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Move from Support to Management / Training role

By elaine_hickey ·
Hi all

I currently work as a sofwtare support consultant and have worked in Support of various guises for the last 7years. I started out supporting hardware, then Microsoft and common office products after that I supported a CRM product for over 2 1/2 years and I currently support a time and billing system that is used by the legal profession.

So I really have spanned the range in what I've supported.

While my technical skills have strenghtened with each role I don't feel I am going anywhere and would like a change

I am quite competent in my job but do not really want to go more technical.
I think my people skills are one of my stronger points and would like to put this to use

I suppose my first question is does anyone know of any good career planning sites or somewhere where I can see the job roles I could potentially work towards

I am thinking of trying to become an IT Trainer or a Project Manager. I would need to re-train for these so want to be sure its the right choice

Again if anyone knows a good starting point for finding out about qualifications etc. I'd be grateful

Thanks

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by DC_GUY In reply to Move from Support to Mana ...

It's natural as you mature to start seeing the "bigger picture" and to want to make your impact at a broader level. In many organizations it's not really all that difficult to make the transition. They generally encourage people to rise and they keep their eyes open for good candidates. "If you're not on your way up, you're on your way out," is a slogan at many firms. There is no magic to being a project manager; in fact I'd say that most of the people who do it are doing a perfectly terrible job of it. Your biggest problem might very well turn out to be that your understanding of the principles of software project management is about ten years ahead of the way it's practiced at your company and you'll feel stifled. Do they perform risk analysis, requirements management, code inspections, defect tracking, and Function Point counting? Or is it assumed that all defects will be either caught in testing or in production? There are plenty of courses in software project management, so don't let me discourage you from taking one. But I have taught quite a few and I always notice that some people just "got it" and some just "don't"; the ones that do would probably figure it out on their own and the ones that don't will never get it. Training is not quite so easy to break into, but it also tends to be one of those things that you either have the knack or you don't. Do you find that when you explain things to people that they really get it and appreciate your help? Do they come back for more? Do you enjoy giving presentations, explaining the same thing over and over to different groups, creating training materials and exercises -- or worse, having to use somebody else's? Can you take a course that requires a minimum of four days and shorten it to two days because they tell you to, and still do a pretty fair job of it? Training requires a certain temperament in addition to the skill. You can probably wangle an opportunity to teach a class in something that's your specialty, and get an idea of whether you like it. Depending on how young you are, I'd guess that you've already done that, if you really have training in your soul. Good luck!

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Training and Project Management

by jbusch In reply to Move from Support to Mana ...

Look for areas in your current job where you can create training curriculum for your user groups. If possible, ask folks what areas they wish they had more skills. Look at your user requests and try to identify training ideas that could eliminate future calls.

After doing your research, identify a specific goal and create a training program to help people improve their skills. This will give you the chance to see if you like training, how well you can do it, and whether you are able to make a difference.

For help, Google the web for software tutorial programs to help you and get ideas for handouts and presentation techniques.

In the area of management, I would recommend networking in your community. Associations of IT professionals could help you identify companies that could use your skills and provide you career opportunities. I would recommend the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) as a good starting point.

Good luck.
Joe

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