My first job in this field was doing Internet Tech Support for a well-known cable company here in the US that shall remain nameless. I learned how to troubleshoot, how to speak to customers, how to handle getting yelled/cussed at by customers, and how to sell music and games to customers in an outage, it was great! When you start at the company as a support tech, they have a formal training you go through. If the company did one thing right, it was the training program they provided. The training program was a total of four weeks: Two weeks of sitting in a classroom and the trainers walk you through their billing and troubleshooting programs, and another two weeks you are in “nesting”. The nesting area was comprised of a few cubicles with a few computer workstations, phone and a headset. New support techs would sit and take live calls with the nesting coaches sitting nearby, should the support tech need any assistance with their call.
Fast forward a year and some change. I’m taking at least 20-30 calls a day. I was meeting my sales quotas (for the most part), my QA (Quality Assurance) scores were averaging 95%-100% and resolving customer issues pretty well. I get an e-mail that the company is looking to fill a Nesting Coach spot. I met the requirements to apply, applied and got an interview.
I didn’t go to the interview. I counted myself out. I am the fail.
I didn’t go to the interview for a few reasons:
- Panel interviews scared me
- Who would want to take advice from someone who just started here a year ago?
- There were others with more seniority applying for the same position
That position could have been mine if only I had walked into the conference room and tried. So what if I didn’t get it? It would have been a lesson learned and interview skills to have under my belt.
My point is, never ever count yourself out! If you have a vision for yourself and for where you want to be, start the steps to make it happen. What will it take for you to get from point A to point B? Yes, there will be challenges (in my case, panel interviews), but it’s all a part of self-growth. You owe it to yourself that one chance to level-up in life.
It’s been 12 years since that happened. I’ve earned my “yes’s” and received many “no’s” along the way, and I am grateful. I have passed a few certifications and failed a few as well. View the No’s and rejections as lessons learned. When I failed my Network+ and Security+ the first go round, I was devastated and came close to quitting IT altogether. I came close to taking myself out of the game, and that would have been dumb. I ended up passing those exams and earning those certifications.
Whether you’re just starting in the tech field or starting your first day at McDonald’s, don’t count yourself out. You got this.