If you’ve got the skills to maintain a small business network, then there’s several network administration jobs available to you. But which is your best bet if you’re looking for long term success in your chosen field?
You can work for a large corporation as an internal network administrator – Land yourself a good position with the right firm, and you might have a bright future ahead… a decent, maybe even great salary… room for growth and advancement… benefits… retirement plans… hopefully even a great team to work with. But while you might get lucky and land a great position with a solid company, the risks often outweigh the potential up-side.
You might have to deal with painful office politics.
Over 80% of terminations are due to conflicts with management. Find yourself butting heads with one of your boss’ (and you might have several), you might find yourself looking for a new IT Job.
You could get stuck working on very specific technologies and be very limited on what new things you can learn and grow with.
Of course, there’s always the possibility of getting laid-off or terminated for any other number of reasons, which might have nothing to do with your performance or how well liked you are by your managers or peers. We all know how uncertain anyone is about their job security during these rough times.
You could become a computer consultant for a larger IT Support Company or Managed Service Provider – Again, a position with a good company can offer some very nice benefits, as well as an opportunity to work with a diverse number of technologies across varied and hopefully interesting businesses that will rely on you for supporting their computer systems.
However, the risks of losing your job here are much like you would be facing if working for any other company.
Plus, as the technology required for providing outsourced IT Support to businesses is becoming much more affordable and accessible to smaller IT Support providers, larger IT firms are facing tremendous competition from consultants who can offer the same or better level of IT support at a much more competitive pricing. This is forcing larger computer consulting companies or MSPs to continuously look for ways to reduce costs… and often the first place they look is to reduce staff.
This is why I believe that for anyone who has the skill set to support a small business network and is considering their options for network administration jobs should seriously think about becoming their own boss by starting a consulting business of their own.
For the very same reasons that larger IT Support Providers are having difficulty in competing, a smaller firm or even an Independent Computer Consultant can thrive in the current IT support market.
The utilities you would need to provide top-tier IT support services, such as round-the-clock network monitoring and remote computer support are incredibly affordable today allowing you to provide the same services as the big-guys, but at a much more competitive price.
You could also provide a much more dedicated level of service to a small client base, which larger firms would have a difficult time matching.
When you set up your firm on a correct model of flat-fee, managed support, you will be able to generate a reliable, steady and very lucrative income supporting only a small handful of clients.
If you market your services properly to small businesses, your income should not be heavily reliant on any one single company. This way, even if you were to lose a client for any reason, your income would not be dramatically affected and you’ll be able to continue to support yourself while you look to replace your lost customer (which is much easier to handle than finding yourself completely out of a job and without any income at all!).
You’ll also have the benefit of being able to recommend, and therefore install and learn any new technologies you felt would benefit your customers… and your own personal growth. It’s tough to imagine any network administration jobs that could afford you such an unlimited growth potential.
Plus, you’ll be able to be selective about the companies you support and therefore the people who you work with on a daily basis. Set yourself up with fun, progressive clients and every day can be a varied, interesting, enjoyable work-day.
And lets not forget that you call the shots. You set your hours. If you’re doing proper system monitoring and remote support, you will be able to support your entire client base on just a few hours a day… and most of them can be from your kitchen table.
If you’re considering the network administration jobs that are available to someone with your skill set, there are few dream jobs that can provide you with the income potential, growth potential, job security and benefits that starting a consulting business can provide.