Helpdesk is synonymous with end-user support, but do not let that discourage you, I am going to review the pros and cons of my helpdesk experience. Let’s get the cons out of the way. You will probably be a ticket monkey depending on which company you work for. The helpdesk that I worked at had a consistent work frequency some nights we would get slammed others would be very relaxed. Walking end users through technical steps if you cannot remote into their computer is a doozy, but it will teach you patience. Lastly, you might not be able to pick your schedule.
I only worked six months of help desk, and I learned a ton. Let’s start off with self-documenting hopefully you will have access to One Note. In a helpdesk, there will be times where you do not know how to fix something. When this happens, it helps to have your troubleshooting archived for future reference. Just in case you get that one offer a few months down the line. Documenting your daily work in a table is also a useful habit that you will develop. Let’s say that a company database goes down and there is specific information that you need now to resolve an issue, your One Note will never fail you. There are many sayings for this CYA (cover your ass), one is none and two is one, and always have a backup for the backup. This skill has greatly aided me in standing out as a security analyst and a network engineer.
You will learn to work under the gun there are always high impact urgent situations in IT where you must fix something on the spot, this is what separates the boys from the men/ girls from the women, so it is a good idea to develop this as early as possible. One more thing that I wanted to touch on. You will learn how to Google at a level higher than the average millennial. Everything is not always going to be documented one must learn to skim the headings on Google searches to extract relevant information as quickly as possible. Finally, you will learn to troubleshoot a computer which will always be useful. Said troubleshooting can be in the form of drivers, credentials, email, proprietary applications, and storage. That is the generic helpdesk baseline, every help desk is different.
Just because of the amount of technology that is out there. I got to work with Windows Server which is very prominent and a bit of VM ware. Every now and then I get job offers for help desk that work with AWS IAM, which is just user management. Anything and everything that learn at a helpdesk can be a valuable bullet point on your resume. Many companies out there will also pay for your certifications. So, if you only got you’re A+ you can quickly know out your Network + and Security +. The last recommendation that I have for making the most out of your help desk experience is to network. Make some friends and valuable references, it is a small world.
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