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New Job: Not sure if I'm good enough!

Posted: Sat May 14, 2011 3:56 pm
by Liquidius
Now, I know the title looks like I'm putting myself down, I'm not. The problem is, my new employer seems to think that I'll just pick everything up that I'm supposed to without any training, and it's stressing me out. I'm worried that I'm not what they expected, and that they'll let me go.

This hasn't all come from nowhere, they kinda let slip that the last 2 people they've hired for my position haven't managed. One left on the first day because he said he couldnt take it, and the other guy just wasn't up to the job.

I work in IT, so it's quite a technical role - and it can change drastically from place to place. I've just moved from a job where I've only looked after 1 IT network, and I was on site (so I could go and visit people), to a job that's mostly done remotely. For 11 networks. Which is a huge change in technology.

I feel useless because I'm continually asking questions, and sometimes, when I do ask - my colleagues look at me as if I've been dropped on my head. I think they expect me to know certain things, and the fact of the matter is I just don't. I was honest in my interview, they know my range of skills, so I don't know what they were expecting. The thing is, they've just made me responsible for the backups of all of their customers which is a huge responsibility. And suprisingly? It's not working. And I'm not sure why. I've asked for help, but just got "well, that's why we employed you...".

I was wondering if anyone else had been in this situation, and what you've done? I want to stay working here, it's great experience and money, and for the most part I get on with everyone, I just don't feel supported technically. I know that knowledge comes with time, but I don't know if they do. With a few months patience, I could do the job just as well as anyone else there. One of the other technicians said to me the other day that the reason they don't consider junior technicians is because they don't have the time to train them. They want someone who can just walk into the job (which I think they was hoping I could do!). I don't think that's realistic, and am I being unfair to expect some support and training?

Re: New Job: Not sure if I'm good enough!

Posted: Sun May 15, 2011 8:26 am
by Ticktock
No you aren't being unfair to expect training, just unrealistic. As you said they knew your range of skills when they took you on, and you knew about their admittedly short sighted attitude to staff training, so sitting still waiting for disaster to strike (which if you aren't doing back ups is a matter of time...) isn't an option.

Have you thought about investigating training available outside work, I know Microsoft for example do a range of network training, or your local Uni might be an option.

Also the supplier of your network might also have a support line (probably charged at a ruinous rate!) and you can contact them.

Unfortunately being dropped in at the deep end is one of the dubious pleasures of employment, you can wait until your incompetence catches up with you or do something positive, your choice.

Re: New Job: Not sure if I'm good enough!

Posted: Sun May 15, 2011 5:14 pm
by Skarlet
Hi Liquidius,

I can totally understand where you are coming from, I was recently promoted and have been given several IT projects to run, and I just haven't really known where to start. I also manage our two new helpdesk staff, who were taken on not knowing very much, so I have been training them as well. It can be all very daunting.

What backup software are you using? Is it online backup? is it symantec backup exec? Have you looked on IT forums and asked for advice?

I would ask your manager for a one to one, and raise your concerns. What things are you doing to help get you to a better understanding, to be honest I wouldn't try to get certified, because learning their network is going to be stressful enough. Are you making notes? Is everything documented in your network? Do you have access to the documentation for your backup software and the other areas you are working on? Are you creating your own? THese are the kind of things I have expected my new staff to do.


Re: New Job: Not sure if I'm good enough!

Posted: Sun May 15, 2011 5:51 pm
by Liquidius
Thanks all.

Skarlet - It's an online backup product called Ahsay. I think I've fixed the problem (here's hoping), but it seems to be a common fault with the latest version from what I can gather. I'm in contact with their support and have been trawling the internet for possible solutions, of which a few look good.

The good news is I'm already certified (by Microsoft/CISCO anyway). I'm making notes, some things are documented on our many networks,there isn't any documentation for the software I'm working on at the moment, but common sense seems to be prevailing. It's a case of there being so many different ways you can set networks up, and me obviously not knowing what those are yet on each network - which leads to a barrage of simple questions...

I would love to create some documentation for it but simply put I don't have the time at the moment. Between trying to resolve tickets, answering the phone and logging more, and sorting out the backups, I'm pretty much going non stop all day. A lot of the other areas I'm working on are not documented, the knowledge is presumed - in fairness, I do have knowledge in most of the areas, but I haven't used it for a while so it's a bit rusty. I suppose the more I work on it all the more I'll remember.

Ticktok - We are the supplier of our network, and all of the other networks, so people often phone us for answers like that! Perhaps a bit of home study and a bit of a refresher would help.

Perhaps I'm wrong in wanting more training - I think I need to man up and get on with it!