First job in IT not what I had in mind

jasper_zanjanijasper_zanjani A+, Linux+, LPIC-1, Certified Associate in Python Programming (PCAP)Tampa, FLMember Posts: 62 ■■■□□□□□□□
I have been trying to elbow my way into the Florida tech industry for most of the past year. I have focused a lot of my effort on certifications with the goal of becoming a junior sysadmin. Unfortunately, luck has not been on my side, and as my finances have deteriorated I have decided to bite the bullet and go for a customer service position at a local MSP. The job is not really what I want, benefits won't kick in until December, and the pay ($17/hr) is lower even than what I was anticipating, which means my job search will really have to continue even while I try to perform well at the position. What do I do?
I'm also of two minds about the non-compete agreement, which is very broadly worded and apparently will prevent me from working for any other IT company in Florida for two years after my separation. It might very well be just a standard boilerplate non-compete agreement, but I'd hate to put my fate in the hands of a company that might potentially overreach.

Comments

  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,583 Admin
    Only customer service? Have you tried to get a SOC analyst position at a Florida-based MSSP like ReliaQuest?
  • MrsWilliamsMrsWilliams Junior Member Member Posts: 192 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I have been trying to elbow my way into the Florida tech industry for most of the past year. I have focused a lot of my effort on certifications with the goal of becoming a junior sysadmin. Unfortunately, luck has not been on my side, and as my finances have deteriorated I have decided to bite the bullet and go for a customer service position at a local MSP. The job is not really what I want, benefits won't kick in until December, and the pay ($17/hr) is lower even than what I was anticipating, which means my job search will really have to continue even while I try to perform well at the position. What do I do?
    I'm also of two minds about the non-compete agreement, which is very broadly worded and apparently will prevent me from working for any other IT company in Florida for two years after my separation. It might very well be just a standard boilerplate non-compete agreement, but I'd hate to put my fate in the hands of a company that might potentially overreach.
    First and foremost, I hope things get better. I wish you all the best.

    Secondly, this is a situation that is common amongst those attempting to achieve entry level positions. The good news is, most people use each and every position as a stepping stone. 

    I told someone in my family who's in college to start being competitive, now. With that I mean, study for certifications and preferably learn how to code and/or linux. It's way too many primarily knowledge based Windows IT staff in the industry.  With that in mind, in some areas the IT market is more competitive than others. In some areas you could apply today and might have an interview next week. In some areas it's almost like someone has to quit for a position to open up. What I am trying to say is, what sets you apart from the other applicants? Most organizations aren't going to hire a Jr. System Admin that has never had an IT job before in his/her life. Personally, I think MSP/Help Desk/ Call Centers will be beneficial for entry level individuals to gain foundational level experience. I am not saying stay there 5 years, I am saying you can gain entry level experience. 

    I put a few common IT certifications in indeed and placed the state as Florida. The numbers weren't impressive....to say the least...

    IF I were in your shoes and I had little luck with an entry level role and my funds were weakening, I would MOVE (to another state) and/or move in with family Some people are biased because they are from Florida. The FACT of the matter is, Florida isn't an IT HUB. Florida isn't one of those places people move to because the opportunities are endless and the pay is superb. 

  • sephiroth66sephiroth66 VMware VCA-DBT United StatesRegistered Users Posts: 21 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Well congrats on the job!  That's at least a foot in the door.

    That non-compete agreement sounds too broad to hold up in court - just my 2 cents (definitely not legal advise). They are all pretty much overall BS if you ask me. 

    The only issue you're going to have now is that if you want to bail after a year for a much better IT job, and then want to use them as a reference... That may be a little tricky.
    Certs: VCA-DBT
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  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    edited October 2019

    The only issue you're going to have now is that if you want to bail after a year for a much better IT job, and then want to use them as a reference... That may be a little tricky.
    I don't know, I feel if as long you are good employee and genuinely friendly with the managers at places that references aren't a hard thing to get.  I've only had one job out of like 4 or 5 IT positions that I've worked even 2 years at and can confidently say I'd get references from any of my previous managers.   I even talk to some still on occasion.  

