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Is staying in the break/fix - helpdesk line so bad?

I'm working my new job on help desk. I like the job, love the company, the pay and benefits rock, they company is stable and there is plenty of room for advancement in this business line. I can be tier 2 as quick as I desire and make the push to it, I can go further than that and plan to. Is it so bad to stay in this line of work for a while? I still plan on doing some certs on the side, but so much on this board I see people clamoring to get off help desk. Am I off or not?
"If you can't fix it, you don't own it"
"Great things have small beginnings."

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    networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
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    lsud00dlsud00d Member Posts: 1,571
    It's not bad, persay, but there is limited growth professionally both in financial and technical terms. By limiting yourself in either of these areas for an extended period of time you are potentially affecting your life long earnings, knowledge, and technical skillset.
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    PolynomialPolynomial Member Posts: 365
    IMHO? Yes.

    I see help desk and to an extent dedicated end user support as entry level. It has its place for a certain amount of time but it can overstay its welcome.

    Wandering from ticket to ticket with no plan or agenda means your life doesn't get into focus. You get comfortable (its technically easy work), learn to play it safe (its a lot of work to get a new job) and probably never get noticed by anyone (at your current employer or otherwise).
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    cyberguyprcyberguypr Mod Posts: 6,928 Mod
    Some people see helpdesk/desktop support as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. In my case I rode that pony for many years precisely for the reasons you mentioned: great company, great benefits, always adding responsibility, going from tier 1 all the way to service desk manager, and others. If you enjoy the job and keep progressing, I don't see any problem with that.Not everyone has a burning desire to keep escalating the ladder. Even though I moved on years ago, my old buddies stayed put and they are happy and find their jobs very fulfilling.
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    alexander77alexander77 Member Posts: 54 ■■□□□□□□□□
    It depends on the company you work with, my old company didn't offer much for promotions so I was begging to move out of the help desk because I personally didn't want to spend a few years without any advancement. Some of my old co-workers have been on the help desk for 7+ years and enjoy themselves so it depends on what you want.
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    Params7Params7 Member Posts: 254
    I'm using it to learn new technologies. There's no official training here, I'm just dumped into stuff and basically limited by how fast I can learn and pick up stuff. Lot of technologies I've never played with before, and I hate asking for help all the time, so its a great motivator to study these new technologies. Hope to progress to Tier 2, Tier 3 within 2-5 years, get some expert level certs at the same time, and finally move on out of helpdesk to management or consultation stuff (or if things really go well realize my dreams about becoming a movie director and enroll myself in a film school :P)
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    Cpl.KlingerCpl.Klinger Member Posts: 159
    lsud00d wrote: »
    It's not bad, persay, but there is limited growth professionally both in financial and technical terms. By limiting yourself in either of these areas for an extended period of time you are potentially affecting your life long earnings, knowledge, and technical skillset.

    I'm not necessarily looking to make this a lifetime career, but for the near term, it works for me. And I definitely have plans to keep learning. I'm getting ready to work through the books for Linux+ starting this weekend. I plan to take that test sometime later this fall, and maybe knock out some others along the way. Maybe this will be a stepping stone, maybe not. I just feel like there's a general disdain of all help desk.
    "If you can't fix it, you don't own it"
    "Great things have small beginnings."

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    Cpl.KlingerCpl.Klinger Member Posts: 159
    Params7 wrote: »
    I'm using it to learn new technologies. There's no official training here, I'm just dumped into stuff and basically limited by how fast I can learn and pick up stuff. Lot of technologies I've never played with before, and I hate asking for help all the time, so its a great motivator to study these new technologies. Hope to progress to Tier 2, Tier 3 within 2-5 years, get some expert level certs at the same time, and finally move on out of helpdesk to management or consultation stuff (or if things really go well realize my dreams about becoming a movie director and enroll myself in a film school :P)

    See, I like that about what I'm doing. I am getting to touch systems that I haven't ever really had experience with before. And the training is really good. But I'm not just limiting myself to that specific hardware.
    "If you can't fix it, you don't own it"
    "Great things have small beginnings."

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    AkaricloudAkaricloud Member Posts: 938
    As long as you're learning new things and have opportunities to advance there's really not much reason to leave. The moment you stop learning is the moment you need to look into leaving.

    It sounds like you're relatively new the the position but the main problem with most help desk positions is there really only is a limited amount of knowledge to be learned and it can quite easily be done in 6-months to a year. At that point unless you're able to advance internally then you really need to find new opportunities to learn which usually means finding a more advanced position elsewhere.
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    thronetmthronetm Member Posts: 87 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'm looking forward to the day I move off Helpdesk.

    There's only so much crap and stupid calls you can take before it starts to constantly irritate you..
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    Cpl.KlingerCpl.Klinger Member Posts: 159
    Akaricloud wrote: »
    As long as you're learning new things and have opportunities to advance there's really not much reason to leave. The moment you stop learning is the moment you need to look into leaving.

    It sounds like you're relatively new the the position but the main problem with most help desk positions is there really only is a limited amount of knowledge to be learned and it can quite easily be done in 6-months to a year. At that point unless you're able to advance internally then you really need to find new opportunities to learn which usually means finding a more advanced position elsewhere.

    The great thing with where I'm working right now is there are many lines of support I can go into, and I can go upwards in each of those and other lanes in the company as well. I'm not really limited to anything. And I do indeed plan to keep learning new things.
    "If you can't fix it, you don't own it"
    "Great things have small beginnings."

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    PolynomialPolynomial Member Posts: 365
    The great thing with where I'm working right now is there are many lines of support I can go into, and I can go upwards in each of those and other lanes in the company as well.

