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Episode Info: Welcome to episode 58 of the Nerd Journey Podcast [@NerdJourney]! We’re John White (@vJourneyman) and Nick Korte (@NetworkNerd_), two Pre-Sales Technical Engineers who are hoping to bring you the IT career advice that we wish we’d been given earlier in our careers. In today’s episode we have part 1 of an interview with Kelly Schroeder about the path to management and some hard-won resume advice. Original Recording Date: 10-15-2019 Topics – Kelly Schroeder Interview 03:09 – Kelly’s Background Kelly works for a city government as manager of help desk and all things end user related, overseeing a team of 15 people. He came from the small business world where one must wear all the hats. Kelly has experience working in a number of industries including a government contractor, a 2-year college, a web development firm, and has even owned his own business. Nick and John met Kelly through the Spiceworks community. After getting married, Kelly found a job through a friend. He got started installing network wiring. This was interesting (being a part of the technology industry) but not a job he specifically wanted to keep doing. Kelly started at a 2-year college with a very technical focus and later went to a 4-year college, landing on a degree in business. When people ask Kelly about the value of a 4-year degree, he says it depends. The recommendation for most people if they have no career path in their current field is to get a degree in an area they care about or that really interests them. If you don’t know what you want to do, spend some time thinking about it. Most employers just look to see if you have a degree. The place it comes from is not as important. Take some classes in business so you understand it and can communicate ideas well to other business leaders and professionals. Many IT professionals do not understand business. It is challenging for technical people to communicate effectively with executive leaders. John cites Sales training as opening his eyes to how business leaders think about technology. Do people in technical Sales have a better chance at getting what they want accomplished? Maybe the gap in IT is effective communication with upstream management. 14:14 – Paths to Management Does training in business / Sales naturally lead to being a manager? Kelly had no desire to go into management. It just so happens that the technology curriculum at his college was inside the business realm. He later realized the value of having all the business classes (Marketing, Sales, Accounting, etc.) in addition to pure IT curricula before starting in the workforce. Managing people is an entirely different skill than business management. Kelly’s original perception of people in management was tainted. He viewed manager as a dirty word and people in management roles as sell outs. He never wanted to be like popular portrayals of terrible managers (i.e. something you would see in a Dilbert comic strip). Kelly discovered...
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