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Job snapshot: Support professional

This week, two support professionals weigh in on the benefits and drawbacks of their chosen profession.

This is another installment of a series within the Career Management blog in which I feature a short survey of a tech pro in a particular specialty. It's not a comprehensive look, just a snapshot of what the person likes best and likes least about his or her chosen profession. I'm hoping it will give a little anecdotal direction to those of you who are just starting out in IT or are looking to change direction. (If anyone wants to talk about their job for the benefit of our readers, feel free to answer the three questions below and email them to toni.bowers@cbs.com)

This week we look at the Support professional. For a change of pace and a different perspective, I'm featuring two support pros--one from the U.S. and one across the pond in the UK. The first comes from Nick Nielsen, an experienced Support pro and long-time member of TechRepublic. The second is from Jeff Dray, a TechRepublic blogger. Here goes!

Nick provides end-user support for grocery stores and other retailers.  "I work on all the hardware you see and don't see when you go shopping: the point-of-sale equipment and peripherals (scanners, scales, printers, displays, etc), store PCs, printers, service scales (what the deli uses to weigh your cold cuts and cheese), and store networking equipment.  You never know when or where you'll see me.  One day I may be the person telling you, "I'm sorry, this lane is closed.  I'm a service tech." The next day, I may be the legs at the top of a ladder, the head popping up from behind a counter, or the butt sticking out of a checkstand."

What do you like best about what you do?

Wow! Where do I start? I think I'm the luckiest person in the world, because I love my work.

Variety.  In a call-based environment, you never have the same day twice.  You may see similar (or identical) calls, but something is always changing: the location, the people, the time of day, the actual cause of the problem. The sense of accomplishment.  It's always a rush to be thanked by the person who, just 10 minutes ago, was cussing because he couldn't do his job.  And even if you don't get a verbal "Thank you," knowing that the person is able to resume his work is gratifying. The challenge.  Most of my calls are routine, but there are always the "10-percenters," the outages that can't (or won't) be cleared by the usual methods and require actual knowledge and thought over and above the day-to-day routine.  If only they didn't come in waves and take 5 times as long to clear... The activity.  I don't mind sitting around doing nothing, but I hate working behind a desk.  In this job, I get to work almost anywhere except a desk.  I also enjoy the travel.  My territory is 235 miles end-to-end, from Augusta, GA to Myrtle Beach, SC.  Since I also love to drive, this is not a problem. The personal interactions.  It's always good to get out and meet different people.  Although the store workers don't change that often, the customers are almost always different.

What do you like least?

The frustrations:

  • Having to tell my customers that I can't fix the problem today and have to order parts.  I realize I can't anticipate every outage, or carry every part I need without a much larger vehicle, but I still find it irritating when it happens.
  • The calls that could have been cleared over the phone if only I had the right information or the help desk had left well-enough alone, not tried to fix it over the phone, and just opened a ticket.  Usually, by the time I get those, the phone fix is out of the question.
  • Waiting on hold for the customer's corporate support because, while I have full access, including root, to the store servers, I don't have sufficient access on store PCs to update DNS or IP settings.
  • Knowing what the problem is and that it is beyond my access level, but being ignored by those with the ability to fix it because I'm "just a service tech."

What background/education prepared you for the role?

I started working with computers in high school. The local college offered an extension course to introduce high school students to data processing on their Burroughs 3500.  We spent two evenings a week learning BASIC and FORTRAN and punching cards.  From there, it was the college radio station where I discovered component-level electronics, then 24 years as an electronics tech in the U.S. Air Force.  Say what you will about the military, they have occupational training down pat.  I learned basic electronics and troubleshooting procedures in the first year and had 23 years to hone those skills, working on everything from radios and antennas to telephone switches and handsets.  I also got my Associate's degree and became the "computer guy" when PCs were introduced in the 80s.

After I retired from the USAF, I was hired as a desktop support tech based on my troubleshooting skills and electronics knowledge.  After that contract went away, I tried teaching electronics and PC repair in a high school career center for a few years, obtaining my A+ certification and almost completing the Cisco Academy CCNA course as part of that job.  After discovering that teaching at that level was bad for my mental health, I came back into tech support, hired again for my troubleshooting skills.  The broad experience over the years has helped me understand that modern electronics are just specialized computers; what differs is the output from each computer.

