How did you get your first Help Desk job?

TheBigMacTheBigMac Member Posts: 8 ■□□□□□□□□□
I just dont know how its possible, because everything (not just in IT) seems to be a catch-22, you cant get a job because you have no experience, and you cant get experience because you cant get a job! so Im wondering what you guys did to get that first job!? and just any advice for a total newbie. I want to get my comptia cert but its going to cost me like £300 and I dont have money to waste on something that just wont help me.


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    QHaloQHalo Member Posts: 1,488
    Internship. Some places have paid internships to do grunt work and then if you're decent work your way into a full time gig. You're going to do the complete poop work but if you do it and do it with some zest, take initiative where you can, it can work out. If you don't get a gig, at least you have some experience you can put on your resume for another job. It's how I did it.
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    RouteMyPacketRouteMyPacket Member Posts: 1,104
    *sits and reflects back to the old days*

    I took some tech support/sales gig just to get my foot in the door, stood out technically and from a customer service perspective. I think a opening came up on the Help Desk and don't recall really but I started talking to the Mgr over it and next thing I knew I was there. Contract ended shortly after but they referenced me over to an IT Consulting firm, jumped on their Help Desk 3rd shift and was quickly moved on site at a client doing Desktop work...

    Moral of the story, foot in the door, quickly proved I wasn't retarded, advanced. lol
    Modularity and Design Simplicity:

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    TheBigMacTheBigMac Member Posts: 8 ■□□□□□□□□□
    QHalo wrote: »
    Internship. Some places have paid internships to do grunt work and then if you're decent work your way into a full time gig. You're going to do the complete poop work but if you do it and do it with some zest, take initiative where you can, it can work out. If you don't get a gig, at least you have some experience you can put on your resume for another job. It's how I did it.
    what certs did you have when you started?
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    olaHaloolaHalo Member Posts: 748 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Internship experience helped me
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    YFZbluYFZblu Member Posts: 1,462 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I worked on the business side and was not doing well in my position. I had a friend who was transferring to technical support within the company, and I thought "well, it can't be worse than what I'm currently doing". I interviewed, and it was a real softball interview - I had virtually no knowledge and zero experience.

    Fast forward four years and several certificatoins, and I'm doing exactly what I want.
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    EssendonEssendon Member Posts: 4,546 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Flooded my resume out, applied to anything that came along for 8 months, got only one interview, blew their socks off with my enthusiasm and eagerness, got the job. Simple!

    It took 8 months though, I had no certs.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
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    Cold TitaniumCold Titanium Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 82 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Through an internship when I did my AAS.
    2014 Goals
    • Pass OSCP (In Progress)
    • Obtain employment in IT Security
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    AkaricloudAkaricloud Member Posts: 938
    I took A+ classes through a community college while getting my AA degree. After that I started in on a 4-year degree and applied for a computer lab manager position at my university. After a couple interviews they decided my skill set would be best used elsewhere and ended up starting a student run Desktop Support department to place me in. I would have just been placed in the student helpdesk but there was a conflict of interest with that.
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    PolynomialPolynomial Member Posts: 365
    I started at the help desk with phone support at the school I went to for my Bachelor's.

    Did not realize until after I left my previous job years later how important it actually was. All in my LinkedIn!
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    TheBigMacTheBigMac Member Posts: 8 ■□□□□□□□□□
    So all in all is A+ worth it, and good to break into the IT tech field?
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    PolynomialPolynomial Member Posts: 365
    TheBigMac wrote: »
    So all in all is A+ worth it, and good to break into the IT tech field?

    I got it while in my current desktop support role, so it did **** for me. I actually scheduled it about 4 months before I took it. Got delayed due to a physical injury. I literally showed up, went through practice questions on an Android app and passed it. I had been doing desktop support since I was 18 at that point though.

    I'd say the concepts and strategies CompTia puts in that certification are actually very relevant to desktop support and would probably help you answer the questions in an interview if you've never held a support role yet.
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    darkerzdarkerz Member Posts: 431 ■■■■□□□□□□

    2 years at the colleges Network and Data Center areas, working for free 20-40 hours a week (Well, they fed me and paid for my books, so that worked out unusually well).

