In almost all of my posts I was talking about the stressful side of the IT – the long hours, end user issues, migrations, midnight calls and the like. But if everything is that bad, why are we still working in IT support? Of course, there is the good side of the story! Here is my take on what we love to work in IT support.
I will start with my coworkers. When you are working in IT support, most of the people around you are task-oriented, engineer-minded people. To say, people focus on the tasks, try to solve problems, and make something work. When you are working with like-minded people, your stressful day really becomes enjoyable. Even taking a small walk to the nearest coffee machine with your colleague can be the only thing that can get you through all the challenges. There is the beauty of having someone like you around and with the ability to make you laugh when you most likely need it.
We also have our “that’s it” moment. This is the moment when our end user understands what we have been telling him for hours or the moment that we finally figure out why that damn thing is not working. In the former case, the end user will not click “yes” on everything he sees (toolbars, “free download”s, give permission to share his personal data etc.), in the latter case, we will feel triumphant. We fought hard to earn this victory to establish our base as the IT admin in the serverland! (note: uneducated masses call this feeling “motivation” or “job satisfaction” – they never played Diablo or Warcraft thus they don’t understand. Shhh!)
Another triumphant moment is when we have our snapshots or gold-image virtual machines readily available. That remote desktop server is acting up? Move your users to other servers, boot two-three of your gold images, add them to the farm and voila! Everybody is magically happy. Need additional computing power for the users in the next few hours? Shutdown the VM, add resources, boot. Depending on the resources, you may even don’t need to reboot. Virtual machines are really one of the brightest things in our IT lives.
Migrations our favorites also. It is a magical word that, once said, makes everyone alert and make every IT professional understand what state his colleague is in. Migrations can take hours or weeks depending on the complexity of the migration and the problems encountered. Almost all of us, the IT pros know that we need to migrate our systems to have many of our problems automatically resolved but at the same time we know that the migration period will bring additional changes and the new system will bring unknown problems. During all these we will have to deal with budgets, time constraints and other non-IT issues. But when we finally succeed, our fears about the system are gone, our company will enjoy a more reliable infrastructure and our users will be getting more done. The feeling we have is zanshin – the mental state of relaxed awareness – and it is worth every moment that we spent on the migration.
Another migration scenario is moving to the web. This is one of the long-lasting victories I have for each and every client. Complex systems are shut down, critical data is backed up and migrated to the cloud and the SaaS solution offers superior features for (in most cases) less payment. Anyone who has maintained a legacy email system (consider Postfix) for some time and then finally migrated to Office 365 or Google Apps will easily understand what I mean. Once the migration to the SaaS infrastructure is complete and the client sees his data on her mobile, the expression on her face is worth all the pain.
The job market is another favorite. I believe that almost no other job has the flexibility of the IT support when it comes to managing your own career. If you feel terrible and want to breathe, you can just take some courses and change your direction – say you can take a project management course and switch to that path or take operational and CRM courses and pursue a career in account management. You may not hit the exact spot right away, but at least you can take a step and move forward.
Vacations are the last item on my list. From the day one, in every job, in every client, I made people aware that when I am on my vacation I mean it – no emails, no phone calls, no texts whatever, except when absolutely needed. That behavior of mine spread over to my colleagues in time, even to the ones who neglected vacations for years. When we take over our colleague’s tasks, send him on a vacation with nothing left behind, have him completely charged, the expression on the face when he walks in the first working day worths everything. It is when we see every second that we carried out his tasks and refrained from calling him in the direst situations on his face.
Here are the things that come first to our minds when me and my colleagues ask ourselves why we love working in IT support. What is your take? Why you love to work in IT support? Let us know in the comments below.
- Featured image: http://www.memecenter.com/