5

So I have a lot of experience in IT. I've used computers for all of my entire life, not just browsing the web and using Office, but really tinkering with Windows, Linux, servers, some hacking, web development, etc.

I have a few CompTIA and Microsoft certs. As for jobs however I've only had experience working in a helpdesk support role, something which I excelled at but never had the opportunity to progress.

I left my last role, and now I'm applying for new jobs, but trying to find something more hands-on.

The kind of job I'm really looking for is working in a data centre. I applied for one job, which isn't listed as a junior or trainee role, but from the job listing and required experience, seems to be a fairly standard support role. I got a reply from this company (just waiting for a phone call) but I'm starting to doubt myself.

Sure I have experience with managing Linux servers, but these are my own personal servers. I don't care too much if I screw up and have a bit of downtime while I restore backups. I also have time to learn how to do something or fix my mistakes if I'm not sure.

Then there's the fact that while I understand them I don't know anything about monitoring UPSes, or removing and re-installing a server in a rack, and patching it into a switch.

Is it reasonable to understand that this kind of training will be provided, or am I wasting my time and the employer's time? Should I hold out for a job which actually lists it as a junior/trainee role?

10

It sounds to me as if you've already got a decent grounding for this - presumably the potential employer has seen your CV so they know about your experience (or lack thereof).

Most of the things you listed as not knowing are very much the sort of thing that you'll learn either in formal training or "on-the-job" as it were - your path is pretty standard for someone moving from support to infrastructure so I don't think you have anything to worry about.

Given the potential employer is a data centre the odds of this being a role where the buck stops with you in the event of downtime are slight.

Should I hold out for a job which actually lists it as a junior/trainee role?

No - partly because as I mention above I think you've got more skills than you think but mostly because the use of such qualifiers are ultimately arbitrary. One hiring manager will list a role as "junior" that another won't.

Good luck!

5

It's understandable you are nervous, you may be suffering a bit from "Imposter Syndrome".

The key thing here is to ensure your CV / Application accurately describes your experience so for, don't embellish anything at the interview and remember it's ok to answer "I don't know".

If you do all that then it's on the Company as to whether or not you are a good fit. I would also recommend that in the interview you ask about training, career development etc.

Finally if you have the basic aptitude and the right attitude then that will take you a long way, good luck and don't over think it!

1

Some of what you've described -- not knowing how to set up a rack or actually monitor the hardware -- can be a major issue if that's what you're expected to do. On the other hand, you are unlikely to be building racks of servers, setting up UPSes and making sure all the power is balanced properly, unless it's a new data center.

What is going to get you in trouble immediately is not knowing your way around all the things which are common in a proper data center. Like, if you don't know that the power and cooling are under the floor, and you have to pull up tiles to get there, and different tiles may have to go different places, you're going to look foolish.

That said, everyone had their first experience pulling a power whip or whatever under the floor. Be honest with the hiring manager and I'm sure it will go well. It's just a different kind of machine in a different kind of space.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.