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First Systems Admin/IT Management Job

By tfriedman1 ·
I'm preparing to take a leap of faith over over the chasm of career opportunities and take my first Sys Admin job. I have been working in various support roles over the past few years for two different companies, and I have managed to convice a small non-profit (35 users) organization that i can manage their IT infrastructure. Needless to say, it is a daunting opportunity to be able to work outside your comfort zone in a way that will increase opportunity down the road. There are many aspects of Sys administration that I have little to no experience in, and I am prepared to be in many situation where I will have to crack open a manual and/or google search to troubleshoot issues.

What was your first Admin job experience like? Was the transistion smooth? Was it overwhelming? Did you regret the switch? How would you have done things differently? Any advice?

Thanks,
TF

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You live through it....

by robo_dev In reply to First Systems Admin/IT Ma ...

I remember sitting an a Novell console with no clue how to adjust storage allocation....but I fumbled through it.

Advice/things I wish I had done differently:

1) Work harder to tolerate difficult people and not take it personally.

2) Know better when it's time to move on to another job.

3) Work harder to build alliances and gain the support and trust of senior management.

4) Never stop learning, training, seeking certifications.

5) Work on building a network of similar experts in your field....they can help you in lots of ways.

Most critical:

Build a reputation for being punctual and trustworthy, then you can show up late and lie/cheat/steal with impunity whenever you like :)

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Lots of initial work

by izzy_again In reply to First Systems Admin/IT Ma ...

The first thing is do your homework.
1. Don't make the mistake of disagree with how things are done until you understand why its done that way.

2. Do a complete survey and learn where to get information for the software & hardware used.

My first thought as system analyst was oh shiit because there is just so much software out there its impossible to know all of them.

Always look like you know what your doing. Learn a couple of get more time quotes.
Example: I need to obtain an update. The file maybe corrupt.
When that fails: Wait here I'll come back. Then run.

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And always remember to:

by robo_dev In reply to Lots of initial work

1) test your backups. Never assume that any backups are any good unless you've been able to restore any data from them.

2) Trust, yet verify the technical activities of your subordinates when you are responsible for the data.

Did she run a complete backup or just SAY she ran a complete backup?

3) Always look busy.

4) Take time to be patient with users, no matter how inept, careless, or clueless.

5) Take time to explain things to people in terms they understand.

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Plus

by shasca In reply to First Systems Admin/IT Ma ...

Lotta good suggestions so far. When possible round up old equipment and build a test domain/network. Virtualization is your friend, but real hardware is the best methodfor true testing I believe. You can do trial and error there before doing any unknowns live.

Email , and network security needs to be close to if not the top of your list of things to get a strong handle on.

Many found this a handy thread. Take a look

http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/tr-out-loud/?p=554

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Well organized bookmarks

by NotSoChiGuy In reply to First Systems Admin/IT Ma ...

A suggestion I'd offer that may be a departure from what you typically hear is to make sure you have a healthy number of bookmarks in your web browser of choice, and make sure they are properly sorted.

Know your software vendors, and bookmark them.

Know your hardware vendors, and bookmark them.

Know the support sites for everything you use, and bookmark them.

Etc, etc, etc.

90% (or more) of what you'll be doing will be learned through the hands-on experience of being there. However, for the remaining 10% or so, having the bookmarks down pat will help soothe the sting of those 'WTF' moments we all run into.

Best of luck!

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Thanks

by tfriedman1 In reply to First Systems Admin/IT Ma ...

Thanks for all the good advice! The documentation checklist is a great tool that
i will most likely use a lot. Anybody have good personal vignettes about their first admin job?

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How did it go?

by sixtyten In reply to First Systems Admin/IT Ma ...

I am looking to make the transition to a System Admin role and wondered how your journey went.

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