The IT industry is an ever-changing environment that requires a lot of self-direction and proclivity towards systems thinking and looking at things from different perspectives and angles
You understand this and you want to start a career in the IT business but you just don’t know if you got what it takes, and even less where to begin?
Searching for jobs online is making you frustrated and most of the employers are looking for someone with a bachelor’s degree in the field so you just end up giving up from applying… We are here to tell you that a degree is not the most important thing and instead show you the qualities necessary to be a great IT technician.
When starting this journey, keep in mind that you can not learn everything overnight. You need to invest time, push through the frustration you might feel and experience the satisfaction that comes with improving yourself and overcoming challenges you wouldn’t dream of taking on before.
Dive into this article for a game-changing insight into what an IT technician position looks like and what does it require of you. It is suitable for lay people, someone who is just beginning or is considering beginning their career in the tech industry.
If you already possess experience in this field, this article will broaden your knowledge and bring a fresh perspective! If you are looking for a job, you can apply with us!
- What does it usually take?
Solely following directions will not make a good technician
You need to be able to intuitively find your way around incredibly complex systems and constantly learn new things. That requires a different mentality to the one of “doing as told” that just doesn’t work in the IT environment
Rather than focusing on getting a diploma or certificate, invest your time in gaining practical knowledge. Be in control of what you learn and at what pace.
Dealing with assignments that often do not have any practical application, won’t necessarily get you the skills you need to succeed in the industry. Learn by yourself and build your work ethic, knowledge and experience.
Don’t get us wrong, getting a certification can propel you and put you ahead of some competition but do not rely on that because someone can be miles ahead if they had more first-hand experience, finer soft skills or a better work ethic.
Technical knowledge is an important requirement for sure, but lots of other qualities are actually much more important:
- Work ethic
- Ability to transform the above into practical results
In our MSP Staffing company, Support Adventure, experience is important but what is even more important is the willingness and the ability to quickly learn new information and transform it into results. Working with 40 MSPs, the best technicians we had were the ones who displayed curiosity and inclination to learn new information fast, applying it practically
So, even though you are presented with software or a system you do not really know anything about, you will be fine with quickly getting a hang of it.
Demonstrate the ability to learn and build up your skills.
- Learning, acquiring the right skills and mindset
If you were to ask us what advice would we give an aspiring IT technician or if learning CompTIA A+ would be enough for you to get hired, our answer would be that we simply do not know…
The best MSPs are looking at people based on their ability and what can they do – not what they’ve done, not who they say they are or what is in their CV.
Education degree or certification does not guarantee a person will be right for the position. Some of the best people we’ve seen were self-taught. Like our founder, Eric.
He started in the business when he was 15 or 16 years old. That is a long time ago now. He got there by engaging with the new technology and learning systems from scratch so even if you are a novice in this field, don’t be discouraged to start your journey!
Experience is very valuable and the best thing about it is that you can start gaining it now! Focus on what is really important and that is to have a passion for IT and:
- Breaking and fixing systems.
- Natural curiosity.
- Being able to excel in the environment.
- Immediate and natural inclination to explore technology and figure things out.
What can you do to start building knowledge and experience now?
Seek out free trial software like Microsoft Office 360, Connectwise, IT glue and start setting them up!
Find youtube videos, google the answers, process information and learn how to turn it into results
You can not expect, and shouldn’t expect, that someone will lead you by the hand through all the steps you need to take on your journey to becoming an IT technician!
MSPs value someone who, from the moment they encounter a new unknown piece of technology, will not shy away from exploring them.
- Software and tools – practical knowledge
As an IT technician, working with MSPs there are certain softwares you should know how to use. If you are not familiar with them already, you have a chance to learn now!
If you have your eye on a specific IT company you would just love to join, find out the technology they use and learn it.
This will also help you:
- Find out if you like doing that in the first place
- Build your skill in a realistic way
- Build work-ethic
- Gain experience
You will need to know some ticketing softwares, RMM, PSA tools, basic coding.
Some of the most common software used in MSPs and IT companies alike are
For example, Office 365 has a lot of useful tools like Teams, exchange, outlook and it comes with a free trial! So sign up and start doing stuff!
