Job update...offer..questions...yay..

EverythingPCownerEverythingPCowner Member Posts: 57 ■■□□□□□□□□
I have not been on here in a while, but I'm ready to start the Cert. drive again now that things are finally under control. A while back i posted a contract offer that i got...well...After a month an a half they offered me a fulltime position as the Director of Information Systems at the hospital. Fortunately my boss (CFO) had a fake ID in college too, so the background check was no biggie, haha. I have accepted the job pending negotiations on salary/benifits. She threw a base number of 60k at me to help me crunch numbers to decide if i want the job, but thats pre-negotiation. (Im hoping to get another 10kish....we'll see) I have been looking up salaries for job online and it seems like im going to be underpaid for the position, which usually gets about 90ish...or so says. I am not going to complain though since I'm only 20 years old...not like i need it anyways i guess. I do have one concern about the job though... I still plan on pursuing a full time career in security consulting and as amazing as this job i just got is...It's not screaming "pen-tester". I like being in charge and being the Director/Lan admin/ DBA (small hospital)...but im a little worried that the Director title may give the wrong impression and make me appear less technical. Perhaps i am making a big deal out of nothing. If nothing esle i will make good money, get some great exp. and finish school at the hospitals expense :). Also, I am very supprised with how accepting the people at the hospital are of my age. I was expecting them to constantly ask what i did to get the job or the name of my school....but they dont even mention it (thank god). Erm... I am administering our as/400, win2003 server env, PBX, and linux servers as well as controlling the IT budget. Somehow noone noticed that I had never touched an as/400 prior to the job, haha. I got it down now system BTW. If anyone with a similar position wants to shoot me some ideas/advice for a young all means...
Alabama or Bust!


  • keatronkeatron Security Tinkerer Member Posts: 1,213 ■■■■■■□□□□
    My advice, get as many books as you can find about AS/400. It is cool indeed, and it's also very robust. You will contiously find different ways of doing things (some ways possibly even better :D ). At one of my previous jobs my primary responsibility was to manage, maintain and troubleshoot a farm of AS/400 servers, boy did I learn a lot from that experience. Always keep your head in some kind of book, website, or forum. I think one of the best things we can do as IT professionals is continously enhance our skills and skill sets. I remember getting an AS/400 certification, like AS/400 Professional Sys. Admin. or something like that. Is that still offered? I would say look into it if it's still there. Same goes for all the other functional roles you have in your position, gain as much knowledge as possible (of course, do this without taking away from your management responsibility and focus).

    I was forced into a similar position at the age of 21 (IT Director for a City with about 400 users). Being in charge of the 911 center security, NCIC link (the FBI's National Crime Information Computer), and all other departments computing gave me a wealth of varying experience that I wouldn't have been able to obtain in most jobs. However, the pay sucked (city's are not known for excellent salaries) but the experience was second to none. Just make sure you're clear as to where you want your career to end up, and use every opportunity possible to make this job help catapult you into that existence.

    I will offer you two areas of caution.

    1. Be sure within your "self" that you can perform the job. In other words, make for dam sure you don't or haven't bit off more than you can chew.

    2. Be careful and be watchful. Just because no one has confronted you about your age or questioned your comptenence openly doesn't mean they aren't doing it.

    Good luck
  • fonduefondue Member Posts: 104
    Director of Information Systems at the hospital