    The week I finished my AAS in Network Administration and hit the 2 year mark on my internship, I got a job at Helpdesk.

    In a month, I got contracted out to a hospital doing network support.
    In 6 months, I got scooped up full time as a Datacenter Operator.

    Internships, especially GOOD (really emphasize this, GOOD, immersive, relative to your studies, etc.) are jobs, real experience and real work.
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    ptilsenptilsen Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I started doing side work. Anyone who needed computer work that would pay, I would do work for. I made a resume with basically nothing but that, my skills, and my A+ on it. I got some small gigs (ie 1-week contract setting up PCs), added those on. After a few months I had an interview and got the job based on my interview performance.

    All this was the summer before my senior year of high school. I had that experience, what was on my resume, and my A+. From my perspective, the A+ was huge. I don't know if it got me the job, but I'm pretty sure it got me those contract jobs, and that experience on my resume must have helped get me the actual job.

    Technically, this first job was considered a paid internship while I was in school. However, I was paid identically to everyone else for doing the same work part time they did full time, and it stopped being an intern after graduation. So it was an IINO -- an internship in name only, if you will.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
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    TheCudderTheCudder Member Posts: 147 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I had no certs or degrees at the time. I'm in the Army Reserves and was deployed to Kuwait in support of OIF from 2005-2006. I worked as a Help Desk Analyst during my deployment, so a few months before coming home I uploaded my resume to Monster and had e-mails from recruiters coming in before I even got home.
    B.S. Information Technology Management | CompTIA A+ | CompTIA Security+ | Graduate Certificate in Information Assurance (In Progress)
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    nosoup4unosoup4u Member Posts: 365
    Never worked in help desk but I got my first gig by helping with IT at my high school, helping with IT at my church then getting under IT recruitment firm /shiver..

    Network the old fashioned way is my advice, I had plenty of exp at 22, but mainly helping a few hours a week with my moms neighbors small business, getting to know my mechanics family which in turn lead me to a couple more SMB's.

    While networking online and everything is great, you don't hear about a lot of opportunities because they don't bother posting them imho.

    I didn't have a cert till last September, to be accepted into WGU.
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    sratakhinsratakhin Member Posts: 818
    Never worked as a helpdesk but I got my first experience when I wasn't even in high school yet. My dad's friend needed somebody to take care of computers in his company and I knew I could do it. They had about 10 computers and one server. I mostly played games and drank beer (I know), but it also gave a chance to get some experience. After one year, I quit and had no interest in IT whatsoever.

    Later, when I moved to California, I was looking for a job (Fall 2009, in the midst of the recession) and couldn't find anything. That's when I started fixing computers on the side, which eventually grew into 60+ hours a week. I got my first real IT job after completing an internship in my college. By that time, I had A+ and Network+ and they helped me a lot to get noticed.
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    HypntickHypntick Member Posts: 1,451 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I worked in a relay call center, no certs or otherwise relevant experience. Just having the call center experience and the ability to keep up with call load is what landed me the position.
    WGU BS:IT Completed June 30th 2012.
    WGU MS:ISA Completed October 30th 2013.
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    Rosco2382Rosco2382 Member Posts: 205 ■■■□□□□□□□
    For me, it was just lucky timing, I have no certs or degree yet. I was in the Navy, worked with our LAN guy onboard my sub. I translated that into exp for my resume, landed a help desk job at a local bank. From there I kind of moved up in roles and money. Until I finish school and working on these certs, i sort of plateaued.
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    IT_NerdIT_Nerd Member Posts: 25 ■■■□□□□□□□
    For me it started with getting an internship. I started applying for part-time internships/jobs prior to graduating college. I found an intern who then later gave a great referral when I was contacted by a recruiter. The recruiter landed me my 1st IT job. After that it's a matter of learning, experience, and planning I believe.
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    QHaloQHalo Member Posts: 1,488
    TheBigMac wrote: »
    what certs did you have when you started?

    Zero experience, zero certs. Back 13 years ago when I started, certs weren't nearly as looked at as they are now.
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    lsud00dlsud00d Member Posts: 1,571
    I'm with Polynomial..

