Are you making a career change and wondering what it's like to work in IT? Do you yearn for a glamorous life of support tickets and rebooting Windows?

Roy from the IT Crowd speaking into a phone. He says,

I've spent the last 5 years working as an IT desktop support technician, and there are so many fun and exciting things to learn while repairing laptops and installing Adobe Acrobat.

Being in IT isn't for everyone, but it can be a great career if you like to help people and you're always looking for new challenges.

1. Learn how to troubleshoot

The troubleshooting process is a super effective way of solving issues quickly and effectively. Here's how The Computing Technology Industry Association summarizes the troubleshooting process:

  1. Identify the problem

  2. Establish a theory of probable cause

  3. Test the theory to determine the cause

  4. Establish a plan of action and implement the solution

  5. Verify functionality and implement preventive measures

  6. Document findings, actions, and outcomes

Spongebob unrolls a very long list.

Most issues can be resolved in a few minutes, but don't be surprised if more complex things go on for longer. Once you master the troubleshooting process, you'll be called a magician by everyone in no time!


What is a good first step if someone is having a technical issue with their laptop?

2. Work well under pressure

Sometimes people might panic, and not the fun "at the disco" type of panic. It's up to you to resolve the issue as fast as possible, all while staying calm and collected. Here are a few tips on how to stay calm under pressure:

  • Remember to apply the troubleshooting process. Adhering to a process will help you stay focused and calm

  • Have a backup plan. Expect things to fail and know what to do in case.

  • If you don't know the answer, make sure you know who you can escalate issues to.

A point of view shot of a person riding up an escalator. The text reads,

3. Explain complex concepts in simple terms

Even though you're an all-knowing IT sage, most people still have a very light knowledge of computers.

So when you're explaining why something isn't working, make sure to follow the KISS methodology: Keep it super simple!

The rock band KISS playing on stage.

Try using simple analogies to convey your point. For example, you can compare a laptop to a human brain: there's the CPU (brain), motherboard (spine), etc. If someone's computer has an issue, you can explain it in an easy to understand way.

What some particularly surly IT people forget sometimes is that users are coming to them because they need help. So it's important to be empathetic.

4. Be empathetic

At it's core, IT support is a people-focused job. If you don't care about helping others, or have very little patience for people who get mad when their computers have issues (much like how everything does), then IT support might not be right for you.

There can be very serious consequences when something goes wrong, like when someone accidentally deletes a very important report. And people will understandably panic. Being calm and reassuring will go a long way to making them feel better.

It may be cheesy, but the satisfaction you get when resolving someone's problem really does feel good.

Breaking Bad's Gus Fring asking,

Take Action

So what are you waiting for? IT is a great career choice if you enjoy helping others, solving problems, and are always up for a new challenge.

A man smashing a computer with a bat then yelling,


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