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6 Steps Towards A Technical Support Career Path

Are you the kind of person who loves technology, problem solving, variety and a fast paced working environment? You could be the perfect person for a Technical Support career path. It’s an exciting line of work that enables you to learn and experience everything in the world of IT first hand. The industry is always growing and always looking for new talent.

There are three levels of support on most Service Desks, including the one at Zinc: First Line, Second Line and Third Line. These operate as you may expect, with the First Line Support Analysts being the first port of call for any ticket and escalating this up the ladder in the event that it’s a larger issue or something time-consuming.

The beauty of a career in technical support is that it allows you to build the job you want. Love being reactive and jumping on many problems? Be on the phones solving issues as they come in. Prefer to investigate and devote all your time and attention to one thing? You’ve got the skills and the knowledge to walk easily into a new role. Your Technical Support training has prepared you to move towards several other paths, or to become an expert on everything that a good Technical Support Analyst should know.

If you’re at the beginning of your journey, you’re likely to begin as First Line. You’ll need a base level of technical knowledge, such as Microsoft troubleshooting and an understanding of both software and hardware, but the main thing is to have excellent communication skills and an ability to work in a fast paced environment. To stand out from the crowd, consider these helpful hints from some industry professionals at Zinc:

Understand Sectors

Technical Support requirements comes in many shapes and sizes. Have a look into the sectors available to you and see the things each job description has in common. You might need an understanding of HTML, CMS, Servers or all of the above. Make sure that you’ll be able to answer some questions, even if you can’t answer all of them.

Ask questions

The reason for the tiered structure on our Service Desk is that often, a Third Line Support Analyst is there to handle the trickiest issues. They’ve usually sat in both a Second and First line seat, and can help for the tickets that arise on those desks too. Ask them and remember what they say – this way you can learn from somebody who has figured out the quickest and most effective way to do things. Write things down whenever you can, as a Service Desk always needs fast learners.

Train at home

There aren’t any qualifications that are a requirement for First Line Support roles, but some organisations will have their own requirements. The At-Home training you can do is to read and learn about coding, servers, CMS, and networking so that you can hit the ground running. This shows interest and drive that will be valued moving forward.

Train at Work

Moving up, there are many other qualifications from CompTIA, Cisco, Microsoft, ITIL and more. These can be expensive and require a higher level of knowledge, so are often supported by organisations who need their Service Desk to have this expertise. If you can find a company that will offer this, prove yourself as a good candidate by working hard, learning independently as much as you can, and requesting it when you reach the opportunity.

Don’t forget customer service

At their core, Technical support is a customer service role. You need to make sure that you are always professional, polite and considerate, even if they aren’t always. At a job interview, they’ll be looking at this just as much as any technical knowledge. If you can discuss a time where you handled a challenging situation well and diffused an upset customer, you’ll be able to prove you’ve got the attitude you need as well as the knowledge.

If you’re looking for a technical support role that’s all about learning, development and teamwork, see if Zinc are hiring.

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