I also like to "schmooze."  Chatting with customers allows me to get their impressions of the equipment, what they saw as the symptoms, and their frustrations with hardware and software

What qualifications would I say are most important? Adaptability and logical thought processes.  Although a desire to learn is important, if you can't apply your equipment knowledge to the problem in front of you, you'll never succeed as a support tech.

And from Jeff in the UK:

What do you like best about your job?

The best thing about my job is the freedom, although I work mainly by myself, I work for a very large multinational company, which is based in the USA, but my involvement is being at the end of a smartphone, driving around some of England's, and therefore the world's, finest countryside alone and with the chance to take in the sights and sounds of the countryside.

Only today I pulled to the side of the road and spent a few happy minutes watching a pair of buzzards soaring along a ridge of the Purbeck hills searching for prey on a cold but sunny winter day.

I enjoy visiting different customers and derive a great deal of personal satisfaction from solving problems with customer's equipment. I relish the chance to think laterally to find solutions.

What do you dislike about it the most?

There are a couple of things that I dislike about my job, one is the mileage I cover in the car; last year, which included five weeks holiday and 10 weeks in hospital and at home recovering, I drove 48,000 miles, which on British country roads is a very long way. I no longer drive anywhere for pleasure.

The other thing I dislike is the customer who will never be satisfied with anything I do. These people are usually trying to use their machinery in a way that it was not designed for and despite my best efforts, I cannot make it do what they want it to do.

What education/background qualified you for your job?

I started work as a field service engineer after nearly 20 years working in IT support.  I put myself through Comptia A+ and N+ and have taken a few Microsoft and Novell courses over the years.  The biggest part of my background is a vast amount of experience of customer relations and problem solving. Technical skills can be learned, or read from a book, but good communication and customer-handling skills are built up from long years of practice, partly from remembering what went well and what got me into trouble; both are equally valuable.

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About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

43 comments
jred
jred

I've been doing support for small businesses (1-50 users) for 15 years. I'm just about burned out, and moving into a completely unrelated field. Primarily because of the users. Sure, once you've fixed the problem, they're thankful for two or three seconds. The rest of the time everyone is ticked off & hates you.

Quasar Kid
Quasar Kid

I have been in a front line support position for several years now. I am expected to know all about Novell servers, Windows servers, Active Directory, IDM, security, email, Word, Excel, Access, Powerpoint, and 197 other "approved" software packages. And we have even talked about mainframe support issues. I quit counting the number of calls from high level technical people who can't even troubleshoot a simple display or connection issue. Somebody with CNA, MCSE, A+, N+ wonders why he can't connect to the network. Try removing the check "Login to Workstation Only".

ISPSupport
ISPSupport

As a fresh college CS graduate working as the only phone support tech for a small ISP (2500 customers)I can attest to the importance of people skills in support. I had the same technical qualifications as others who applied, but the reason I got the job was knowing how to deal with people. The previous owner of my position was a crotchety old man who had no patience and rarely returned calls or emails. When you are a one man show, there is no one else you can shift the blame or workload too. You have to be able to deal with every type of customer and nothing makes me happier than a customer thanking me for doing my job well. I don't know if I'll be doing support 10 years from now, but I do know that I love helping people.

glenstorm_98
glenstorm_98

For me, support was a phase in my career that lasted formally for about two years. From there, opportunities presented themselves, and I moved on to technical writing, programming, then systems engineering, along with systems architecture. I regard my time as a support tech as seminal for me, not terminal. I wonder: For how many people is this particular title/line of work transitional, and for how many is it a more or less permanent career resting place?

OurITLady
OurITLady

That depends entirely on the company and environment you are working in. I have had many jobs where what you said is true and the customers only appreciate you for very brief periods then it's back to ticked off. However I have also had 3 or 4 excellent jobs where the staff really appreciate that you are doing your best, they are appreciative of what you do, and they actually let you know on a regular basis - not just thanks and "back to the cupboard" until next time. I've found that working in smaller environments rather than big business tends to lend itself more to the appreciative side (general not absolute rule) - in the bigger businesses you're just another cog in the wheel, so to speak, whereas in the smaller companies they can actually see what you are doing all day every day and know that you're on their side. Also it helps when the company is more social, again you get to know your clients better and have a better working relationship. I've been in the business for around the same time as yourself, worked for all sorts of companies and have definitely been at the burnout stage in some of them. Last time I changed jobs I figured that was it, if this one didn't work out I was leaving IT. Thankfully I got lucky as the guys (and gals) I support here have over the last few months managed to remind me why I started this career in the first place.

symon
symon

You can show all sorts of intimacy only to a small office. If office users grows to more than 15 persons, communication skill is not enough. If more than that, we really need Service Level Agreement as a benchmark for everyone responsibility.

