Career Killer?

By jszivos ·
Hey guys. I just finished my two-year degree with a Computer Networking Associates. I finished top of my class but I've had little luck getting a job due to lack of professional experience. I know my **** but no one has taken a chance with me yet.

I'm currently working a temp position as a Technical Support Coordinator (aka Desktop Support Specialist) which will eventually yield a full-time position, but I recently got a job offer from a different company. It's for a NPO that currently staffs TWO people in the entire I.S. department. They are extremely behind in technology but they want to expand and upgrade.

Their mail server, for example, is a Novell Netware server but they want to switch to something new (probably Exchange, maybe something Linux based). They have three sites, one that only supports two workstations, but they are connected together in a WAN. I don't know how many users/workstations total they support (which I plan to ask).

I'm not sure if there are rules about discussing salary or not, but they are offering a fair amount 45k. I know someone with only helpdesk support that got hired last week somewhere else for 52k. This person is not even close to smart as I am, generally and technically, and has one year of schooling, but he has the experience that I don't.

I feel like by accepting this job I might be settling. I know that it's going to provide some unique opportunities such as a chance to upgrade from Netware technology to Exchange. I'll be working on servers, routing equipment, and some other stuff waaaaaaay beyond the scope of a Desktop Tech but I'll be making far less money... I wouldn't consistently be doing advance stuff, most of my daily work would be Desktop Support but there will be that advance stuff from time-to-time.

I have a few questions.

Is this job a potential career killer because of its ancient technology?
Would it be poor decision to accept the job and continue searching for something more corporate-like and higher salary?
Should I ask for a higher salary? If so how much more?
Would it be better to stay with my temp position and keep my fingers crossed for an early opening on a fulltime position?
Is there anything else you want to comment on? Please do!!!

Thanks all.
- sega

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All Answers

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Look on it as a stepping stone

by mjd420nova In reply to Career Killer?

You could use the position to establish yourself and polish your skills. A resume with just one single but glowing employment entry with strong references from them will go a long way to the next step. Try not to make too big of a leap on each step and you'll achieve your goal. Good Luck

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by jszivos In reply to Look on it as a stepping ...

I know I can use it a stepping stone, especially if they do the upgrades they plan to do. It all comes down to this "I hate the professional world." I really do believe that if you put me in ANY environment then I would adapt and thrive. I'd like to work the most challenging job possible but there is no guarantee that this position will bring the opportunities that I am going to expect. Another thing is that I am highly trained with Windows Server 2003, and I know FAAAAR more than the server gurus at my temp job. I don't have my MCSE but I've read 5 MCSE training books and completed all sorts of labs. I know how to do this stuff but I have to let those skills take backseat and rusty-up because I have no professional experience.

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Understand the Environment

by choriskardia In reply to Bah

IMHO, You won't get a break telling people how much you know. What they want is experience for two basic reasons.

1) Getting burned by hiring someone with major certs under the belt and is clueless about how to recover from a multidrive failure on the mission critical raid 5 array with corrupted AD and the tapes aren't gonna be available for four hours... because only experience teaches you that you create two or three ways to prevent that from happening.
and two or three escape routes. and two or three scapegoats...

2) Because of prejudice. Sad to say, but all those guys who made it to the top without certs are quite biased against those who are newly minted scholars.

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Re: Career killer

by kpfreelance In reply to Career Killer?

NPOs'are known for paying on the low side so that's nothing out of the ordinary. It sounds like you'll get a chance at migration & networking experience (which is pretty viable). Find out what percentage or how often the LAN/WAN opportunities will be available. If it's once or twice every couple of years it's not worth the trouble. You may pick up some new skills, but you'll forget them before you can use them again. If that's the case, wait for a better opportunity to come along...

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Challenging opportunity

by JamesRL In reply to Career Killer?

Trust me, IF this company is committing to all the technology changes and if they can afford it, it will be a big leanring opportunity for you. And that opportunity may be of more financial value to you down the road than putting in 2 years at a help desk for more money.

Take the job, learn what you can, and start to look again when their technology has all been changed and there are no new challenges.

Then you will have a resume thats says you know how to survive and thrive in technology changes. And that will help your job search.


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Take the job...

by NaughtyMonkey In reply to Career Killer?

I went through the same steps. I graduated 2005, got a help desk job, then land a sys admin position. I did get about a 15K increase moving to the job, but the pay was a little low for my area. They did however run many different platforms and had a lot of old technology. I got some good experience there and upgraded all of their hardware. I was then offered a job later with another 12K raise, but settled for the same company with a smaller raise.

You have to take the chances at getting different experience. Some who graduated with me are still doing level 1 and 2 help desk making considerably less than I am. So I see it as when an opportunity comes along to progress, you need to take it. Even if you have years of help desk experience, it can still be tough getting someone to take a chance that you can be a admin or better.

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Stick it out

by retro77 In reply to Career Killer?

Whatever you do, stick with a company for some time before you give up. Some employers dont like the jumping around from one place to another and being that your just starting out and already looking to jump...I would wait and get hired on perm 1st. Plus that other position with the Novel upgrade, they need someone that has done that upgrade before. They stand to loose a lot if someone cant get it right.

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Will or Could eventually yield a full-time position?

by 1bn0 In reply to Career Killer?

Unless you have a FIRM commitment to upgrade to the full-time position your ONLY A TEMP. A temp is NOT an employee. If you have difined probationary period that has not expired you may want to wait it out if the increase in pay will be worthwhile relateive to the NPO opportunity.

On the other there is no training like implementing a live system. Its not the same as doing it in a lab. You will learn a lot more than you will by stepping into an already operating environment. If it is successful you would have some major experience for the next step in your career.

My biggest concern is the eventually. Unless its on paper with a definate time frame promises are nothing more than a carrot you never get to eat.

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