    If another company is going to give me more money or a better position and the current company can't provide that, every manager I've had completely understood my reason to leave. 
  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,750 Mod
    I know you won't like this..get out of Florida! Come to a tech rich place like the DC metro area etc.
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • Fulcrum45Fulcrum45 Member Posts: 605 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I've never given non-competes any credence. I'm no lawyer but I have a hard time believing any piece of paper can tell you that you can't work your chosen profession in a geographical area. 
  • jasper_zanjanijasper_zanjani A+, Linux+, LPIC-1, Certified Associate in Python Programming (PCAP) Tampa, FLMember Posts: 62 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I know you won't like this..get out of Florida! Come to a tech rich place like the DC metro area etc.
    I moved from northern Virginia to Florida to be close to my daughter. I had been in NOVA as a government contractor for about 10 years.
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Member Posts: 1,403 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I have been trying to elbow my way into the Florida tech industry for most of the past year. I have focused a lot of my effort on certifications with the goal of becoming a junior sysadmin. Unfortunately, luck has not been on my side, and as my finances have deteriorated I have decided to bite the bullet and go for a customer service position at a local MSP. The job is not really what I want, benefits won't kick in until December, and the pay ($17/hr) is lower even than what I was anticipating, which means my job search will really have to continue even while I try to perform well at the position. What do I do?
    I'm also of two minds about the non-compete agreement, which is very broadly worded and apparently will prevent me from working for any other IT company in Florida for two years after my separation. It might very well be just a standard boilerplate non-compete agreement, but I'd hate to put my fate in the hands of a company that might potentially overreach.
    First and foremost, I hope things get better. I wish you all the best.

    Secondly, this is a situation that is common amongst those attempting to achieve entry level positions. The good news is, most people use each and every position as a stepping stone. 

    I told someone in my family who's in college to start being competitive, now. With that I mean, study for certifications and preferably learn how to code and/or linux. It's way too many primarily knowledge based Windows IT staff in the industry.  With that in mind, in some areas the IT market is more competitive than others. In some areas you could apply today and might have an interview next week. In some areas it's almost like someone has to quit for a position to open up. What I am trying to say is, what sets you apart from the other applicants? Most organizations aren't going to hire a Jr. System Admin that has never had an IT job before in his/her life. Personally, I think MSP/Help Desk/ Call Centers will be beneficial for entry level individuals to gain foundational level experience. I am not saying stay there 5 years, I am saying you can gain entry level experience. 

    I put a few common IT certifications in indeed and placed the state as Florida. The numbers weren't impressive....to say the least...

    IF I were in your shoes and I had little luck with an entry level role and my funds were weakening, I would MOVE (to another state) and/or move in with family Some people are biased because they are from Florida. The FACT of the matter is, Florida isn't an IT HUB. Florida isn't one of those places people move to because the opportunities are endless and the pay is superb. 

    I  agree, having Windows OS knowledge at the Sydtem Admin level  just doesn’t hold as much value  as it used.  I do not see a lot companies or temp agencies asking for Windows OS experience at the System admin level .  Maybe the supply is hire than the demand? I think the big career tracks are  web developers,programming, and security.

    The OP has a lot of passion, and I think that’s more important than all the certs, or college degrees that you can obtain

    I wouldn’t worry about the non compete.  I think it means you cannot work from another MSP for two years after separation. However,  you could work at any corporation . For example you could do IT support for Red Robbin 


    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,750 Mod
    I know you won't like this..get out of Florida! Come to a tech rich place like the DC metro area etc.
    I moved from northern Virginia to Florida to be close to my daughter. I had been in NOVA as a government contractor for about 10 years.


    Ah, okay. Understood.

    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • itdeptitdept Registered Users Posts: 104 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Hi Jasper, I "followed" you a bit with some of your certs. I know it is tough, I too had to take a job with a MSP with something close to your rate while people I went to college with who had less experience / skills got well paying jobs. You are probably going to have to tough it out in the trenches for a bit before the better paying gig comes. There is nothing stopping you from job hunting.
    Don't give a damn about the no compete clause. First you don't have to tell a former employer where you are going. Just say moving interstate. Companies (msp) basically only try to enforce if you get full time job for one of their customers.
  • EANxEANx Member Posts: 1,078 ■■■■■■■■□□
    NetworkingStudent said:

    I wouldn’t worry about the non compete.  I think it means you cannot work from another MSP for two years after separation. However,  you could work at any corporation . For example you could do IT support for Red Robbin 


    Not necessarily. I would say that a non-compete that prevents employment anywhere in the area would be overly broad and likely not hold up (check with a lawyer), it's very possible to have a non-compete to prevent him from going to work directly for a customer. The logic there being that a customer who grows and hires one of the MSP's employees will likely no longer be a customer of the MSP.
  • SweenMachineSweenMachine MCSA: Office 365, MCSA: Windows 7 (I am old), ITIL Foundations V3 Chicago areaMember Posts: 300 ■■■■□□□□□□
    itdept said:
    Hi Jasper, I "followed" you a bit with some of your certs. I know it is tough, I too had to take a job with a MSP with something close to your rate while people I went to college with who had less experience / skills got well paying jobs. You are probably going to have to tough it out in the trenches for a bit before the better paying gig comes. There is nothing stopping you from job hunting.
    Don't give a damn about the no compete clause. First you don't have to tell a former employer where you are going. Just say moving interstate. Companies (msp) basically only try to enforce if you get full time job for one of their customers.
    BINGO! The non-compete is not really so you cannot go to another MSP or tech company, it is so they have SOME protection if you bail to go to a client, because they potentially could lose the revenue if you were hired to replace their RMC. -- we have had employees go to rival MSP's and not even bothered even looking into the non-compete.