    This is to retain you. Continuing through endless support might not be the best thing for you though.
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    Cpl.KlingerCpl.Klinger Member Posts: 159
    Polynomial wrote: »
    This is to retain you. Continuing through endless support might not be the best thing for you though.

    Like I said, I do not necessarily intend for this to be a 40 year career, but longer maybe than the 1-2 years some people seem to think the max should be. And as you said, it might not be the best for me, but it could be. I can't stand programming, I'm not a fan of pure networking like Cisco stuff, but this is what I like. I like being handed something that doesn't work and being told to fix it. I enjoy the hunt for the fix. I also enjoy working with server side stuff, from what I've done and intend to work more on that.

    I guess I just don't understand the automatic hate for support roles. As the saying goes, the "world still needs ditch diggers."
    "If you can't fix it, you don't own it"
    "Great things have small beginnings."

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    paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Is it so bad to stay in this line of work for a while? .... Am I off or not?
    It sounds like you have a great combination of working someplace you enjoy with the possibility of advancement. You absolutely should be soaking it up and staying as long as you feel it's the right place for you. There's no magic hard-line on number of years. It could be another 2 years or 20 years if that works for you.

    As for being in support - IT is pretty much a support function for most businesses so I have never quite understood what it means to get out of support. If it's not direct end-user support, it's some other support function.
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    tbhoustontbhouston Member Posts: 32 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'm finding as i move along in my career, you never work a harder day than front line help desk..

    the more you move, the easier your job becomes--and they pay you more!
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    W StewartW Stewart Member Posts: 794 ■■■■□□□□□□
    As long as the work keeps you interested and your satisfied with the pay then it's fine. Personally i had to get out as soon as possible but it was a call center with no opportunity for advancement. The moment you start to feel like your current position is a dead end job is the moment you need to plan your escape. Until then, take advantage of every opportunity your current role has to offer.
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    kohr-ahkohr-ah Member Posts: 1,277
    Nothing wrong with it. I cant really restate anything that hasn't already been stated but as you said you like server side stuff too. I had a friend that is doing what you did sort of.

    He did helpdesk for about 3 - 4 years then started doing half help half server. He liked help desk but as he got more hands on the server stuff he started calling that "advanced helpdesk" since he said it was the same idea but a new system. Then now does servers completely.

    As long as you are learning new things to keep you able to move up and valuable there is nothing wrong with it in my opinion.
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    boobobobobobboobobobobob Member Posts: 118
    tbhouston wrote: »
    I'm finding as i move along in my career, you never work a harder day than front line help desk..

    the more you move, the easier your job becomes--and they pay you more!

    This is simply not true... i'm a network engineer and my job can be very stressful at times. When I was a computer tech the worst that happened was a few people didn't have computer access. Now if i mess up thousands of people can't get to the internet.
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    minitminit Member Posts: 77 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I posted a thread similar to this a week or so ago. If you are happy with what you are doing, and it provides a livable income for now, and into the foreseeable future then stick with it. Peoples person opinions on how they 'feel' about help desk and user support is really irrelevant. If you like it then have at it.

    Oh and just a side note to everyone else. If you work in I.T. and are not a manager, software developer or some type of architect, then you are support. Fix something that's broken? You're support. Deal with it. Lol.
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    redzredz Member Posts: 265 ■■■□□□□□□□
    This is such a confused thread. If you like it, do it. Would You Refuse a Promotion to Stay in a Job You Love? - WSJ.com. Simple... Duh?

    Personally, I don't like helping stupid people. I don't enjoy restarting 15-20 computers per day, or being screeched at for 10 minutes about how a user's printer doesn't work because they didn't think to plug it in. A well-conditioned user base that doesn't bother you with trivial garbage because they've learned how to restart computers and follow simply written step-by-step directions, with pictures, on drive mapping? That can make for a very fun and rewarding break/fix position. Sadly, the vast majority of users have the computer skills of a cave man, think they're Elders of the Internet, and carry themselves with the personal importance of a Caesar while viewing and treating IT support as a lesser class of human. This makes a majority of break/fix positions painful, hence the reason most people hate those positions and they're talked down on.

    By the way, minit, there are literally dozens of positions that fall outside the broad roles you listed that aren't support.
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    bobby27xbobby27x Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    ''Is staying in the break/fix - helpdesk line so bad? ''

    There's a need to be more specific on this one. You just started this job, and you are enjoying every aspect of it. So, what's with the dilemma ?
    IT/IS is 75% support. No, working in break/fix help-desk is not bad at all, especially if the ''package'' suits your expectations and you get back home without the urge to drink a 6 pack and smoke some. You have already identified the room for advancement so boredom will be out of the question for at least 2-3 years, the same applies for the financial increases in your salary. Learning new stuff can be easily obtained by moving on the horizontal ladder - prove you're good and ask to support a different client from your large Service Desk company - get to know new peeps and troubleshoot new stuff. New challenges can be obtained by pushing on the vertical ladder...are you tired of ticket logging, troubleshooting and dispatching ? Well, try the other side of a Service Desk...enroll on a Incident Controller, Knowledge Engineer, Quality Analyst, Team Leader positions.
    I can go on with a dozen of examples to how you can benefit from a help-desk position on the short to medium term. Now, in my opinion, the only question you should be asking is...what type of IT career I really want ? On the medium to long term, a help-desk position can limit your set of IT/soft-skills development, no matter how you put it. Nevertheless, you can aim to be a happy SDM with a good salary and 10 years of full of personal fulfillment and development in help-desk support.
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