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Community Manager

Next up, we spoke to Rich Hickson (@RichHickson), Managing Director at HelpFully IT, about his career in IT.

When did you start in IT and what was your first position?

  • My first role was when I was 16. I got offered a part time job as IT Technician at the school i was studying for my CCNA at. I wanted to drop another subject but in order to do this the school made me take on some community work, they gave me the choice of collecting rubbish around the school or working in the IT department. I worked with the IT Manager for a month before they then offered me a part time job. This part time job then turned into a full time job when other members of the IT team left. I left there 3 years later as the most senior IT team member.

How has your career changed since then?

  • Wow. quite dramatically, I've been through the whole exchange on premises to M365/Workspace. Working in house, to consultancy to a ten year stint back in house and now running my own IT consultancy.

What excites you about IT today?

  • Helping people and business get the most of what they have. Every role I've ever had has always had very small IT Budgets so we have had to squeeze every inch out of that budget to make things work.

How do you stay up-to-date in a field that's constantly changing?

  • With great difficulty! Im constantly reading and learning, and follow quite a few industry people on twitter etc.

What advice would you offer someone trying to either switch careers or break into the IT industry for the first time?

  • Niche down into a specific area, Ive always been quite generalist and cover a wide spectrum of the IT world but that means i get left behind a bit as I guess I’m a bit of a Jack of All Trades but master of none. 

Thanks for taking the time to share your story, Rich!

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