TheProfessorDan
TheProfessorDan

When I hear you say that you love helping people I wonder if you have possibly hit on a skill that can't be taught. I used to work with a guy that used the support role as a through way to a database position. He was a very intelligent guy. He graduated with honors from Penn State. He understood technology inside and out. But the area that he struggled with was dealing with the end user. I recall a major argument between this guy and our manager because our manager wanted him to call back the end user and he refused because the end user was being difficult. I believe that all of the education in the world couldn?t teach this guy good customer service skills because he just didn?t like people.

dsnethen
dsnethen

So often, people view support (help desk and desktop) as a starting point or a place to "rest". I personally view being a support professional just as important as any job and can be a career like any other. Being able to directly interact with a customer, empathize, sympathize and meet their needs is as just important as any other job in IT. The customer looks to the support professional to be their voice, to understand their needs, resolve their issues when they can and push their issues to the correct support area when unable to resolve. When the customer calls for help, they often view the entire IT organization through that one point of entry. The support person may take credit for things they did not fix and blame for things they did not break, but they have to represent the IT organization professionally and be the voice of the customer up the IT chain and the voice of IT back to the customer. If you aspire to be a server admin or project manager, the skills you can acquire providing direct customer support will make your skills toolbox that much more powerful. If your desire is to be a support professional, then be proud of the work you do, treat your profession as a key part of IT and enjoy your career choice.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Support is not a resting place – there's rarely time to rest. There are the days when everything goes right or when there are few or no new calls just as you're ready for a break, but they are few and far between. When those days come, they're almost better than vacation. I understand what you are saying. For some people, support IS a resting place; those are the people who give support a bad name. For others, myself included, support is a choice. I've been a manager. I wasn't very good at it and I didn't much like it. I like the hands-on work in support, so that's what I do. Am I ever going to make six figures a year at it? Only if I'm extremely lucky. Could I make more doing something else? Of course. Am I willing to give up income for work that I enjoy? Yes. Are people for whom money is the only reason to work ever going to understand? No.

anne.powel
anne.powel

I like support. Even if the "thrill" of fixing something and getting a thank you only lasts a few minutes, that's the part that is remembered...not the user who never is happy. Fortunately, for me there are not very many of those. If all you remember when you leave for the day is the unhappy parts, it's the wrong job. If you remember the successes and the nice people, you're fine. And I'd go nuts behind a desk all day writing code!

johnm
johnm

A career in support is hardly a "resting place" because what is being supported is never sitting still. It is a good base position for people who are technically minded but like to work with people (even the stressed ones). I'm currently at a community college working on an IT support staff that has grown from three to about fifteen people over the past eighteen years. You can't point to big accomplishments in such an environment but there is a lot of satisfaction in seeing students graduating better-prepared than they would have been without the technology we used to get them through. Actually, in our case, we couldn't have done it without them. Several years ago, the students voted to assess themselves a "tech fee" to purchase technology to improve their learning. Without that money, we would have almost nothing for equipment purchases and upgrades. Subtracting the years spent in schools where I couldn't practice the craft, I've been in Support for about forty-five years now. I went into the Navy for electronics training, finished the basic school, and then was sent to school to be a 35mm Motion Picture Operator. The theare burned down while I was en route so I was put to work in typewriter repair (manual, not electric), then Teletypewriter (tm) equipment and on to a huge variety of electrical/electronic systems. I became a Jack of All Trades (JOAT) and have stayed with that type of work ever since. There was an excursion into local banking, where I did everything that was computerized, from database design and data input to form leter designer, office automation and spreadsheet design and integration. I supplemented that by moonlighting as a tech writer of repair manuals for a local manufacturer of high-speed dot-matrix printers. Then came the college job and continued expansion of scope and new systems. It hasn't been a resting place but it is still Support. It is hectic, evolving and stressful, but there are few jobs that give more feeling of accomplishment when you have had a successful day. If you have that type of personality, why do something else?

