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What are three important things I should know about Computer User Support?

Working conditions, typical schedule, rewards, and challenges including those for people new to the job.

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Subject: Career question for you

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Ryan’s Answer

Hey Michael,

User Support professionals typically work in office settings, either within an organization's IT department or remotely as part of a support team. They may also be required to travel to different locations to troubleshoot and resolve issues. The working hours can be diverse, ranging from standard office hours to shift-based schedules, depending on the organization's needs and the specific support role. In some cases, you may need to be available outside regular hours to address urgent support requests.

The rewards of working in Support are numerous. You'll have the opportunity to help others, using your technical expertise to resolve issues and improve their experience with technology. This role allows you to gain a broad understanding of various technologies and systems, enhancing your problem-solving skills and making you a valuable asset in the IT field. Additionally, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that your work has a direct impact on users' productivity and success.

However, there are challenges that come with the job, especially for those new to the role. As a Support professional, you'll need to adapt to the ever-evolving technology landscape, continually learning and staying up-to-date with the latest tools and systems. Communication and patience are critical, as you'll often need to explain complex technical concepts to users with varying levels of expertise. Balancing the demands of multiple support requests and managing users' expectations can be challenging, but developing strong time management and prioritization skills can help mitigate these difficulties.
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Teresa’s Answer

Hi Michael,

Rewards of the role: learning that you get about all sorts of technology that broaden your skill set; and give you avenues for career progressions. For many it's very satisfying to help someone resolve an issue or problem they have been facing. You make them happy!

In some organizations, if you are in customer support, you are working your standard 40 hours a week, but then you don't take your work home with you.

This is a great role for someone who likes technology and also really enjoys working with people. It's a good springboard to either get more into technology (example, a move into engineering, networking engineering, user design, product teams and more) or seek a role where you work more with people (example, a customer success role, customer on boarding , professional services)

Best of luck!

The PagerDuty Team
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PRASANJIT’s Answer

Important Qualities
Communication skills. Computer support specialists must clearly convey information, both orally and in writing.
Customer-service skills. Computer support specialists must be patient and sympathetic.
Listening skills.
Problem-solving skills.
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Archana’s Answer

Hello,

Thank you for your question! I used to work in Support and three suggestions I have are:
1. Patience - You may work with difficult customers/clients and it takes a lot of patience to be able to diffuse the situation and become an ally to the client
2. Curiosity- Change is the only constant in tech and its important to stay up to date with the functionality changes so you are able to better assist your clients/customers
3. Flexibility - You may have to work 2nd shift or 3rd shift depending on your company's support policy. I worked 2nd shift for most of my support career.

Hope this helps :)
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Felipe’s Answer

One important thing to know would be "folks that work within a computer user support team will need to be patient". Exactly, be patient is one of the main key to conquer our customers. Besides, to be prepared to work along different shifts that can involved working through your weekends or your holidays. Lastly, have a good communication with your teammates is an advantage because there will be times when your colleagues will know already how to solve an issue that you will be facing.
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Fred’s Answer

It's going to depend on for whom you work.

Each employer will set your schedule, benefits, and working conditions. If you support a small company, they may only have 9-5 type support. However, an international company will require 24/7/365 support, and someone has to work those odd hours. If the company is large enough, they may have a "follow the sun" support team, with bodies stationed around the globe. There is always someone to give support, but generally a caller would get someone in whatever region is "daytime". If I call in at 10 p.m., I may get someone in India. If i call at 4 a.m., I may get someone in Ireland, and if i call at noon, I get someone in New York.

Some places may have you work 5 eight-hour days, some may have you work 4 ten-hour days. Generally, you will work 40 hours a week.

The biggest challenges (that i see) are learning everything. You may get a call on literally anything - from a pc not starting, to password resets, to how to use some applications you've never heard of...Large companies have LOTS of departments, and knowing everything about everythign could be challenging.

You'll be talking to a lot of people who are frustrated, and sometimes they (wrongly) blame you, or at least take out their frustration on you. I applaud anyone who can do this sort of job.
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. I am glad to hear that you are interested to work as an user support of Tech area.
Below are some suggestions :
1. Must possess the relevant tech knowledge to support the users
2. Working hours, .e.g shift schedule , etc. is subject to the company policy
3. You may deal with different users from different background and personality. Be open minded and patient.
4. If you are new to the role, learn from your peers and line manager
5. Tech is fast changing business. Keep your knowledge up to date all the time.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
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David’s Answer

Learn as much as you can on a daily basis. You will be amazed how often you make someone's day by showing them something they didn't know and didn't ask to be shown. You will see opportunities to show someone something that will help them and be rewarded in the process.

Know that your schedule will change rapidly depending on the situation in front of you.

Learn to be patient. You will come across a variety of personalities and situations. There will be times you will work with a very angry end user, a very frustrated one and a high maintenance person. Each type requires a different approach to helping them and in some cases, taking care of yourself, meaning, check your emotions at the door.
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