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Confused Newbie

By NJdevil11 ·
I'm currently working for a non-profit org which in the last year has finally(after a year of balking) given me a chance to utilize my A+ skills in the Tech dept. The problem I'm finding is that when there is downtime I don't ever seem to be able to read technical books like the other 'big' guys do to catch up with the rest of the team...the VP, read:owners wife, see me reading tech books and regardless of it being business related 2minutes later I get told by my supervisor to 'becareful' and read on my own time. I have just 'figured out' that in this dept they want you to learn on your own, that is if i ask a question of my supervisor here and it isn't Tech Support related, most times he won't answer my question or skirt around it. I want to say that he is actively restraining me, but there are times when he just bursts out information...usually not when I need it most. He says its how he learned his position and I'm lucky that he even documented his training because there was no documentation for tech support here. My instincts tell me to flee, but I don't feel I have enough credentials to do so with just an A+ in this 'shrinking' job market. Anybody have any ideas. I really want to move ahead and I'm studying on my own for MCSE but I feel so restricted at work...is this normal? I would have thought that people want their IT teams to be as diverse as possible to provide redundancy, althought I can see the security benefits of what they are doing(especially in this job market). However, if they didn't trust me, why give me the position. Please help cut the fog....

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Been there

by IT Support Services Manager In reply to Confused Newbie

NJ I know what you are going through. Some people do this because they feel threatened, some are just rotten people. I love where I work, but I really miss my old Network Manager, he always gave freely of his time, he always answered questions or steered me in the right direction. When he left he was replaced by someone who is very insecure about himself. He gives no support, no direction and no assistance. Still having been on the hiring end, I would recommend that you stick it out for as long as you can. A lot of places won't even look at you if you have no experience. In the mean time when they say to read on your own time, ask if you can take the book home. Good luck

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Oh so familiar

by Oz_Media In reply to Been there

You're far from alone on this one. One of the reasons I work under contract now is because when I was in the office full time, it was a repressive and unproductive day. I finally quit but was offered a contract to work from home and remote network on call. I needed more work so I eventually found another contract.

This isn't really my forte because I'm in the music industry as an artists promoter/manager.

I now actually bill the company when I need to study, it's for their benefit not mine.

If I were you, I'd stay put. You have a job, bottom line. There are masses of unemplyed MCSE's out there becaus ethere is no work and EVERYONE and their dog has an MCSE. Salaries are lower and jobs are fewer. I am assuming you're in the US, so this is information based on the US job market. In other countried it is a little easier to find IT work, but it is getting harder.

Put up with their crap for as long as you can bite your tongue.

If they ask you to do something that you are not familiar with, pull a book out and start studying. Perhapse this will proompt them to let you study when the time is available, instead of when something needs to be done NOW!

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Welcome to the Peter Principle

by Rich In PA In reply to Confused Newbie

In short the Peter Principle says;
"You will rise to the heights of your incompetency."

You keep moving up until you are put in a possition where you are over your head.

This person may know that he is barely able to do his job, but like you, he needs his job/pay.

Leaving is a very bad choice right now. Best bet is to find ways to help him (but not kiss a**). In the end he will want to help you. After all, you helped him, right?

"Studying on my own for...."
Suppose you never went to school, never did your homework, didn't learn to read? What type of work would you be doing now?

Body builders lift weight for an end result, NOT FOR FUN. In IT you will **always** be studying. It would be great if they paid you to do it. But in the end that (and a happy boss) will get you to a better place (& more money).

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Thank you all(although more comments welcome)

by NJdevil11 In reply to Welcome to the Peter Prin ...

I just wanted Rich in VA, OzMedia and LabManager to know that their advice has not been wasted.
I kinda assumed what Rich in VA said to me and I've been reading up on W2K server since I see that is where he is going. Not to mention, sorta like an intern, I help him in just about any way he asks(no brown nose). I've spent the whole weekend boning up on networking and technical knowledge. I've realized that they do want me in this position, its just up to me to make something out of it.
More comments are welcome from anyone with advice that might fit...but I think the jist is STUDY!

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The cost of training

by maxwell edison In reply to Confused Newbie

One must understand that in any field - but especially in the IT related fields - that training should be a continual and life-long process. (Perhaps this guy doesn't expect his doctor to keep up on the current medical trends and discoveries either.)

He apparently doesn't understand the correlation between the cost of training versus the cost of NOT training. The latter is almost always higher. He also doesn't understand an employee's (most employees, anyway) need to grow and get better, to broaden the horizons and make more of a contribution. And he apparently doesn't understand the potential outcome possibilities between the company supporting and encouraging such training versus the employee taking on the full cost (time and money) of that training himself. If the company supports such growth and training, the employee is more likely to remain committed to the company. If the employee does it all on his own, what happens to the feeling of obligation that employee might have otherwise had to stay?

Perhaps if someone "anonymously" left a book on his desk on such subjects, he might learn something - if he read it, of course. "Treat People Right!: How Organizations and Employees Can Create a Win/Win Relationship to Achieve High Performance at All Levels", by Edward E. Lawler, would be a good one for him to "find". And Harvey Mackay's, "Sharkproof", might help you focus on finding and keeping the job that's right for you. (Even if it's your current one.)

Here's my advice, for whatever it may be worth. Set your sights on YOUR long term goals. What do YOU want to learn and accomplish? Focus on those things, do whatever necessary to stay on track to achieve those things - either on your own or with support from your company - and just let the chips fall where they may. My guess is that your chips will, in the long run, land you someplace else - where the "chips" you take in will be a better color. (Green or black chips instead of red or white ones.)

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training for whom?

by john_wills In reply to The cost of training

If I encourage my underlings to study at work I am paying them to prepare for their next jobs. That is probably one thing some bosses suppose. Of course, we can trust that the other bosses are also encouraging study at work, and that their underlings will come here, but it's one of those games where one does better by doing the wrong thing whether the other guys do the right or the wrong thing.

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It's a risk worth taking

by maxwell edison In reply to training for whom?

You said, "If I encourage my underlings to study at work I am paying them to prepare for their next jobs".

This could be true. But the other side of that same coin is that you are NOT training them - and you're keeping them.

So ask yourself this, would you rather have a well trained employee who may (or may not) leave, or an untrained employee who will certainly stay? Of course, that's where the rest of those employee incentives/relations comes into play. Always try to create a win-win situation.

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a suggestion

by dchampionccr In reply to Confused Newbie

i will tell you something that i did when i was in the same position. i offered to do computer repair for free out of my home...only charging for parts if needed. it kept me ontop of my field and allowed the challenges that i wasnt getting at work. after building my skills...i put out feelers and changed jobs.

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Just a feeler for those who have helped

by NJdevil11 In reply to Confused Newbie

Does anyone know of a cli or gui utility that can determine & report any established remote IP connection to a port using UDP? I was trying to access a drive remotely and was messaged that there were too many connections open. This agent uses AOL IM to speak with clients & receives email constantly; unfortunately, this box did get the new SoBig AND BugBear; they were quarantined.

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