    Wow a Director at 20, you're the man, all be it very young, lol! Since you're working in the the health care industry I would advise you to become intimatley familiar with HIPAA, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Yes it's boring paper work but it's part of most heath care IT jobs.
  • EverythingPCownerEverythingPCowner Member Posts: 57 ■■□□□□□□□□
    We are in the negotiation process now...unfortunately im answering to the CFO so that is not helping. I have been here at the hospital for going on 2 months now. I was hired as the Interim IS director with a contract of 3 months so i know the job, the people, and the envirement overall already. The job itself is the least of my worries. Since I have been here we have implemented a pacs system, preprinted forms, complete network upgrade, new pri and extensive changes to our phone and data service plans/vendors, and gotten a new as400... lets just say i walked into a mess and it will never be that hecktic again. But now that i have gotten most of that cleaned up i have all the time in the world to work on new projects as i think of them. From what i can tell having healthcare experiance is a plus in itself as well as as400. keatron, If you have any useful information on the as400 that would be great. I have the basic administration down (users,printers,maintaining the existing, month end) looking for basic RPG. My main concern is i want to relocate @ 20 and accept a position like this with my given credentials. I will be accepting the job pre-mcse, pre-cissp, and pre-ccie, which will affect the base pay, and the only way up from here is...well corperate I guess. I will look into the certification piece, but i do know that will be paid for as long as i can justify it (which is not hard). Ultimately i want to either be a CIO at the corperate level or a security consultant and i would like to be established by time I am about 26 or 27ish. I think this job will help lead me toward CIO but it may confuse people if i pursue the technical consulting...i may be wrong though, any input there? The way i look at life is what can i be tomarrow and not how much can i make now. The only people that question my age are the people who dont get what they want or dont like my new methods. Its been 2 months now so I have established my credibility throughout the hospital already. Yea HIPAA is strict, but so are my group policies so HIPAA has helped me explain to many users why they cannot have access to stuff. Ultimatetly i am responsible for compliance so i definately need to do some more auditing to make sure im a-ok. What certs should I go after...should i go ahead and take the MCSE tests as planned prior to the oportunity or should I focus my energy on cissp/ccie or finishing school up? Just out of curiosity...what do you mean you were forced into that position? Meh, time to go explain to the CFO why im worth what im asking...again. Anymore advice or good sources of information for Directors would be great :) thanks.
    Alabama or Bust!
  • strauchrstrauchr Member Posts: 528
    Is it just me or does it seem like there is no way in hell someone of that age, no matter what the experience could be an IT Director, really. I mean I am 26 and have tons of experience, including contract negotions and project management but no way could I really be a Director, like a real Director.

    Having said that it kind of sounds like you are just the IT guy for the hospital rather than a Director with responsibility over teams and making decisions on the future direction of the hospital. But if your worried about this experience not taking you to the other technical areas you want (the only way from here is corporate as you say) then don't worry too much because most large companies won't rate your Director title much, although it may help with getting in over other candidates if you have the technical skills.

    I don't mean to have a go at you but it just seems a bit silly to have someone in that position with limited experience.

    Anyway, criticism aside, you can change your job title to be something like senior admin or whatever and push the fact you were responsible for the business side of things as a bonus to your technical skills. That makes you sound like your more technical than business. When you want to go business you can switch it around, that is what I have done pushing more towards project management than technical engineering. It does work, its just putting a twist on your resume and how you market yourself.
  • strauchrstrauchr Member Posts: 528
    And just a note about your salary - don't expect too much, most Directors have 10 years experience minimum with some technical certs a business degree (or some sort of business qualification). That is what will = that 90k.
  • EverythingPCownerEverythingPCowner Member Posts: 57 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Could you explain the difference in duties between the IT guy and the "real director"... then perhaps i can clarify which one my duties fall under. I do have 5 years exp. in IT, 3 as a lan admin for a fortune 500 and EXCELENT social skills, image is everything ;)
    Alabama or Bust!
  • keatronkeatron Security Tinkerer Member Posts: 1,213 ■■■■■■□□□□
    What I mean by being forced into it was this;

    I was a police officer, working the 6 pm to 6 am shift. Finishing up my CS degree during the day. One day, the police cheif and the mayor called me into the mayor's office and said "we need an IT director and you're the only internal person who's close to qualified". In the government world, they always advertise open positions internally before they are advertised externally. If someone internally is qualified, it makes HR's job much easier. Long story short. They told me they didn't need me on the police force and were thinking of "trimming" the department down, since I was the rookie of the force, I knew that meant I'd be the first to go. I needed a steady job so I had to take the IT Director position.

