Next Move: Finding a business-oriented role

I have three years' experience in technical support at a large international company, but my employer has decided to move its IT...

I have three years' experience in technical support at a large international company, but my employer has decided to move its IT department to the north of England. As I am not willing to relocate, I am looking for a new job. I want to move out of a 100% technical role or perhaps into something related to business in the IT sector. What do you suggest?

Smaller firms are your best bet
There are a number of routes you can take. You could go for a support role within a small company that would benefit from building on your existing skills and cross-training you into new areas. You may even find a role where there are only a couple of people in IT, where you would get a good grounding in all aspects of IT and business.

The other option is to look for office management-type roles. Your IT skills would be of enormous benefit (although mainly as a user) but you could be involved in setting up service level agreements with suppliers, procurement, training and other business-focused functions.

Customer service, on the other hand, could be a natural step away from first-line support into a more outward-facing role. This in turn could lead to a pre- or post-sales position.

You do not mention the specific business area you work in, but whatever it is you are looking for your first port of call should be companies in the same line of business. That way you will have some valuable business knowledge to offer.

Finally, an alternative way to get further qualifications should you decide to move up the support ladder would be to work for a manufacturer or reseller. It is in their interests to have you trained to the highest levels so that the support you can offer their clients is the best it can be. To find local companies you could try a publication such as the Computer Users Yearbook, which lists companies on a geographical basis and also provides details of the main manufacturers and resellers.

Solution by Tracey Abbott, Zarak Technology
The panel: MSB International, Best International, BCS, Computer Futures, Computer People, Elan, Reed Computing, Netheads Consulting, Zarak Technology, E-Skills UK

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