Answer for:

What should be my top concerns for being the only IT person?

Message 7 of 23

View entire thread
2 Votes

I was the sole I.T. person for a law firm consisting of a medium sized group of generally terrible human beings. I worked for 10 years there and I was on call every day except for 1 week (my honeymoon) It was a nightmare obviously.
Since then I've moved on (law firm merged with another) to an organization where I am once again the only geek on property. The organization here is world class and what a difference in my life it has made to come here. We have a budget! I can get training! If I don't take my ridiculously generous vacation or a myriad grab bag of other delicious benefits, management worries about me.
So to sum it up, it's where you work that will make your life as the lone geek survivable or not. I still have more stress than the average I.T. guy, but it's expected that not all the answers will be in my head. Money is there for outside help if needed. That is a huge must have if you're sailing alone. Good organizations also frown heavily on I.T. Guy abuse, a crime endemic in offices everywhere.
How will you know if you're going into a good environment? Asking to see their benefits and policies is a good start. Have they won any awards as good employers? Take the receptionist aside and ask probing questions. Receptionists are chatty.
It's more than possible to stay sane in a single geek environment as long as they have respect for you and your value to the team. If they don't, being alone is going to hurt. Trust me.