Help me figure out where I stand in my IT career

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by driftwell, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. driftwell

    driftwell New Member

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    I'm coming up on my 2nd year here at my current job. I'm trying to figure out where i stand, how valueable i am, and the direction I should take. I'll try and make this as brief as possible...

    Current stats:
    -23 years old, graduated summa cum laude from DeVry w/a BS in computer information technology
    -currently at 22/hr w/benefits for a mom & pops company that services and distributes parts for commercial grade vehicles (national contracts for Waste Management and other hug trash companies)
    -I am the sole IT guy here, i do everything from A-Z... physical wiring for networks, to writing simple SQL reports on our database.
    -I have it real good here, especially with my boss... he treats me as one of his own.


    My dillemma:
    -I don't see how i can further my IT career here. I know a little about alot.. but not alot about a little.
    -I don't know if working for a big corporate company would be better for me (I'm already very accustomed to the appreciation and recognition I get at my current job)
    -I just bought a house... and need to step up my income

    Should I start looking to get more specific in my career? My goal is to eventually have my own consulting firm... I'm real good at figuring out how to make things happen (the big picture), I'm not good at the actual tasks (ie programming) to do so.
     
  2. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    IT isn't a career, it's a business problem with various points-of-view that can be used to solve it. (Is the network too slow, or is the data too big, or is the distribution method too inefficient, and so on.) That said, since you're solving the entire problem, soup-to-nuts, all by yourself, you have the closest to what could be considered a true "IT job" anymore.

    What you need to do if you want to move up, though, is figure out which part of the problem you're best at solving (network analysis, server management, field service, etc) and start studying in that area to learn what approaches exist, and what the theories are that explain why those approaches work, so you can stay ahead of the problem and arrange for it to not BE a problem when the business gets to its next critical point.

    You'll never advance if you're always in reactionary mode (i.e. "okay boss, I'll make it work", instead of "hey boss, we need to figure out how such-and-so is going to impact our whatcha-thingy so we can plan ahead"). That's why the guy at McDonalds who figures out how many burgers to cook before lunch hour arrives is called the manager, and the guy who cooks the burgers one by one as the customers ask for them is not.
     
  3. HardTech

    HardTech hungry

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    I think you're in a pretty promising position. You know a little about a lot, which is what corporations are looking for nowadays. If you have any programming experience, you shouldn't have any problems finding a job.

    That said, what deus said is mostly right. The single biggest tool in your toolbox is the ability to solve problems. If you can do this right, you'll have no problems as a janitor or a CEO. All the knowledge you have will help you solve problems, but it's up to you to actively go out there and look.

    If you want to move up or move out, start by building a resume and list your strong skills. Post the resume on a career board and brush up on your interviewing skills. A lot of people get jobs they don't deserve because they interview well and can make eye contact.
     
  4. Falconer

    Falconer OT Supporter

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    Having worked in IS (not IT) for a company with thousands of employees across the country and internationally, and now working for a smaller company with about 600 employees total (in 4 or so states), I can tell you that I enjoy this smaller environment MUCH better. Everyone here is an individual. At my old job, everyone was a corporate clone.

    At my old company I was on a systems development team of 100. Here there are about 100 people total in the entire office in this location.

    To be fair, I think another factor in my liking this job better is the fact that I am no longer in systems development. :big grin:

    But our systems development/programming department is smaller here, like maybe 10-20 people total, and they all seem to be much happier and less stressed out than at my old company.
     
  5. Sexual Vanilla

    Sexual Vanilla New Member

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    Thanks for the info guys, I was curious as to this as well because believe it or not, I'm almost in the exact same boat as the OP.
     
  6. driftwell

    driftwell New Member

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    this is some good insight guys... i really appreciate it..

    I never thought about it that way... i thought i was going nowhere BECAUSE i didn't know a lot about something particular.

    And as for being reactive... I'm actually the proactive guy. I persuaded my boss to go wireless with our warehouse. When everyone was showing slide shows at the tradeshows in las vegas, I made a promo DVD of our company (and no, I had zero formal training on video production or anything... just learned it). However I do admit that I'm no longer proactive... as they've kept me busy with these other little projects that I've suggested and now working to complete.

    But I also agree with Falconer... I don't know what it's like to work for a huge corporation where you're a nobody. Where I work now... i'm appreciated and I have my own office. I get treated very well. I just don't get paid well as compared to some of my friends who only do a specific thing in this industry and get paid more.
     
  7. Quiesce

    Quiesce New Member

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    Working for a large corporation is not always bad.

    I work for a large multinational computer manufacturer, and I get more recognition for my work then when I worked for small companies.

    A lot of it depends on your job performance. If you are an average performer, you will easily blend in and become a drone. However if you are proactive, take initiative and are willing to be a leader you get recognized.

    This is the first large company I have worked for and I love it. A lot more opportunities then with smaller companies. The thing I like best about my company is the education, there are 100s of online classes I can take or free or I can even take classroom based class if I want.

    So don't rule out large companies. If it will help you out in your career give it a go. If you don't like it you can always go back to a smaller company.
     

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