Reaching the professional ladder isn’t simple, and it’s much scarier when you’re just starting. However, any professional may discover excellent employment prospects and go from a junior role to the top with adequate preparation, a little forethought, and the will to succeed. In fact, given today’s global economy, there are many excellent employment opportunities. Only time will tell when until you discover that ideal career that pays well and gives you the pleasure of achieving in a harsh industry.
Putting your career planning on wait until you’ve gained some experience and made your initial steps into the corporate world is a prevalent misstep. You may lose out on many great chances if you take this strategy.
Today, we’ll look at your options if you’re coming from a fairly typical entry post: the help desk role.
Learn the Roles of the Help Desk
The help desk job is an entry-level or junior position in most companies. Its significance to the company, however, cannot be overlooked. Employees on the help desk are often involved in essential business operations and detect severe occurrences, particularly cybersecurity concerns. In addition, the help desk function is part of the Service Operation phase of the ITIL life cycle, which means you’re essentially working to guarantee that IT services perform as anticipated by the firm.
If you’ve already gotten a support desk job, realize that now is the moment to lay a solid basis for your future career. After all, you’ll be working with the majority of the company’s systems, interacting with users from all departments, and beginning to build a network of contacts. The help desk position allows you to work on all three points simultaneously! Remember that people are equally as essential as technical knowledge and practical experience in your profession.
Improve Your Technical Skills
This idea is straightforward: there is no prospect of progressing in any IT job without first establishing a sound technical foundation. So, if you want to move on from the help desk, decide what information you want to concentrate on now.
Information security is a field with more job openings than qualified candidates. For years, firms wanting to employ have struggled to fill the cyber skills gap. Nevertheless, it is an excellent opportunity, and you can learn a lot about cybersecurity and put it into practice while working at a support desk.
For example, due to establishing legislation such as the GDPR, workers with data protection and privacy abilities are in high demand in 2019. Similarly, AI (Artificial Intelligence) is becoming more significant in cybersecurity, particularly when automatically identifying and reacting to attacks. It may seem counterintuitive, given that many people still assume AI will replace human jobs; nevertheless, it creates a new sector with considerably more openings than competent individuals.
Cloud computing and blockchain are two more information security-related subjects that will focus on over several years. Logically, security measures should follow suit when businesses go to the cloud. As a result, individuals that can assure data security in the cloud are in great demand. Of course, blockchain is most closely linked with cryptocurrencies, but the technology is quickly becoming a vital aspect of a wide range of security solutions that are still being developed.
Of course, other conventional information security fields will continue to provide many job prospects. Digital forensics, security audits, risk analyses, vulnerability assessments, and penetration testing experts, for example, will continue to be in high demand.
With such a diverse range of alternatives, it’s just a question of identifying an area you like and focusing on honing your technical abilities. The outcomes will be considerably quicker than you would imagine!
Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Soft Skills
Professionals who have just begun working at the help desk tend to focus on technical abilities while neglecting soft skills. You should make the necessary changes as soon as feasible if this is the case.
In a LinkedIn study conducted last year, senior company managers identified the non-technical abilities in high demand in 2019. Investing in these areas is, without a doubt, a considerable step toward going beyond the support desk job.
Artificial Intelligence, for example, is on the increase, as we just discussed. Because the AI singularity is still decades (if not centuries) away, businesses rely on people to come up with genuinely novel solutions; hence creativity is a necessary ability for many security jobs. After all, robots are an excellent tool for refining existing concepts.
Another essential talent is persuasion. Recognize that having a fantastic product, platform, or idea is just half the battle; you must still persuade others to purchase your product or accept your concept. Professionals who wish to be leaders or manage huge teams also need this capacity.
Another important aspect is the ability to collaborate. It is often one of the most crucial components of a complicated project, and it distinguishes a professional in the marketplace. Even seasoned workers struggle to acquire the necessary adaptability and time management abilities. Finally, learning how to communicate well, mainly when dealing with a non-technical audience, is a crucial soft talent that may help you advance to top-level jobs!
Soft skills development is frequently a difficult task for professionals in a famously technical sector, but it is essential to remember it is necessary. Various learning opportunities (e.g., online/classroom training, books, and hands-on activities) may be a significant competitive advantage.
Consider Getting Some Certifications
Professional certificates are unquestionably beneficial to your career, particularly if you lack practical experience and must show knowledge and skill. The secret to success is concentrating on certifications from reputable organizations with a strong market appeal.
The CompTIA Security+ certification, for example, is a fantastic initial option for anybody starting the information security field. It is a non-prerequisite test that regularly focuses on security professionals’ practical skills. Several other intriguing entry-level credentials include the Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP), GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC), and EC-Council Certified Security Specialist (ECSS).
In many circumstances, you may be eager to get right to the top; thus, certifications like (ISC) 2′s CISSP or ISACA’s CISM may seem to be a preferable alternative. So, if you already know what you’re doing and have the necessary experience, go for it! However, if this is not the case, jumping right into such sophisticated and demanding qualifications may not be the most excellent option. The use of essential certificates as a stepping stone to more complicated tasks is a fantastic concept.
Expand Your Contact Network
It is a piece of helpful advice for everyone who works at a help desk. Most of your time will be spent assisting others by answering inquiries or resolving issues. People may be appreciative even if this is your job.
Even on your first day at work, you may begin building a solid network of connections. As previously said, the help desk role enables you to communicate with a wide range of individuals at almost every level of the organization. Soft skills can assist you a lot, but a few fundamental things like being polite, kind, and helpful and keeping a good attitude will go a long way in the face of challenges.
Your professional network, of course, does not have to be confined to your coworkers. There are several social networks, organizations, and forums where you may share your experiences, obtain advice, or perhaps find a job opportunity that has not yet been advertised.
Every successful professional must confront the difficulty of building a career, and success does not come quickly. Before you consider running, keep in mind that you must first learn to walk. Don’t rush into new experiences; prepare ahead of time and set realistic goals. Also, save enough for change to avoid missing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Remember that every trip starts with a single step, and try to enjoy yourself along the way. After all, the trip itself will be your biggest reward, not the destination.