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Built up pressure

By Db0 ·
Recently I've started getting more and more disappointed by the status quo of my work. But let me become a bit more specific.

I am a new IT pro (just over 3 years in the business) but with lots of personal experience and enthusiasm. I do not claim to know everything but I learn fast. My current job for the past 2+ years is as an Network and Systems Administrator supporting a native Windows 2000 domain.

Now I will be the first to admit that I didn't know much about it when I first started working but I believe I now can support the whole domain on my own adequately.
Part of my work includes supporting software, hardware (even hardware that fall outside the scope of IT such as photocopiers and faxes) and helldesk and I can fix most problems that occur on my own, very fast (others' thoughts, not mine).
Due to the nature of my work I often end up doing nothing specific for days. This "free" time I use for research and deployment of various projects I pick up myself (for example I recently set up a working Jabber2 server on a spare machine that worked flawlessly) or for lack of nothing better to do, idly surf sites (such as this).
In general I feel that I contribute enough.

My general pay for the last 2 years (which started from the base minimum) has risen by about 12% and things have started happening that are making me question my dedication to the company.

A few weeks ago we had a major problem on the AD and as a result I had to work quite a few hours overtime each day for a month or so. I never complained because these things happen. The problem however occured now that things have calmed down a bit. I asked my supervisor the dreaded question: "What about all those hours?" to which he replied that these things happen and are part of the work and also I have no right to ask for overtime becuase I always leave on schedule and I spend a lot of time idling in my desk.
Nevermind the fact that there is no reason to stay overtime on normal days or that I (seem to be)idle because there is nothing to do...

Needless to say that this upset me quite a bit, not only because I wouldn't be paid but because in one sentence he downgraded all my work.

I'd like to hear what more experienced IT pros than me would react this situation.
Should I start looking for another work, something which pays adequately (because, frankly, 12% over the base minimum is lower than anyone I know) and I have true Admin rights (right now I'm treated more like a helper)?
Or should I stay where I am so I can have time to learn more stuff on my own and in a more relaxed enviroment (I can come in late, casual wear).

What should my threshold be?
Where would you draw the line?

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Learn new stuff

by Seeker532 In reply to Built up pressure

Your boss probably has a boss that is watching the dept. budget. Your boss will get chewed out if he goes over. You seem to have a lot of time for learning new stuff. You have the energy and enthusiasm to learn quickly. Do it. Use the time to learn as much as you can while you can. As you get older most people tend to slow down as their energy levels go down. Keep learning as long and as much as you can. You have the time and an office full of resources to do it with. You may be wishing later you still had them.
Later, you can amaze new employers with how much you know and can do and maybe you'll be the boss. Get the know-how now while you have the resources and time to do it.

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by gpastorelli In reply to Built up pressure

Are you salaried or hourly? If you're hourly then depending on your local laws he may be obligated to pay overtime.

Personally, I'm salaried and I got it pretty good. The pay isn't as great as other jobs but I get a lot of downtime and rarely stay late. But when I do stay late or come in on my days off, being that I'm salary, I just take time off in lieu of pay (like I have any other choice, hehe). Some people don't have it so good, to stay 3 hours late and then leave 3 hours early the next day.

In all honesty if you don't want to pick up other projects (or there isn't anything to do, which is hard to believe. trust me i got loads of idle time and there is always something to do. i just sometimes choose to do other things) at least look busy. If you wanna surf the web, keep it to websites that can at least benefit your job somewhat (ie. TechRepublic).

With regard to dress, I would definetly step it up. If you're not willing to step it up, then you need to step up your work. Some of the simplest things can work to your benefit. Look for a way to save the company money. You'd be surprised how easy it is.

If you're genuinely not being appreciated then look elsewhere. I'm very picky about a job and when I find one I like I stick with it. In between my last job and this one I worked for 3 other companies, until I found the job that suited me.

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Saving Money

by Db0 In reply to OT

Regarding this. Before the latest big troubles I was actively researching ways to migrate to linux and cut costs, the Jabber IM server was a side project of this (it worked. People liked it. I never saw a penny more). Unfortunately due to the tightening of security and the need to fix things quickly, a MS Engineer was called and now things look even worse for the scenario I was considering.
I still try to research stuff to cut costs but I just don't have the drive now, what with the way I'm getting treated lately.

Unfortunately When I am appreciated it is only verbally (You can't imagine how many "Good Work" or "Great job" I've heard)

Thanks for the replies however. It seems that leaving was not a well thought out consideration as most of you think I have it well off. Maybe I was thinking rashly.

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Idle? But why?

by RB_ITProfessional In reply to Built up pressure

Sorry to hear of your job woes. This is truly a frustrating situation, but you must not allow it to continue. I agree with most others on this board that have suggested using your idle time wisely. It is extremely important to your professional development to do so. Take a long hard look at your career and make some decisions about where you?d like to go and what you?d like to do professionally within the next couple of years. I?m sensing a hint of boredom in your post. If you sit in this boredom in your idle time for too long, you run the risk of your skills becoming obsolete. Research what skills and knowledge areas you will need to continue to be successful and grow (whether with your company or elsewhere).

I went through a similar issue myself not too long ago, here?s my story:

Spent almost 3 years working for a company and started to feel that I was getting bored and stagnant. Many of my colleagues held the same complaint. To make matters worse, we went through severe ?slow periods? where there was not much work to do. Bottom line was, we felt stuck in our normal day-to-day rut of ?same old technology, same old projects, different day?. Well being the proactive person that I am, I refused to allow myself to become ?de-skilled?. While my colleagues moaned and groaned all day long each day, I spent my idle time at my desk completing coursework for my Bachelors Degree AND my Master?s Degree. On top of that, I began learning and perfecting new skills to carry my career forward. I later left that company for a better opportunity and was blessed with a 38% pay raise in my new position. And where are my former colleagues now? Many of them are in the same positions, moaning and groaning all day long.

I share all of this to say that we as IT Professionals are responsible for our career. You are your most valuable asset; invest in yourself and your time wisely.

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