    Started as a student technician at my university while getting my bachelors in my sophomore year. Was promoted to intern (salary + benefits) beginning of senior year, then hired on full time (salary bump) after graduating.

    My friend was full time at the HD which is how I got the student technician spot in the first place :)
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    BigMevyBigMevy Member Posts: 68 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Is the A+ worth it?

    Well, I had a direct report working for me. We were going through a downsizing so I had to lay her off, but we had plenty of notice so she knew it was coming. She had a Bachelors and a couple years experience, but I still encouraged her to get a certification to help in her job search. She rolled her eyes and did it. Ended up she got a job with the city and the only reason she got through the door was that they had a requirement for A+ certification. So yeah, it can help.

    To the original question, my first help desk job came to me via a friend. We knew each other and gamed together, and he happened to be a network manager and mentioned he had an open position. I told him I was interested, we chatted about it on-line while gaming (EQ if anyone cares) and he told me to email him my resume. I got the job offer two days later.

    Networking helps.
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    MrPuzzlezMrPuzzlez Member Posts: 89 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Meh. I'm on an unpaid internship now and it only serves as elementary knowledge in college-level situations. I want to get my CCNA, but it feels as if I'm going after dated(yet somewhat useful) skills. I somewhat feel down, especially since I have no study partners and I've been delaying my ICND1 exam for a while. I missed the last one by 85 points.icon_cry.gif

    Also, sadly, it's who you know, not what you kno.
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    gadav478gadav478 Member Posts: 374 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I think networking really helped me out when I first started. Networking got me an Internship with a local high school. At that point, I learned about certs and got my A+. Got my resume out there, and made sure I kept contact with hiring managers weekly until something came through. Been here at this company two years now (but not as a HDT anymore) and I'll do the same to move on when that time comes. Network.
    Goals for 2015: CCNP
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    TomkoTechTomkoTech Member Posts: 438
    I was in the Marines back in 1996. I had bought a brand new computer for the first time(A gateway with the first pentium II I think 233mhz processor. 128 megs of ram, and a 4gig hard drive. Back then it cost like $2000). At any rate the company XO during and inspection saw it and asked me a hundred questions and I demonstrated its speed and what not. A few weeks later he asked me if I wanted to do a TAD working on computer equipment, which of course I said yes. So for the next 30 days I was attached to Joint Warrior Interoperability Demonstration where we tested communications, computer intelligence, and did some mock war games. After that I got attached to the companies IT department. It's been all down hill since then.
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    jvrlopezjvrlopez Member Posts: 913 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I found a position online that had several pre-requirements that I met.

    I applied on a Wednesday, got called on a Thursday, interviewed on a Friday, and started on a Monday.

    It probably helped that they had a high turn over rate.
    And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high. ~Ayrton Senna
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    Tom ServoTom Servo Member Posts: 104 ■■□□□□□□□□
    The hiring manager joined the band I was in at the time, and he hooked me up with a job. Every other job since has been a blind application, but that first one I had to know somebody. No idea where I'd be now if he hadn't given me that chance.
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    jws86jws86 Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I just got hired for my first help desk job last week. I start June 2nd. I have not completed my associates yet, have no certs, and have no actual job experience. I displayed my soft skills and desire to learn in my interviews. The requirements posted in the job were an associates degree or relevant experience, however they emphasized a laundry list of soft skills which I displayed.
    Currently studying for CCNA R&S
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    W StewartW Stewart Member Posts: 794 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I took the crappiest low paying job that would take me and then moved on to the next crappiest low paying job that would take me and give me valuable experience. Don't always be put off by years of experience if you feel like you can do the job either.
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    no!all!no!all! Member Posts: 245 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I took a $10/hr no benefits help desk position with my local government and boy was it terrible. Before that job I was on unemployment where I actually made more money. But, I studied and got some certs the year I was there and got out of there! I would just start throwing your resume out there regardless of whether or not you meet the requirements. Sometimes they'll be happy to take on someone who is eager to learn...best of luck!
    A+, N+, S+, CCNA:RS, CCNA:Sec

    "In high society TCP is more welcome than UDP. At least it knows a proper handshake" - Ben Franklin

    2019 Goals: CCNP:RS & relocate to St. Pete, FL!
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