My entire life I have been a learner. As far back as I can remember I would have notebooks and document everything. Documenting the disassembly of a calculator or writing down what I would need for a certain type of business. The documenting would turn into incessant research that caused days, weeks if not months of immersion in certain subjects. These subjects would never really correlate. One month I would have a hobby or interest in pin-striping and the next it would be Arduino programming. This caused a lot of strife not only in my personal life but in my professional. I had no real direction, only following dreams that others remembered better than I did.
After becoming a Police Officer, I soon realized that although I was good at it and had amazing, brave people surrounding me, that this world wasn’t for me. A few years went by and I found myself seeking more learning. At this time I think I was going through an audio book a week and on top of those I was slamming through every one of the episodes of these things called podcasts that had just come out. Shifting my desire to learn I was accepted and started on my Bachelors degree. For the first time in my life I enjoyed school. It was hard work not just for me but also my lovely wife that took care of our house and family as I worked third shift and went to school full-time.
With huge hopes of becoming an Accountant, I crammed as much knowledge as I could into my brain. Soon to find out that graduating in 2008 was going to be an issue. Just months prior there wasn’t a person with an accounting degree out of a job. However, the market was in a steep decline and those 3-5 yr accountants were now looking for even entry-level jobs. Hoping the market would have a quick recovery I went directly into a Masters program.
“For two years I continued to study and push for more knowledge.”
For two years I continued to study and push for more knowledge. I soon realized that my estimations were not going to come out exact and that the job market was still in a rough position. One that even my minted Master’s degree wasn’t going to assist me with. I applied and was hired to Active Duty Air Force. This seems a bit odd to most of you and I understand that but here’s what happened. I was what you call a Traditional, you know the one weekend a month two weeks a year kinda guy for the Air National Guard. All ANG bases have full-time people that work there in military status, active duty. To get these jobs you have to apply and board (interview). I completed this process and was hired.
At the time my wife and I were on cloud 9. We were able to move from an area that we weren’t fond of to a larger city. Also, I would take home more money and even though I was on nights still, the schedule was going to be so much better. Again, how the mind schedules and sees things is quite interesting. Unfortunately, the schedule combined with not so much a dead end but a clear yield in the coming years I was going to need another change. I knew that if I was going to need to move careers again I would need more and more knowledge. Rather than filling my mind with thousands of hours of YouTube videos and TV series while on duty I studied and found another passion, SixSigma. Pursuing everything I could about the process and process improvement I eventually was certified as a Green Belt and again was in front of a board interviewing for another position.
As the rejections continued for each position I applied for I knew there was something out there for me. I knew that with networking and continued studies I would land in the right area. Five years after starting with the ANG full-time I was selected for a position in Communications. My duties were what I thought was going to be Project Management. These duties soon turned into much more giving me a broad experience into asset management, lifecycle management, circuits, nodes, and a never-ending learning tunnel. Having worked in that area for three years I knew that I needed to take my experience and education of management to the Help Desk where I could lead a larger team and make an impact.
“As the rejections continued for each position I applied for I knew there was something out there for me.”
Little did I understand that rebuilding a Project Management office was nothing compared to rebuilding a help desk would be. I found that so many areas civilian or military had gaps in knowledge, processes and overall communication. Unfortunately, a help desk is not an area where people have created processes or talk much about. A quick Google search will get you the same articles just titled different ways to improve your help desk, of which, most are put out there by companies selling software or service.
I also noticed that many of the IT professionals who took over the supervision of a help desk were not from a customer service background and if they were, they typically weren’t from an IT background. The HelpDesk Wheel is a methodology taking principles from Agile, Six Sigma and a multitude of sectors. Combining these offers a comprehensive tool to build, rebuild and improve a help desk. Built to assist anyone, even that lone wolf cop that found himself in a nerd universe unable to understand the slow ability to change in an ever quickly changing world. Not to mention the low use of teams and team dynamics to build up processes and increase not only knowledge to everyone within the organization but also those outsides of it.Photo by Mark Rabe on Unsplash