rosenfeldk
rosenfeldk

I have been in support now for 10 years.Came to this job with no prior experience, but a solid scientific background with some computer classes. My bachelor degree was in music! They hired me based on my communication skills. They said they could teach me everything else. They were right. I have since received customer service awards and promoted three times. I think you could stay in a support position only if you have communication skills, can speak to users in a language they can understand, and like to talk to people. The first contract with the military was a dream job! It was for approx 150 users, and 2-3 support techs including me, and 2 sys/network admins. They taught me everything! They thought of our job as a big sandbox to play around and find what interests us. We did everything from standard user support to basic sys admin stuff. Whatever we wanted, they would mentor us. My job now is also in small environment, although there is not as much interesting work. I still do everything, but there are no domain servers or exchange servers to mess around with. I still do all aspects of support and build/maintain app servers. I would never, ever be in a call center or large environment. I need to have my hands on machines.

OurITLady
OurITLady

I think whether you view the job as transitional depends on your personality to a large degree. I've been doing various forms of tech support for 15 years now and can't imagine doing anything else with computers. I love the people side of the job, which seems to be missing from a lot of the other possibible specialties, but I also know a lot of techs who have moved on from support because they hated having to deal with stressed out people who couldn't work and wanted it fixed NOW please. It can be a great step up to any number of roles if that's where you want to go, but I believe it can also make an interesting and rewarding career as a stand-alone job role.

ScottLander
ScottLander

I fully agree with your agreement ;)

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

If the Suport Person lacks good social / personal skils then this is generally the case.

dacentaur
dacentaur

I used to work as a Soft Skills trainer for various tech support organizations and I wholeheartedly agree with you. I have succeeded in helping many techies understand what empathy is. Yet, even though they got to understand it, they could NOT do it and as a consequence they constantly received miserable customer satisfaction scores. Strangely enough, they expected other people to understand and empathize with them! Go figure.

JonGauntt
JonGauntt

After hiring my way through a slew of techs over the last few years, I can honestly say I would rather have a waiter that likes to play PC video games apply for the job than a "technical" applicant that just likes to stay in the dark and work on PCs. I think more and more we are seeing that the front end of IT needs to have good to excellent communications skills. If you prefer to not be bothered by people, learn programming. That's not a slam against programmers, but it fits the job description better. The techs I see that succeed are either on the phone or face to face with their "customers" and the ones that fail just gripe about "users". You can teach some of both, but I would rather take someone that has people skills and teach them how to fix a computer than take someone that can fix a computer and not be able to work with customers. The last is a recipe for frustration for you, the tech and the customer (if you keep them).

efehling57
efehling57

I worked as a field engineer for a major computwe firm in the 80's and 90's and they initiated a program which stressed customer/people skills which they dubbed the "LOVE-Q technique (Listen, Observe, Verify, Explain, and ask Questions). It was mandatory for all engineers to attend. It proved very helpful when dealing with stressed out clients, but of course you are always going to have some techs that are good at fixing the equipment, but very poor at fixing the customer. If you can do both well, you will always shine. Kind of like a skilled doctor who has a good bedside manner vs. the one who can cure your ills, but leaves you with a poor impression.

Snak
Snak

... but that doesn't mean they can be learned. I recall a situation where people were failing to fill in an online form properly because the default focus fell on the Cancel button, not the Submit button. When I asked the programmer to change the focus, his response was 'Why? I'd never hit Return on a form with more than one button'. After patiently explaining that not everyone was as bright as him(!), he agreed to change it, reluctantly, moaning, but he did it. "The problem", he explained, "is that 50% of the population are below average intelligence". Whilst this must be true, using it as an excuse is demonstration that he's probably in the right job. I could teach/show him my people skills and explain the how's and why's, but to put him onto a help desk? No. Never.

ISPSupport
ISPSupport

I don't think you can ultimately teach good people skills. You can demonstrate to others what those skills are, but if your nature is to be short tempered and impatient, those are eventually going to show through to the end-user. I think a lot of the problems with tech support (especially Tier 1/2) is that for most, it is a temporary job or a stepping off point. I'd venture a guess that 95+% of lower level tech support could care less if their end-users problem is resolved. They are just looking for the quickest way to get off the phone or transfer it to someone else. I worked at a large call center doing tech support in college one summer. They hired a lot of college kids in the summer and would turnover a large amount of them once school started in the fall. I was one of these, but the difference was I felt that I should actually attempt to fix the clients problem. I don't know how many calls I got that ended up being repeat customers who had been told to do a system restore when the problem ended up being a hardware problem with the printer. There were even a few people who split after the 5 weeks of paid training without ever taking a real call on the floor. I guess I'm just a different breed.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

