General Question

monsoon's avatar

At work: How can I mention some reputable achievement that I've just earned?

Asked by monsoon (2510points) January 4th, 2009

I work as a retail IT support person, at least I’m supposed to. Recently, however, we’ve gotten a new supervisor (who has no background whatsoever in IT) who has forbidden me to work in the back on computers, making me more of a very knowledgable secretary. I asked why, and was told that I hadn’t done anything wrong (which I was sure I hadn’t), but unlike the other people working there, hadn’t been formally trained (which none of the other part-timers actually have). However, there’s been no mention of me actually being “formally” trained, whatever that means.

Long story short, I’m working on some Microsoft certifications in Vista Configuration and Consumer Support Technician.

My question is this: what would be the best way to let them know that I’m certified, once I am, and perhaps let them know that I’m serious, and just as capable as anyone else there of turning services on or pressing “start” on an antivirus scan.

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11 Answers

asmonet's avatar

I say mention you’re working on your certification now, and once it’s complete update them. I don’t think it has to be that big of an issue. :)

Or just wait until you’re certified, and let them know.

monsoon's avatar

I just really want to be able to work on computers. Mostly, im interested in expanding my knowledge.

wildflower's avatar

Why not ask for an opportunity – something like: “I’m working on getting my certifications and if time and bandwidth allow, I’d really appreciate a chance to use what I’m studying by working on the computers”

rollid's avatar

Why don’t you have a heart-to-heart with the new supervisor. Tell him what you told us, that you really want to be able to work on computers, and also let him know that you’re working on getting certified. Ask him if there’s anything else he’d like to see you take an interest in so that you can get some of your old responsibilities back. Most likely, he’ll be impressed that you’re taking initiative and communication is always the best option.

amanderveen's avatar

There’s nothing wrong with just telling them when you get your certification, especially since not having any formal training was the excuse you were given for not being allowed to perform certain duties. You could even photocopy your certificates to give them to be placed in your personnel file.

dynamicduo's avatar

First question, is this a small mom and pop store, or is it a well established chain? If it’s a chain you should contact the HR department to add your certifications to your profile. You may need to send them copies. Once this process is in motion I would arrange a meeting with the manager to discuss changing your job formally. If this meeting accomplishes nothing, such as the manager dismisses your training or denies you the job, well you have the skills, so find another branch that wants you, or another store, etc.

If it’s a mom and pop store, do basically the same as above, sit with them and show your certifications, then request a reassignment. They’ll likely appreciate your efforts and allow you to start working.

In both cases though, the boss may choose to keep you where you are now. Maybe they want you doing your current job. If as you say you want to work with computers, well then I think you should follow that and find another employer who will value those skills of yours.

Jeruba's avatar

Several thoughts occur to me here:

—If you have any kind of formal review process, you could put down certification as a goal. Then it is necessary and proper for you to announce when you’ve accomplished it.
—You might ask to be assigned a mentor in IT who can ensure that you have covered the necessary bases and can then attest that your knowledge is on a par with those who have been trained or say where the gaps are, which you can then remedy.
—Just guessing, but this could be out of your supervisor’s control. For instance, it might be a legal liability issue (a lot of things are). Your supervisor may be required to ensure that all or some percentage of IT support staff are trained and certified. Or HR may have laid out some edict about qualifications or eligibility for advancement, or there may be a general unwillingness to let someone move out of a position that leaves an opening to be filled.
—Talk to your supervisor, ask what it would take to qualify to continue in IT support, and, if it seems appropriate, explain that you are working on certification.

A caution, though. In the current job market, I would not be too quick to take a stand on what I do and don’t want to do or to quit a job that isn’t ideal. This could even backfire: if you make it plain that you don’t really want to do your assigned work and you do want other work, and they don’t have anyone to do your assigned work and can’t open a requisition, they could decide you “won’t be happy” in your old position and let you go.

The word here is caution. Better make sure you understand the situation before you make a bold move.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t think your supervisor’s approach is a very enlightened one. Good managers do not quash eager-to-learn-and-grow employee’s ambitions and dreams. They help them develop, which is good for the person, good for the company, and good for the manager.

Sadly, for a number of reasons from lack of management skill or training to personal insecurity, not everyone is a good manager.

There should not need to be any special announcement. I agree with trying to go to your boss, clearly expressing your goal to return to IT, and telling him about the certification programs you are enrolled in, and when you expect to receive them. The boss’s response will tell you a lot about whether this is a good work environment in which you can grow.

If the response is not positive, I would put my head down, do my work, get my certifications, update my resume and start looking for a new job. Yes, it’s a tough economy, but the skills that you are acquiring are always in demand. Go somewhere where they and you will be appreciated.

loser's avatar

I’m not sure, but congrats!

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I can think of a couple of ways:

1. Send him a copy of your resume, saying since you’re new, I wanted you to have an updated resume.
2. Send a meeting to talk about professional development and career pathing. Mention that you’ve been working on certification with a certain goal in mind, and you would like to talk about expanding opportunities.
3. Inquire about the continuing education budget for 2009, as you have been taking Microsoft certification classes, and would like to be able to continue.

I would opt for the second, as it’s more professional. If you don’t want to be considered a secretary, don’t think and act like a secretary. Think like a member of the IT support team who happens to have administrative services responsibilities.

artificialard's avatar

Do let us know how it goes!

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