They say that if you choose a career you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. If you have great IT skills, love everything related to computers and enjoy solving problems, then a career in IT support may be a great choice for you.
IT Support technicians play a valuable role in keeping today’s society connected. However, support jobs don’t only involve working with technology. To be successful, you’ll need to have the patience and understanding to deal with human beings, who are far more complex.
You’ll need patience, empathy, and great communication skills. To resolve client problems, you’ll need to have active listening skills as well as the ability to explain clearly and simply the steps needed to troubleshoot their issues. Technical knowledge, attention to detail, and high levels of concentration just won’t be enough.
So how can you be sure that IT tech support is the right career for you? The key will be to carry out a thorough analysis of your strengths, as well as what you need from your work. Here are four ways to find out more about yourself.
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Given that you’re so much at home online, it makes sense to start with an online analysis. Don’t go for a free, non-validated psychometric test – the results will be far too general to be of any use. Instead, go for one that’s based on extensive research and has been used for decades. The MBTI online version is a good example. Once you’ve input your responses you’ll get an in-depth profile of your ‘type’. For example, if you’re an ‘INTP’, the INTP meaning is summarized as ‘Objective Analyst’, suggesting that you are an analytical, conceptual, and logical thinker. It also suggests that you’re easy-going, which is critically important when dealing with non-specialists, who probably have different priorities than you.
Take a deep dive into what you think you’d love about tech support (perhaps problem-solving), and what you’d hate (being pressured, constantly responding to conflicting demands). Imagine the worst aspects of the job, and ask yourself how you would mitigate these. A personal SWOT analysis is a great starting point.
How much do you enjoy troubleshooting issues for family and friends? Do they see you as patient, quick to respond, and good at communicating ways to avoid future issues? Or do you have to keep repeating your fixes, as you don’t explain the steps required so they can help themselves?
Perhaps the best way to understand the daily work of a tech support specialist is to observe one in action. Ask a local company to allow you to ‘shadow’ a technician for a day or more. That way, you’d see the reality of the role. How much time is spent on technology, and how much time with people? If dealing with people isn’t your natural strength, start to find ways to improve your communication skills. Or, if you want to focus on the technology, perhaps tech support isn’t the right choice for you, and something more ‘back-of-house’ will be your ideal choice.