[i]...they have to represent the IT organization professionally and be the voice of the customer up the IT chain...[/i] Of the many things forgotten (or never known) by just about everybody in the IT chain outside direct support, this probably ranks first. The support tech is the one who sees all the systems come together at the user. There's nothing more frustrating than attempting to get a problem addressed by the appropriate specialist and being told you can't possibly know where or what the problem is because "you're just support." My favorite response is "Then since you're the expert, you come on out and fix it. I've changed everything except the user and it still doesn't work." etu

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

These aren't the droids you're looking for. Move along.

santeewelding
santeewelding

Just a few short of where you find yourself (39 years). Thank you. Have to go wider, and wider still, to focus effectively on the narrow.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

FWIW, I know where you can put your hands on either a Kleinschmidt or a Mighty Mite (if you still want to). ;)

RFATech
RFATech

Some people just aren't cut out for this, others feel that tech support is beneath their skill level. The humbling of the latter is one of the best experiences you can have as a Help Desk Team Lead or higher. Nothing better than an angry/cocky CS or MIS major discovering that there is more to it than just punching tickets. I personally feel that prior help desk work should be one of the requirements for sys admin/network engineering positions. That way you understand two things, 1) The Help Staff isn't completely made of idiots. 2) You know how to deal with customers/users. Personally I'm still in it for the interaction with people and the ever changing work load.

sdbett
sdbett

PERFECT COMMENT. Meeting the people that control the "Human interface" areas is of most import. Computer systems are "Dumb" and rely on the management skills of the owner. It needs to be understood that "Users" will be stressed at various points. "People" within the I.T. environment remain our biggest asset - If they have the accumen and fortitude.

TheProfessorDan
TheProfessorDan

I have seen people that fall into both categories. I think that a lot people see the support as a stepping stone to other areas in the IT field. But what is missed is that the reason that the support role is such a good launching point for other careers in the IT field is that the support role generally touches all areas of technology from desktop support to security to development. One other note regarding those that see the support role as transitional. Often times these people find that the support role is harder than they orginally thought.

ScottLander
ScottLander

Let me tell you, I used to provide Deskside type support in a lab environment of top notch PROGRAMMERS and developers. While I met many who were on the ball and knew computers well, there were plenty that were quite scary to deal with. They were exactly like the person you described.. smart in their roles, but definitely not people persons, not even with the bare essentials. So much so, I used to wonder how some of them ever managed to get jobs in the first place. But they knew their stuff when it came to programming, however, they really lacked in multiple other personal/technical categories besides just people skills.

dacentaur
dacentaur

or they would never make programs that have good user interfaces. Programmers who do not understand people and don't like people should never be allowed to work on projects requiring a UI. The best place for them is probably writing device drivers. :D

TheProfessorDan
TheProfessorDan

but you can't teach a positive attitude or teach someone how to truly care.

TheProfessorDan
TheProfessorDan

I think you appreciate what you have achieved when you climb the ladder as well. I am blessed to have a good job but I had to pay my dues. I did crappy contract jobs that had me travelling the U.S. and commuting all around the Southeastern U.S. but I look back at it with a badge of honor.

thomas.l.deskevich
thomas.l.deskevich

I think pride (the bad kind) and ego are a big part. I have never really had a job that was a stepping stone. But tried to do my best. Of course, my first job in a Department store was not taken as seriously becuase I was not emotionally mature enough. I think the person who refuses to do his job as an entry level person will most likely be a difficult person the whole way up the ladder, if they even climb a rung.

