How do I move out of the Help Desk: 5 Tips To Succeed

Working at the helpdesk or IT support technician can be a very rewarding career and often be one of the best jobs you can have in technology. I was thinking how would someone move out of the helpdesk to more specialised areas.

It is very simple to move out of the helpdesk/IT Support when you’re already in the role. The best way is to consider the area you want to move to, learn the technology, speak to people and actively apply for the role you’re interested in.

Effectively moving out of the helpdesk would need to be done in a very systematic and logical way. As you are already well versed as a helpdesk/support technician, considering your skillsets and your strengths is where you would like to focus on to develop the skills.

Moving from IT Support to a Specialised Role

So, you have decided that you want to move out of the helpdesk and want to pursue a more specialised role. The question you need to ask yourself is what is skills that your good at and what deptmanet of technologies do you really want to pursue. This should give you a good idea of how to choose a specific field. I have a few more tips below to help you decide a little bit more,

Speak to people

Whenever you’re considering a new field of work it is always good to speak to people that are already working in those roles. I reached out to multiple M365 administrators before I directly applied for those roles just to see what sort of technologies they use, how hard the job, what I needed to be successful.

This is so important when you’re trying to break into a specific role. It is much easier for you because you’re already working in technology.

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If you’re considering going into System administrators, check if you can book a meeting with a system administrator that works in your environment and just ask them everything you need to be successful in that role. It could also be an opportunity to ask if they can show some of the work they actually do so you can better visualise the workload.

Assess the technologies your already using

Once you identify the technologies that you’re currently using it is a good indicator that other departments would actually need to leverage this skillset or most time than not scale your knowledge to the next level. This is very common when moving from the helpdesk to a System administrator/Infrasture based role.

Whilst the System Administrators are responsible for building Windows Servers, IT support technicians are responsible for supporting the newly implemented systems. An example of this is the Active directory which Sysads manage the Organisational Unit structure as well as apply Group policy objects. If you wanted to develop your skills and land yourself a role as a Sysad then you will have at least 50% of the knowledge and the rest will be built upon through experience and courses you would take.

How long should you stay at the help desk?

Helpdesk is a really good career and you should focus on learning all of the technologies as possible and set up your foundations before moving to a different department.

As a general rule, it is best to work in a helpdesk role for 1-2 years alongside taking courses and upskilling as much as possible before considering another role.

There is a lot of factors that go into this and the biggest one is setting your foundations correctly. When you have a solid foundation within networking, customer service, handling irate users, technical design, project management and escalations. This will set you apart from a lot of so-called professionals!

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I will be outlining the critical action steps you should do when looking to go into a specific department that will set you up for success.

Understand What You Like

When you truly understand this concept you will enjoy your career and you will just want to keep exceeding. Some people tend to go into departments within IT just because of the money and other reasons. The biggest question you need to ask yourself is that do you actually enjoy the role or at least have done a bit of research beforehand.

The best way to understand whether you like a specific role is by actually taking courses, speaking to people and playing around with the technology in a form of labs before you jump in too deep.

The action step you should take here is to take a course for example Azure if you want to be a cloud engineer. When you take the course they usually have a lab set up for you or they guide you through how to set it up.

This means that it is actually a virtualised environment which makes it very similar to the production environment you would be using if you was working as a cloud engineer. This would indicate whether you enjoy it or not and make a decision accordingly. Of course, there would be other parts to consider but this is just an overview of what to expect.

Update Your Skills

In terms of development and upskilling. You must and absolutely have to regularly take courses to update your skills. Technology is ever-evolving and the more cloud technology you use the more it changes. If your heavily using on-premises technology like Windows servers or Active directory you may need to update your skills in understanding how cloud technology works such as M365 and Azure.

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If you want to go into a particular field like Networking then you need to upskill and take a course like Network + or CCNA to land a job in that role and really get deep with Networking if that was the role you wanted to pursue.

As you can see when you’re already in IT you have endless opportunities and all you have to do is understand how those technologies work effectively and simply just apply for those roles as a junior.

Speak To Your Manager

Before considering finding roles outside of your organisation it is always a good idea to have your first conversation with your manager if there are any opportunities within the workplace.

As it stands, your manager already knows who you are and you have built a reputation for yourself within that organisation and more often than not the opportunities you’re looking for is within your workplace already.

Action steps: find out the path you want to take > ask your manager that you would like to consider a step up and if there is any action plan we can create before proceeding to look elsewhere.

Leverage Linkedin

Linkedin is one of the best places you can look for individuals that are working within the space you want to pursue. The best way of finding more about those roles is by engaging with others who actually do those roles and acquiring more information.




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