If you could pick a career that will allow you to work from anywhere and depend on no one but yourself, would you take the chance?
We’ve seen the drastic and unpredictable changes that occurred over the past year and many suffered job losses, and put the idea of a career change on the table.
Working in an IT field has many advantages and one of them is that you can learn how to be a decent technician by yourself starting from scratch, as a total layperson!
How to become an IT Technician?
- Get familiar with the most common software in the IT helpdesk environment:
- Microsoft Office 365 E
- Connectwise, Autotask
- RMM systems (Ninja RMM)
- Ticketing systems (FreshDesk, Zendesk)
- Network systems (Sonicwall, Cisco)
- Documentation Software (ITglue)
- Get experience and practical knowledge by:
- Enrolling in a testing and training program
- Fixing family and friends computers
- Sign up for a course – not for the certificate but for practice
- Prepare for interviews and beat the competition:
- Create video introductions
- Demonstrate your knowledge practically
- Adopt culturally compatible attitude and manner
Want to become an IT helpdesk technician? Don’t forget to check the top qualities of the technician. Your future employer would most likely expect them from you.
Software used in the IT helpdesk industry at your fingertips
The best way to start learning and the single thing that will accelerate your learning process is the practical work you put into your experience!
Luckily, it can be done quite easily and for free since most software we mentioned above can be tested for free by signing up for a free trial.
Start from Microsoft Office 365 since it is a great introduction to the IT Technicians work. You can play around with it by:
- Setting up mailboxes
- Changing permissions and notifications
- Creating shared mailboxes etc
Connectwise is a software dealing with security, data management, auditing, CRM(Customer Relationship Management), ticketing and other project management tools. It can also be tested out through a free trial! Most companies that employ IT helpdesk technicians use it and you will be on top of the game once you learn the ropes.
RMM or Remote Monitoring and Management systems help you do your work remotely. They are basic and mostly very straightforward. Ninja RMM software has a free trial so you can get familiar with this part of being an IT helpdesk technician.
Ticketing systems are used for managing tasks, ensuring accountability and information input with the purpose of making workflow and cooperation between staff run smoothly. The catch with ticketing systems is that the way they are used varies from company to company. Microsoft FreshDesk is free and you can look at the tools you will be utilizing in your next job!
It is important that you take detailed notes of the whole process! It can be very useful for the future and it will create a habit of tracking your steps which will be useful once you start working.
It can look something like this:
- Steps taken in creating a mailbox for the client: Go to Admin Panel > Users > Add
- Status: On hold
- Special notes: Need to contact the client for details
You can make the learning experience more engaging by working with your friends and family. Accessing their computer via VM software and fixing the problem remotely.
TIP: Youtube is full of useful videos that can provide you with the tasks, information and introduce you to the mindset needed for your new career! If you are stuck at something Google will be your best friend! Many experienced technicians use it often and you should feel comfortable with looking for answers in a creative and curious manner!
Searching fiercely for hands-on experience and a “bring it on” attitude will propel you forward
Once you are familiar with the software and have had a fair share of practice to support your knowledge, it is time for you to get a step closer to being an amazing IT helpdesk technician!
Find a company that has a testing and training program and enroll! Online courses can be useful as well. While looking for these opportunities watch out for some common set-backs:
- Overpriced programs and courses. Check the itinerary and what is promised to you to achieve at the end of the program
- Focusing on getting prestigious certificates and diplomas instead on the quality of the knowledge and experience you are gaining which is much more valuable.
In this step you will learn what it really takes to become an IT technician:
- Good work ethic
- Intelligence, creativity and curiosity
- Ability to produce practical results fast
TIP: It is okay and completely normal to feel frustrated and stuck at times. Moving your boundaries feels like that. The satisfaction that comes from finally finishing a task that was bugging you for so long makes it all worth it!
Beat the competition by presenting your best self creatively and effectively
The best way to stand out from the competition in your interview is to have everything run smoothly. Be sure that everything is in order:
- Have a good quality headset
- Be in a distraction and noise-free environment
- Dress smart-casual or neutral
- Be relaxed in conversation and avoid flattery
- Learn about the company so you can ask constructive questions
- End the interview by dropping hints that you’re a hot commodity
TIP: Sending CVs is outdated and boring. Send a video introduction instead so you can create a notion of familiarity from the start and present yourself properly.
When doing the interviews, pay attention to the tone of the conversation with the interviewer. Does it feel like an interrogation? Or are you freely exchanging thoughts in a casual conversation?
These red flags in an interview can be very harmful if not noticed on time. The environment you want to work in is supportive, distraction-free and with a sense of a common goal.
Contribute to the company culture by providing exquisite customer support and being a good teammate
The second main part of this profession, other than working with information technology, is working with people and the rewards and hardship that come with it. Doing this work, you will see what great impact you have on people’s mood, business and life.
When a client is reaching out to you, it is because they have a problem they can not solve and that puts them in a vulnerable position. They count on you to not only solve the problem but relieve them from the anxiety that they’ve encountered.
Other than curiosity, intelligence and good work ethics you will need to develop:
- Great listening skills
- Conflict management
To do that, read about and implement the 3 A’s of great customer support:
In practice, this positioning sounds something along the lines of: “I understand the trouble this problem caused you, and I can feel how worried you are about it but I assure you we are doing our best to take or this for you as we speak”
TIP: Read more on how to be your best in customer service on our MSP coustomer service improvement article.
Find the role that works for you the best and gain valuable experience
There are different levels of IT technicians in a company hierarchy. To mention some of them:
- Level or Tier 1 – some customer service experience and knowledge of software, printers and mail requirements
- Level or Tier 2 – great customer service experience and knowledge of networking, security, servers, PowerShell and routers. Advanced troubleshooting.
- Level or Tier 3 – project work experience, knowledge of server setup, infrastructure, network engineering, virtualization, migrations, creating security policies, cybersecurity consultations.
There are different roles other than IT helpdesk technicians and they are:
- Dispatcher and Help Desk Coordinator – handling the income of the calls, making sure tickets are placed in the right hands and follow up on the status. Know the basic systems and tasks, do basic troubleshooting, make inquiries to help technicians solve the issues faster.
With passion, curiosity and power of will, you will advance in this field and go from beginner to expert. The challenges you encounter on the way will build your experience, skill and character. You will see how great it is to work as a Helpdesk Technician!