Anonymous Tell us about your work---what do you do?
I'm a PC Technician for the Chick-fil-A, Inc. home office staff. I work on a team of about five technicians and help support about 500 users. My general responsibilities include responding to critical work orders quickly (these include PC crashes, failed network access , and many other critical problems). Along with critical PC problems, we provide general troubleshooting of minor problems. I setup new PC's, certify software applications and test them against other applications. I also train users on the use of the Palm Pilot device. My major responsibility is to serve as a software specialist -- maintaining current Service Packs , patches and upgrades . As part of this specialty, I evaluate new software products that may increase productivity of our staff. With all of the responsibilities I listed above, we create and maintain many technical documents to aid in our support efforts. What skills are needed?
Good communication skills are very important. We have to communicate well to the end-users to understand their problem and to provide the solution. Our documentation must be well written and understandable. Good technical, PC skills are needed in order to provide efficient and prompt support. Even if technical skills are not as strong, the technician needs to be very quick to learn. Analytical skills and incremental problem solving skills are very important. One needs to be able to work well in a team environment. The most important skill, I believe, in my job is the ability to prioritize my time effectively and to be able to change my focus many times throughout the day. What was your major?
My major was Management Information Systems . How did you get started in your career?
I got interested in this industry by working part-time as a night processor at a small bank. I got started at Chick-fil-A by talking to them at a Career Fair on Auburn University's campus. I went through the interview process and started here straight out of college. What experience do you need in this job?
In my particular role, some experience working with PC's and networks is helpful. One could really be taught most of these responsibilities on the job. Some of the communication skills and prioritization skills would develop over time. Describe your "typical" workday:
I work on various projects ( researching , documenting , testing , or implementing ) each day. Mixed in with this project work are many PC/ User support problems that come-up that take priority over the project work. These work orders are organized in a queue system. I also may spend parts of a day setting-up PC's for new staff members or upgrading existing staff members. Each day is a little different, but ultimately I work out of a queue system on ongoing projects and support issues as they arise. What is the hardest aspect of your job?
One of the most difficult things for me is maintaining my priorities between project work, non-critical user support and critical user support. It is difficult to change my focus numerous times in the day. I have to get used to being interrupted. Time Management would best categorize my struggles. It is also sometimes difficult to make a user understand a technical issue or sometimes even difficult for me to understand. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
The "hero" feeling of helping a user resolve a problem. Also the feeling of triumph when having accomplished a difficult technical problem that previously seemed so mysterious. I also like the general interaction with the end-users. What are your suggestions for someone considering this field?
Be sure you can (or are willing to) make efforts to prioritize and focus on time management. You must be able to switch form one train of thought to another many times throughout the day. Be sure that the technical arena and new technology excites you -- because if it doesn't, this job will be a complete struggle. If you're more interested in the money, you should probably take a development IT job. Also, if you don't care for end-user interaction much, or if the lack of knowledge of some users might irritate you, then this job would not be very satisfying.