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empT337 karma

I switched from the culinary field to the IT field around 7 years ago and I couldn't be happier.

Just like washing dishes, doing prep and other inglorious work in the kitchen, unless you've got a degree in computer science and some giant brains then you're going to spend the first part of your career in the trenches on a help-desk.

To be honest, most people never make it off the help-desk at all and if you find the right place then that's okay.

  • Try to find a place that does internal support (not support for Joe Schmoe and his virus ridden laptop full of 80's porn) for their own employees, you'll get better and more varied experience there.
  • Start out by being a jack of all trades, learn about infrastructure, every type of server you can find. Get certifications when you can (a lot of employers will pay for these so long as you pass).
  • Watch your resume, if you don't have an engineering degree then your experience is your only ticket to an interview where your competence can shine. Your resume needs to show consistent growth and new skills all the time.
  • Learn to troubleshoot, I know guys who've been on the helpdesk for decades because they think IT is about all the stuff that you know and they have no idea how to solve problems they haven't seen before. **hint: troubleshooting is basically the scientific method applied to practical problems.

The biggest shift for me from the line to a desk was the change in culture. Working in a kitchen you're going balls to the wall at all times, most IT guys have never had to do this so you have an immediate advantage. Stay off Reddit and spend your time learning cool new stuff in your downtime.

btw OP: I frequently dream of leaving behind the IT world for my own restaurant but the money's just too good where I am in the tech field. Props for having the balls to pull the trigger.