Help desk jobs can be interesting and challenging. They are also one of the best ways to start your IT career because of how much you will learn in a very short time. These jobs not only help you connect with customers but also help lay a strong foundation of technical knowledge which will stick with you for the rest of your professional life. If you want to grow in the IT industry and improve your knowledge, starting as a help desk support technician is one of the best ways to kick start your career. If you are wondering what it takes to get a job with an IT help desk, keep reading to learn some traits help desk managers look for in their support team members.

Be ready to help others

When a manager looks to hire a help desk person, one trait they look for is your urge to help another person. The more eager you are to genuinely help someone, the more of an asset you will be considered for an organization. This also implies that you will look to learn more about the business because you will want to help your users.

The desire to help people is not just limited to end users, but also to your co-workers. The ability to be a team player and support your team members when they need help is a trait that will set you aside from other candidates. Working as a help desk technician just for the heck of doing it versus doing it because you like to help people are two different things. If you are not willing to help, you will likely be unwilling to learn new things and unwilling to go the extra mile if needed. This normally indicates that you would not be a good fit for this type of role.

Respect for the Customer or End User

It’s essential to respect customers and treat them well. In this type of role, looking down or talking down upon them just because they are not able to understand a technical aspect is something that will anger the end user and cause the call to be a bad experience for both parties. A friendly approach works best because it makes customers feel assured and that they are in good hands.

Positive Approach To Problem Solving

No one said that a support desk job would be easy. Most of your interactions will be with negative customers and extremely irate people who may even yell at you. You need to approach these situations positively and deal with your customers sympathetically so that you can tactfully provide them with a solution. This usually involves lots of listening so the customer can vent their frustrations before you ease into explaining possible solutions. Irrespective of how long their rant goes on, you must be patient and listen carefully so you can understand the issue. Once they have had a chance to vent their frustration, then you can begin to show them how to resolve the problem. Patience, empathy and a positive attitude are extremely important in helping you turn the most frustrated customer into a happy and satisfied customer.

When working in a Help Desk environment, it helps if the organization has Help Desk software like Track-It!. Help Desk Software with a solution knowledgebase helps take some of the pressure off technicians by providing the IT person with a library of searchable solutions they can use to help customers.

Contribute to a Relaxed Environment

Most people believe that the employer creates an environment in the workplace. The truth, however, is that the people working for the organization are almost equally responsible for the conditions of their environment. Most managers look for people who are positive, easy-going, team players that are typically happy. A positive attitude can be contagious and passed on to the other team members, and this makes working with each other much more enjoyable.

The better the mood of the group, the more likely it will be that the team enjoys and likes their job. Positive attitudes and a fun work environment  foster positive work relationships, better teamwork, higher job satisfaction, better service to end users and ultimately a more successful organization. This is also very helpful when working in high pressure environments like an IT call center, where high call volume or irate customers can occur.

Collaborate and be a Team Player

When people work together, it helps the employee, the department and the entire organization flourish. As mentioned earlier, helping people doesn’t only mean the customers that call, but also the team members that work with you. It’s important to understand that the success of your team is your success as well, and instead of worrying only about your achievements, worry about the goals and success of the entire team.

You may have to cover for someone when they are sick, take over a call to help someone who is in over their head, give advice on a technical or procedure issue and when you do, it fosters teamwork and goodwill that will be paid back to you when you need it. This type of attitude and teamwork helps maintain a healthy work environment and build a strong cohesive team.

Passion for Technology

People who work in IT are usually passionate about all things related to information technology. They don’t limit themselves to only learning about the things they need to do their current job. They are always interested in reading about, learning and trying out new technology. This  curiosity and fire in your belly to absorb as much information as possible is a hallmark trait of people who like working in technology fields. This is usually evident in their personal lives as well. Most people who work in IT have their own home networks, several computer systems of different types, more advanced smart home and entertainment systems than the average person and are always interested in learning about the latest tablet computer or virtual reality platform. The technology you know and are interested in doesn’t just come in handy in your current job. It is something that will stick with you for years to come. If you are considering applying for an IT help desk job, you should have the mindset that you want to learn new things and are willing to tackle anything technology related.

Communication Skills

Good written and spoken communication skills are one of the most important things that managers look for. This isn’t just limited to your vocabulary, but also the way you handle conversations and the tact that you use to deal with situations. Excellent listening skills are also part of your communication, and the ability to listen carefully, speak less and solve problems is all about good communication.

Organizations want you to spend as much time as it takes to make your customer happy but they don’t want your calls to be excessively long because you cannot understand the issue or cannot properly communicate the solution.

Having good communication skills will help you communicate solutions quickly and effectively and a system like Track-It! with searchable solutions and ticket history will help you find a solution more quickly. Having both of these will enable you to finish your calls faster and help more customers.

Looking at it from the Customer’s Point of View

Every help desk technician needs to be able to relate to the issue the customer is facing. Unless the help desk tech can place themselves in the customer’s shoes, they will not understand their stress or urgency. When you advocate for your customer and interact with them with genuine concern, helping them with a solution, the customer will be able to sense this. Help Desk managers are always on the lookout for good people that can empathize with customers.


Respecting your customer will help you to support them effectively. This may be difficult when your customer is not the most pleasant person to deal with or when they are angry and frustrated because of your product, but showing them respect and being courteous goes a long way when trying to solve their issue. Respect is not something just for your customers. Respecting your co-workers is also important and helps to foster a positive work environment as we talked about earlier.

It is never a good idea to be condescending or patronizing to a customer or a co-worker and doing so could be a sign that you are not happy and not cut out for this line of work. The friendlier and more respectful you are, the better the relationships you establish will be. If you are able to be kind to irate customers and help turn them into happy and satisfied customers by the end of your call, you should find that you can be very successful in an IT help desk.

Be A Detective

From the minute someone generates an inquiry to the end of your call, you should be like a detective, looking for clues throughout the conversation. Sometimes even the simplest things that the customer says, which they may not believe are essential, could hold the key to solving the problem. A good help desk technician pays attention to even the smallest detail and is always on the lookout for clues during a conversation that could help them solve the problem. An effective help desk software system like Track-It!, with a searchable solutions database and ticket history can also help you to find solutions.


When looking for a job with an IT help desk, you need to remember that managers are not just looking for someone who can handle massive call spikes and churn through calls as quickly as possible. While handling a high call volume under pressure is a valuable skill, most help desk managers prefer people that can provide high quality service and correct solutions to every customer they speak with. If they can also accomplish this quickly, that is an added bonus. If you are excited about technology, open to learning about new software and hardware systems, learn quickly, have good troubleshooting and analysis skills and a knack for customer service mixed in, you could be a very valuable addition to a help desk team.

Check out these other blog posts to learn more about help desk analyst roles and responsibilities or top 10 skills your help desk staff need.

Cris Coffey

Cris Coffey

Cris is the Principal Product Manager for Track-It! and BMC Client Management. Track-It! is a help desk software application designed for small to medium sized businesses and Client Management is an End Point Management software application designed for Medium to Large sized businesses.