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businessman with holiday gift
December 22, 2015
By Lisa Dare


When credit giant Visa offered Joe Knight a help desk position, he possessed no tech credentials and had never considered a career in IT. At the time, Joe had been a bilingual customer service representative at Visa’s Maryland call center for about three years. When Visa transitioned their help desk to the Maryland center, they offered Joe a position in the department.

“I had very limited tech knowledge other than the programs I used in customer service,” says Joe. Despite his lack of previous experience, Joe worked his way up to help desk manager, a job he loved.

A major setback

In 2010, after 10 years in the help desk, Joe was laid off. With few credentials on paper, Joe struggled to return to a position with similar status and pay. He connected with TEKsystems and worked in help desk positions on contract, and then spent two years as an IT trainer and quality analyst. While Joe enjoyed the training part, he spent most of his time listening to calls to evaluate their quality, a task he found monotonous.

While Joe longed to return to managing a help desk, his wife also wanted something different. She had taught in a Baltimore high school for three years, but quit to pursue another career path and spend more time at home with their young son. This put a strain on the family’s finances, and Joe’s inconsistent hours were also challenging.

The turning point

Joe posted his resume on CareerBuilder with low expectations. After two days, a TEKsystems recruiter contacted him and put him in touch with Tim Rohrbaugh, a TEKsystems direct placement account manager. Tim met with Joe and got to know what he offered beyond his resume.

Although Joe had been away from the help desk for a few years, Tim presented him with an IT opportunity at a prestigious international company. “I think some of the other candidates for the position had more experience,” says Tim. “But I knew Joe’s personality and demeanor would be a great fit for the client’s culture.”

The position was exactly what Joe wanted: a help desk manager role with a growing company. Tim helped Joe prepare for the interview. “TEKsystems gave me clarification on what to expect in the interview, and they were very detailed in describing what the position entailed,” says Joe.

A lovely surprise

After years of wanting to return to managing a help desk, Joe got his wish—with a bonus: the salary was almost double that of his previous position.

“Everything kind of fell into place as a result of this opportunity,” says Joe. “The timing was great because I started working right around the holiday season, so it really made a difference on how my family was able to spend the holidays.”

Looking for a permanent IT job?

Our IT direct placement professionals place IT pros in direct-hire positions with employers throughout the country. Ask your TEKsystems recruiter or contact your local TEKsystems office to get started.  

Lisa Dare is a writer for TEKsystems who loves learning about IT from some of the smartest folks in the industry. She frequently blogs about IT careers, talent management and tech culture.

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