bunch of couple month stints, but if you can find something better then I'd take it.


    Well said

    I found that you want to get a large block of employment early in your career. It shows you are stable and is another reason for a company to hire you. Having 3-6 month stints all over you resume is terrible unless you are working strictly project work and even then it's hard for some managers to get past the fact you have those short stints on your resume, and then you have HR to deal with as well.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,313 ■■■■■■■■■□
    N2IT wrote: »
    Well said

    I found that you want to get a large block of employment early in your career. It shows you are stable and is another reason for a company to hire you. Having 3-6 month stints all over you resume is terrible unless you are working strictly project work and even then it's hard for some managers to get past the fact you have those short stints on your resume, and then you have HR to deal with as well.

    You want a good block early on. Shows you can stick at something, dependable. Contractors often have lots of swaps though. That said, good contractors get renewed so you dont want two years of three month assignments. Try and get something you can holddown for a year!
  • CodeBloxCodeBlox Member Posts: 1,363 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I'm tier 1 right now and am itching to make a move. I'm a really good helpdesk tech and am always on the board of "top stats" for the team for at least 2 or 3 of the 4 listings of the week. As the other people said, eventually the learning will stop though. Thats happened to me after almost 6 months and I've been here for almost 9 months. I usually fix almost everything that doesn't require someone to come out locally. There's some stuff that I really want to solve but am unable to. I save those ticket numbers and check out what the tier 3 people do to fix the problem. I did learn a whole lot working here though. It definitely exposed me to a lot of technology and it helped me with my troubleshooting. When I first got the job, I would get stuck on some unfamiliar things and rely on the tech leads. Now I happily take a stab at a problem and if I can't fix it I find out what did. Now, I use my downtime to finish my CCNA study and 70-640 study. Networks is ultimately where I want to get to. I decided to get the 70-640 because of how much I use AD at work and I wanted to learn more. I'll eventually get MCITP:SA too. I actually am going to take my ICND2 exam during spring break two weeks from now. After hearing the opinions in this thread, I'm wondering if I should stick it out for at least a year though. I guess it's different for everyone. Some people have been tier 1s on this helpdesk for over 2 years.
    Currently reading: Network Warrior, Unix Network Programming by Richard Stevens
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Assuming the job doesn't take a turn for the worse that requires you to leave ASAP, stay as long as it takes for you to be prepared for your next job.
    Currently reading:
    IPSec VPN Design 44%
    Mastering VMWare vSphere 5​ 42.8%
  • CodeBloxCodeBlox Member Posts: 1,363 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I had put off my CCNA studies to get up to speed with this job. Since I've got the job down I went back to my CCNA studies. I wish I had start back sooner ( like a month ago ). I saw a job posting in my city which required a CCNA. The job description sounded like stuff I could do and I met the requirments except for the fact that I haven't taken ICND2 yet -_- Should I apply for this position anyways right now? Should I communicate with them now or should I wait until I GET the cert two weeks from now to make a first communication? I'm afraid that the position will be gone by that time. It's a two year contract, but it sounded like I could get some good network experience from it.
    Currently reading: Network Warrior, Unix Network Programming by Richard Stevens
  • CodeBloxCodeBlox Member Posts: 1,363 ■■■■□□□□□□
    How should I list that on resume? Something along the lines of "expected to have on so and so date..."? I sure hope the position hasn't been filled.
    Currently reading: Network Warrior, Unix Network Programming by Richard Stevens
  • cloud802cloud802 Member Posts: 19 ■□□□□□□□□□
    i would stay for about a year or two and than move on
  • baseball1988baseball1988 Member Posts: 119
    1-2 years in tier 1 help desk is good enough.

    I stayed in tier 1 help desk for about 18 months and ran away. Jumping from one company to another...you usually get a huge salary raise than staying within the same company for a promotion.
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