    MSP's can be great stepping stones. Trust me, I have worked for one for the past 7 years. Not only for moving up the ladder in the MSP (which I did from help desk up through to the executive team) but also for those who want to take the skills acquired and move to another company or corporation.

    -scott
  • TechGromitTechGromit A+, N+, GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 1,986 ■■■■■■■■□□

    I'm also of two minds about the non-compete agreement, which is very broadly worded and apparently will prevent me from working for any other IT company in Florida for two years after my separation. It might very well be just a standard boilerplate non-compete agreement, but I'd hate to put my fate in the hands of a company that might potentially overreach.

    Such a broad non-compete agreement will never hold up in court. They can't deny you from making a living. A more enforceable agreement would be your denied working for the company your contracted out to support for a period of two years, or if your used to support several companies, you could be prevented working for any of them for two years. But any entity that does not have a relationship with the firm you working for wouldn't fall under that agreement.

    These types of Non-complete agreements are basically scare tactics, they know damn well they will never hold up in court, but they are counting you will never challenge them on it. Personally I would never sign such an agreement, at least not in this point in my career.    

    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • draughtdraught Member Posts: 229 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited October 2019
    My first IT job was PC deployment $16/hr in SoCal... endless repetitive manual labor. The guys I worked with were all really blue collar you could describe them as that . We subcontracted a few guys one of them was homeless so I’ve worked with everyone   :D

    I used it as a chance to learn PC hardware troubleshooting.  even get exposure to wiring closets and how networks are configured on the physical layer the first time.

    Jusf be glad your first IT job was better than mine.

    That two year thing is nonsense. Like they are going to waste their money tracking down a helpdesk guy to see where he works. A good lawyer could kill it anway but that would never happen.

     for a CTO making 250K a year yes but not some helpdesk guy making $17/hr no.


  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Member Posts: 1,403 ■■■■■■■■□□
    edited October 2019
    draught said:
    My first IT job was PC deployment $16/hr in SoCal... endless repetitive manual labor. The guys I worked with were all really blue collar you could describe them as that . We subcontracted a few guys one of them was homeless so I’ve worked with everyone   :D

    I used it as a chance to learn PC hardware troubleshooting.  even get exposure to wiring closets and how networks are configured on the physical layer the first time.

    Jusf be glad your first IT job was better than mine.

    That two year thing is nonsense. Like they are going to waste their money tracking down a helpdesk guy to see where he works. A good lawyer could kill it anway but that would never happen.

     for a CTO making 250K a year yes but not some helpdesk guy making $17/hr no.


    I’m curious... did the homeless guy learn anything. Did he ask you for change? 😆

    My first IT gig , not really a job was PC setups. We just tore down PCs and the movers would pick up the PC equipment, and move it to the next floor.  Then we would setup the equipment. Honestly, all we did was plug stuf in. ( monitors,mice ect)  I thought yeah!!! This is some great experience. Well the guys that had done it for awhile just ran through the floor and plugged everything in as fast as possible.  

    I thought most of the guys on the team were interested in IT. Well only one guy went to school for IT. The rest of the guys worked at Burger King or some other fast food job during the day

    I had to stop doing that job, because I worked overnights full time, and I did that job during the day.  I honestly slept 3 hours a day when I did both jobs

    I took the job, because the recruiter said if I worked this job he would get me a help desk job. Well that never happened.  

    I worked full time st an MSP after finishing the gig
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • draughtdraught Member Posts: 229 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited October 2019
    No one would have known the guy was homeless but he had a big mouth and talked about living in a homeless shelter. He had a DUI on his record and when we found out we got rid of him.  No sympathy for him though he refused to go live with his mom out of pride. Dude learned nothing and was used for moving stuff only.

    What’s funny is your first job was to get into helpdesk. Now for me and maybe for you all I’m focused on is the next job past helpdesk.
  • SweenMachineSweenMachine MCSA: Office 365, MCSA: Windows 7 (I am old), ITIL Foundations V3 Chicago areaMember Posts: 300 ■■■■□□□□□□
    draught said:


    What’s funny is your first job was to get into helpdesk. Now for me and maybe for you all I’m focused on is the next job past helpdesk.
    And some of us think they will leave the helpdesk in a couple years and end up running one (I can't tell if that should be a facepalm or a high five) haha 17 years an counting lol

    -scott
  • Johnhe0414Johnhe0414 A+, Network+, Security+, Project+ USA, CARegistered Users Posts: 157 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I'm curious as to what was the description for the customer service position was? What are the responsibilities?
    Current:  A+ | Network+ | Project+ |Security+
    Working on: Cysa+
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