Do you want to be a computer support technician? Or perhaps you are one already, but you can’t decide whether you’re just having a bad week or you’re really not cut out for the job. What does it take to be an effective tech? Is this a career at which you can excel and be contented? The ability to do well in any job and to enjoy it depends to a certain extent upon our personalities, skills, and attitude. But how can you tell if you should or shouldn’t be a support tech? Consider the following indications that you might be on the wrong career track.

You don’t respect other techs

Start by examining your attitude toward support techs. When you have to call your ISP or PC tech support, do you treat tech reps with respect or do you assume they’re all idiots reading flip charts? If you do not respect the role of the support tech, regardless of how well a particular tech performs or handles your concern, you probably shouldn’t be one, as you won’t value yourself or what you do.

You view the job only as a stepping stone

Do you see the job as an end in itself or merely a stepping stone to something “better”? Unfortunately in many organizations, the tech support job is regarded as being on the lowest rank of the IT ladder, as an entry level position to be filled by people with little or even no proven experience who will be promoted on the spot at the earliest opportunity.

Oftentimes, applicants for support tech state their objective as being a network administrator or DBA. Few applicants actually say they’re aspiring to be a support tech. Irrespective of the frequent lowly positioning of support techs, if you do not respect the job as something to aspire to rather than a necessary rite of passage — a techie purgatory — then you probably shouldn’t be a support tech.

You’re not really driven to keep up with tech trends

Without a strong independent interest in technology, it is highly unlikely that the support tech field will be a successful choice of careers. Being an effective support tech requires keeping up with current technology and, regrettably, not every company will provide the time and tools necessary for this task during normal working hours. This means that to stay competitive, you will need to devote some of your time and resources to keeping yourself current.

You don’t care about the business you’re supporting

Support techs are employed in all types of businesses, from schools to hospitals to chemical plants to casinos. Although many of the basic functions and roles of the tech in each of these industries are the same or similar, in my experience, the really outstanding techs are the ones who take the time to learn the industry they are supporting.

You don’t need to pass the bar exam to be a support tech for a law practice, but making the effort to understand the business will give you the information you need to better prioritize your tasks and provide proactive support. A tech who takes the time to lean the job functions of the people he or she is supporting can add considerable value by making suggestions to enable the users to make more effective use of the available technology and become more efficient in their jobs.

You don’t handle stress terribly well

Another important factor to consider is how you respond to pressure in the form of urgent deadlines, highly stressed employees, and irate corporate executives. If you aren’t capable of staying calm and thinking logically and clearly to figure out why the presentation due in exactly five minutes will not print or how to retrieve the boss’ file that a secretary inadvertently deleted, a career as a support tech is liable to cause you a great deal of stress and misery. In such circumstances, techs are required to show that they acknowledge the urgency of achieving a fast resolution without engaging in a the user’s panic, while still treating a quite possibly abusive user with respect and professionalism.

You’re a little short on patience

Dealing with certain customers requires a great deal of patience and composure. Some users will always make the same mistakes, which they expect you to fix. Others will require hours of individual tutoring to be able to perform the most basic tasks on their computer. Addressing the needs of these users call for patience, composure, and empathy.

You’re a bit shaky when it comes to problem solving

The process of resolving computer problems requires a systematic, logical methodology, with occasional flares of inspiration when the logic fails. Although there is no single “correct” methodology for determining the cause of a problem, the ability to think clearly and logically is an essential qualification for a being a tech support.

If you do not have a natural aptitude for systematic problem solving, being a successful support tech will require you to devote considerable time to developing comprehensive problem-solving techniques that can be adapted to any situation.

You’re shy, antisocial, or awkward in your communications

If your communication skills are anything short of excellent, or you possess good skills but have a strong preference for hiding behind your keyboard all day, a career as a tech support will make both you and your customers very unhappy. In most organizations, the tech support is the face of the IT department. In many cases, the tech is the only IT staff member with whom most users will ever interact. This means that the ability to communicate effectively with all types of customers, regardless of their technical ability or position within the company, is of paramount importance.


This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 6:27:40 AM and is filed under Mixellaneous.

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