Daniel Breslauer
Daniel Breslauer

I think my story illustrates quite well how one can advance in IT from a call center tech support position. After immigrating to Israel, I found a job in my native language (not English) at a call center, selling newspaper subscriptions. When that project was closed, I managed to get transferred to a technical support team, working for a major networking equipment manufacturer (mainly WiFi equipment like routers, but also NAS and media devices). When that project was also closed after almost 3 years, I went looking for another job. Did phone and email support for an Israeli software company then, supporting worldwide customers (translation software). Didn't like the job, the environment there, so I left and went looking for a different job. Then I found a job ad for a job that was actually way above my level - being the tech support person for the Israeli branch of a major US-based outsourcing firm. Now I maintain 90 laptops (and 10 desktops, but I'm migrating all users to laptops), am responsible for maintaining the local phone (VoIP) and internet lines (higher maintenance of the switches etc is done remotely), software installations, local IT policy, and education. This job actually required experience and a BS in Computer Science / Computer Engineering, MCDST, and a lot more - while I have don't have these formal qualifications, I brought a wealth of experience in technical support and troubleshooting in a multilingual environment and familiarity with the latest technologies, combined with the willingness to learn and grow. While officially I'm FLSA (First Line Support Associate), unofficially I also fulfill the local roles of System Engineer and System Administrator, due to the fact that I'm the only Israel-based employee of our tech division. Among the things I did during the past half year, since I joined the company, are fixing the office's local network connectivity (there was a DHCP issue which I fixed), upgrading 80% of the facility to Windows 7 so far (with 10% on Vista and 10% on XP), setting up a new Windows-based backup system for all users, arranging for IT education and continuity, developing remote user support strategies, and taking a major role in keeping this critical branch of the company operating. I'm very grateful to my current employer for this chance and greatly enjoy my job - more than any previous job. :) I'm able, within the company, to obtain certifications such as MCTS, MCSA, MCSE, CCNA, CCNP, maybe CCVP, and in the future even more qualifications such as HP, Oracle and Red Hat certifications. Basically, by doing a good job at customer support on the phone and gaining a lot of experience, I'm able to 'skip' 4 years at university getting a BS, and making it right into the big enterprise world.

TheProfessorDan
TheProfessorDan

You are a different breed in a good way. I also think that it comes down to pride in your work, which it sounds like you have. I guess I always learned that the most important job is the job that you are doing right now. I try to teach my kids to take pride in everything they do, no matter how minor it seems. Keep up the positive attitude.

gregvmiller
gregvmiller

I started out working on a Help Desk in a call center environment. I can remember the very first phone call I ever took and that was 7 years ago. I can honestly say that working as a Help Desk technician and dealing with customers over the phone significantly increased by people skills. I know am the IT Support Engineer of a small company with around 100 employees. I am the only IT person in the company and while there are days I get asked or approached with the dumbest requests, I can honestly say I love being an IT Support Professional. You get to know everyone in the company, and being a one man shop I get my hands on everything. While help desk is just a pit stop for some and even when I first started out I DID NOT want to do it. That experience has got me where i'm at today.

dvanduse
dvanduse

Started out as Support guy and moved into Network Admin but I discovered I was loosing some of the knowledge with the desktop. Now my primary job is still Network Admin but I still hop on a support ticket every now and then to better understand what is going on, computer wise, with applications and desktop and to meet and be seen with the people in the company.

dfa19
dfa19

I've worked the Desktop engineer role as well as help desk as well as Network administrator who also was desktop engineer right now I'm a POS admin for BCBG Max Azria and honestly I love it all and will continue to shift as long as the pay is good, in certain companies the desktop engineer has there hand in everything just as stated above and it can be very interesting its all about what you want to do considering IT has various different positions and potential areas of expertise.

TheProfessorDan
TheProfessorDan

Unfortunately, some of the foolish and lavish behavior put the company into financially difficult times and they did a huge layoff a few years back.

TheProfessorDan
TheProfessorDan

If you consider what a desktop support engineer does, in most environments, they work with all applications in one capacity or another. They have their hand in security related matters like accounts management. In some environments, they are involved with purchases like workstations and printers. They specialize in working with vendors because the desktop person is the one that knows where everything is. In addition to this, the desktop person knows everyone. I used to get free meals all the time because I supported the cafeteria staff. Our mobile\laptop guy at my old company used to get treated out to dinner all the time because he supported all the top level Executives.

adeyemiadeoye13
adeyemiadeoye13

u are very right about that. Deskside support is the stepping stone to branch to different support roles in IT. I starting as Help desk/deskside support with vonage 2004.

valiantknight
valiantknight

Running a help desk has everything to do with the type of person you are as well as your technical knowledge. Some people don't work well with stressed out users getting angry at them for something that isn't their fault. I know I am one of those people, which is why I let one of my colleagues handle the help desk in the shop while I take care of other tech related issues. If you aren't cut out to deal with annoyed people, then help desk/support roles aren't for you.

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