    Funny thing is, they hired about 6 new officers a year after I was made IT Director for the entire city. In hindsite, it's one of the best things that ever happened to me, but boy was I intimidated at first.
  • EverythingPCownerEverythingPCowner Member Posts: 57 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Just out of curiosity, why was it that they knew you were "close to qualified"? Had you mentioned you were interested in IT prior?
    Alabama or Bust!
  • keatronkeatron Security Tinkerer Member Posts: 1,213 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Because 1. You typically have to rotate shifts (6 weeks 6am to 6pm, then 6 weeks 6pm to 6am). The only way I could get a maintained night shift was switch out with other people which meant I had to submit a request and reasoning, which was to finish school. Besides, everyone on the force knew what my major was. I'd worked on fellow officers home PC's more times than I can remember, even worked on the mayor's laptop before. So it wasn't a secret, nor did I ever try to make it one. It's very hard to work in a close nit environment and go to college without anyone knowing what you're majoring in. Keep in mind these people were my friends. I was only two semesters from graduating at that time. Like I said, it was one of the best things to ever happen. I ended up with extremely flexible hours, and the last year of college paid for.
  • strauchrstrauchr Member Posts: 528
    I have no doubt you have excellent social skills and project a great image, you don't get Director jobs without being able to do that.

    I guess my impression of a Director is someone who oversees a sizable IT department with a few front line managers underneath him and all he (or she I should add) is look after the business side of things such as budgets, resourcing, future direction of company and is involved in developing the business etc. generally these are seriously experienced guys, 10 years plus.

    An IT guy is to me (and I mean no degradation by it, I have been it before) the guy that looks after everything IT plus some extras that people like to throw our way, photocopiers, faxes, phones, toasters icon_lol.gif

    Anyway, the point I was really trying to make is not to worry about this position hurting your future technical aspirations, just market yourself the way you want.

    well done on your new position and I hope it all goes well. I think it would be great experience.
  • EverythingPCownerEverythingPCowner Member Posts: 57 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I understand what you mean. This is a small hospital though in BFE alabama, so I suppose it is a mixture of both. I will be controlling the budget for the hospital, negotiate contracts, and future growth of the hospital (as far as IT goes). I will also be acting as the network admin as well with only one employee. I would say it is about 50/50ish. Just for the record i will be 21 in december. I was hired based on my informal conversation with him when i was not even looking for another job; there was no interview. The CIO of the compay that owns this hospital was intrigued by my ability to think way way outide the box and come up macgyver style solutions to large problems. It helps when you hear "you remind me of myself when i was your age" from a CIO, haha. You are right though, generally a director has 10 years+ experiance. I just made it very clear what i wanted to do with my life, when it was going to happen, and how determined i was to make it happen. I also looked him in the eye and told him that although i am well suited for the position; this job is not what i ultimately want to do and i will mearly be using it for experiance over the next couple years. So in all reality i think he gave me the job because he wants me to succeed for whatever reason. Keatron: I see what you mean now. Im glad to hear it was a good experiance for you. I hope i can say the same in a few years. They pay for 80% of school, so i will have to pony up some money. thanks for everyones advice :)
    Alabama or Bust!
  • EverythingPCownerEverythingPCowner Member Posts: 57 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Haha, I think you were right about the salary. It appears to be non-negotiable. Can't say i didnt try though.
    Alabama or Bust!
  • unknown1234unknown1234 Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    $60k??? Wow. I manage 7 network servers, classified and unclassified, 4 cisco routers, 15 xylan switches and over 400 user accounts, 260 workstations, and I'm also the security officer and I only make $34k a year...wait I'm in the military, lol. Can't wait until I get out and make a little bit 2010 ::begins to cry::
  • determinedgermandeterminedgerman Member Posts: 168
    Hey EverythingPCowner,

    I wish you all the luck in the world with that position. I have not been so fortunate and only got into the IT industry when I was 23.

    You will do well in the job if you want to and if you put the time in. As you said just look into the future and deceide what you want to be then.

    Congratz on the job.
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