Learn about Sharepoint, Admin panel, Onedrive, domain connection and you are already building valuable skills and experience!
- Company culture – integrity and accountability
Being culturally compatible with the environment of your company is crucial. We can’t stress this enough!
To fit into the company culture you will have to:
- Speak clearly and in a presentable way
- Follow the communication and system procedures
- Be willing to learn and adjust, operate in a team
- Hands-on, self-driven attitude
- Hold accountability and be responsible for your actions
Each company has its own method of dealing with different instances. Communication policy, ticket escalation systems, documentation… it all varies and the only thing you can do is be open to new experiences and be willing to adjust!
What we practice is constant mediation between the client and the company, ensuring that the needs of both sides are being met. The main point that connects the best practices of both parties is accountability.
Make sure you are responsible and stand behind your work and words.
In the perfect setting of a company culture there is a:
- Distraction free environment
- Ownership-based ticketing system
- Solid escalation procedures
- Clear communication guides
- Cooperation and mentoring
Put yourself in this situation and ask yourself would you be able to follow these postulates and to which degree.
- Stand out from the competition with a creative and compelling CV application
There are many ways you can beat your competition when applying online. A good introduction and presentation of your skills is definitely one of them
A boring old pdf document is a thing of the past. It easily gets lost in the sea of dozens of CVs, all looking the same, none much different than the other.
Make your CV engaging and stand out from the crowd by making a recording of yourself!
Your introduction in a video format will contain so much more information, be more realistic, and the interviewers will actually see that they have a real person on their hands, not just black letters on a white background.
These gestures show that you are not playing around and have integrity and a go-getter attitude.
You can enrich your video CV by talking about:
- Your background and experience
- Why you want to work in that company
- What are you proud of
- Even show some practical examples!
Before making the recording it is smart to do a couple of steps to prepare:
- Research the company you are applying to. The “about” section usually holds valuable information that will help you
- Dress smart-casual or neutral
- Speak clearly
- Avoid being too formal or too flattering
- Talking in a relaxed, neutral tone
|Be in a quiet environment with a good headset and fast, stable internet connection
|Be in a noisy place, with no headphones or camera with a choppy connection
|Give fact-based positive feedback connected to the values of the company or a feature you genuinely liked. Show you’ve researched about the company and it’s values
|Flatter and use cliche compliments that have nothing to do with the real values of the company, and show you didn’t research about it
|Be relaxed. Talk naturally, ask questions, engage in conversation
|Be too formal in conversation and have a poker-face throughout the interview
Following this advice will help you to land and keep a job in the IT industry
- Testing and training programs – learn the right way
Once you’ve passed the initial interview you will be invited for the testing program that is usually a part of the selection process.
This part usually consists of different tasks you need to work through by demonstrating your technical and communication skills.
Working with customers is a big part of a helpdesk technician and utilizing your soft skills, following the 3A’s is the basis of good customer service.
Testing and training programs are a great way to enhance your skills and gain experience. Don’t shy away from them just because you think you are not good enough.
If your technical skills are shaky, charm your employers with your empathy and good communication. If you are not a talkative person, display your technical talent openly!
Even if you don’t go through to the next step in the interview, or end up not getting hired for some reason, this testing and training program will get you a step closer to becoming the technician everybody wants in their company!
What will you learn or demonstrate your ability to do?
- Install, troubleshoot and manage Microsoft products (Windows 7/10, and MS Office application suite)
- Troubleshoot and fix issues with Office 365 and cloud solutions
- Troubleshoot email related issues
- Deploy images through imaging tools
- Understand the client/server applications architecture
- Coordinate and implement network software and hardware upgrades
- Troubleshoot and configure routers, switches, and firewalls
- Troubleshoot and resolve LAN/WAN performance, connectivity, and related network problems
- Administer LAN/WAN security, antivirus and spam control measures
- Conduct daily network backup operations
VM test – connect remotely to a machine and fix the issues
Troubleshooting – the main thing that people are doing on a helpdesk, one of the most important things.
Customer service – how you communicate, explain, offer workarounds, turning your technical knowledge to customer service.
At Support Adventure, this program is free but you might not finish if we don’t see progress and the natural ability to do this. People who pass and finish are considered to be included to the list of candidates to be presented to clients.
- Different tasks for different levels
In most MSPs, the technicians are classified in different categories based on their expertise, experience and knowledge.
If you are just starting, a Level 1 or a dispatcher position will most likely be the role you will be fulfilling.
To get to know the different tasks each of these levels encounters, take a look at the list below.
- Level 1 engineer
- Level 2 engineer
- Level 3 engineer
- Dispatcher or helpdesk coordinator
Have some customer service experience and ability to handle stressed-out clients. You can position yourself in a way that brings out a positive outcome.
|Have great customer service experience and can handle and manage escalations. Can solve more complicated issues and improve systems.
Have experience with project work and/or advanced consulting. Can work on robust projects and improve systems.
|Knowledge of common functions for softwares, printers and email your users need, as well as how to troubleshoot issues that arise there.
|Knowledge of networking, security structures, server issues, routers, and powershell. Advanced troubleshooting scenarios, including underlying causes and innovative workarounds.
|Knowledge of server setup, infrastructure, network engineering, virtualization, migrations, creating security policies, cyber security consultations.
A dispatcher, similar to helpdesk coordinator, is someone who will be handling the income of the calls, making sure tickets are placed in the right hands and follow up to see that the issue is closed. They will need to know the basic systems and tasks to be able do basic troubleshooting and make inquiries to help technicians solve the issues faster.
In these entry positions you will mostly do:
- Communicate with clients
- Using company software
The software varies and how the utilize it is on the company to decide.
A specific skill set with not an actual recipe on how to become someone who will succeed in this industry. Only people who have it or not.
That is why it’s important to adjust to the environment you are in and sometimes it can be the hardest thing to do.
- How do we do it – values and contribution
If you want to try your chances, we are here. We are here to help you, we have a good sense of humour and we want to bring as many people to the goal line.
At Support Adventure, we specialize in making long-term stable placements with IT Pros working remotely with companies in the US, UK, Canada and other countries.
We ensure our clients offer a great environment and structure for you to thrive in your IT career.
Earn a stable full time income in USD/EUR/GBP and get paid good money wherever you are based.
Established in 2016, we have a proven track record of identifying talented IT Technicians and pairing them with companies who value them.
We make sure that our technicians are working with a good company by setting them up throughout the on-boarding process, following up to see if everything is okay and working on employers to improve the environment.
Most of our clients are Managed Service Providers specializing in:
- Microsoft Windows & Office technologies (Desktop, Server, Cloud)
- Providing full stack support to offices, work from home users and all of their devices and applications
Experience in the above areas is a definite plus!
We are looking for people with:
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English
- A customer focused attitude towards work and delivering service
- A can do attitude to learning new technologies, following procedures and solving problems
- Full time availability for shifts 8-9 hours long, for our clients time zones.
If you see yourself becoming a future member of our company feel free to apply with us!
We will make sure that you are put in a good environment and for that reason we want to bring to your attention some of the red flags we’ve seen while selecting the companies we work for.
Red flags in companies with bad practice
You feel like you are put on trial. The conversation is uncomfortable and the interviewer is cold, which is making you feel unwelcome. There is no space for you to express ideas and it is expected that you will be a yes-man in the company.
There is no space to breathe. You have to track every minute of your working hour to meet unattainable goals set up for you! No idle time.
The amount of distraction is overwhelming. You are incapable of solving tickets efficiently due to constantly having to answer the phone. There is no dispatcher or service desk manager.
You do not feel as a member of the company, there is no connection, cooperation or a light-hearted exchange between your colleagues. The team spirit is weak.
Set stuff up, play around with the technology, break and fix things, learn how to help people, learn what their needs are and how you can fill them.
Apply this knowledge in a way that showcases how unique you are in bringing results to people.
Learn at your own pace and apply everything practically! Create a compelling video introduction that brings out your best qualities
We are here for you as you embark on this journey of becoming an IT technician!