Mainly, it was my mother who pushed me into a job with a government agency , even though it's my dad who works in public service. Safe job, said my mother, totally relaxed work, good training opportunities, regular salaries and work just five kilometers from home. For the old place I had to drive for an hour. I made the mistake and listened to my mother.

I do not want to give my name, because that would only cause trouble. Maybe at home, possibly by the authority I was with, possibly with my current employer, because I could be considered as a nefarious person. Therefore, I remain anonymous, but I assure you that I exist and that everything is right, of which I report. *

Techie in training

Although I am a nerd, but in a positive sense of the term computer geek. Because I do not lack social contacts and I'm not a nerd who spends his life behind the computer. Information technology simply fascinates me. Already as a child I dismantled Windows computers and reassembled them. I supported friends' computers, of course remotely, because in the early 2000s it was the coolest way to remotely help with computer problems.

Later, I turned my hobby into a profession and completed my apprenticeship as a specialist for system integration after my technical college entrance qualification. That was in the beginning of 2017. I'm born in 1992. I did not start my apprenticeship until the age of 21, before that pretty much everything went through school forms, which is conceivable and feasible: from high school to vocational school, there the Hauptschul-, Realschulabschluss and finally the Fachhochschulreife specializing in technology.

My apprentice company was a small mechanical engineering company. Nearly 150 employees and owner-managed. That was really fun, especially for the company. The owners were older, but super-loyal and with heart and soul for their company and employees. I felt in good hands and professionally professionalized my knowledge of hobby. As an apprentice, I sometimes had to clean up the boxes of new computers, but mainly I was integrated into the corporate processes and used in the Support Level 1 and 2 already from the first year of apprenticeship.

To differentiate competencies, support is divided into three levels: first, second, and third-level support. The latter requires the highest expertise. In my apprenticeship we were six IT apprentices. Two were taken, four had to go, including me. What was not about me or the other three: The business situation was not good at the time.

The job prospects are not as rosy as everyone says

After that, I spent three months with an IT service provider in user support. A small company with eight men. I felt constantly watched and monitored, had to settle accounts with the customer every minute. The job was stressful, ungrateful and poorly paid. That's why I applied for job advertisements and quickly found a new job, but in the form of temporary employment. Some say temporary work or temporary work.

I was used by the Temporary Employment Agency for a customer's IT support in levels 1 and 2 again. This was a medium-sized production company with 1,400 employees. Five months later, the company took over me indefinitely.

In my experience, the job prospects for IT professionals are not as bright as they are everywhere, even in economically strong regions. Before you get a firm contract, you have to prove yourself, even if you have a completed vocational training with work experience. I was in the company for a year, then I followed my mother's advice.

Up on Papers, Dropped off in Everyday Life

I got the job in the office surprisingly fast. In the public service Germany are desperately looking for ITler. Private companies hunt candidates down with much better salaries. The office was a small, rural authority. Everyone was already in such offices, in which ID cards are extended, married or excerpts of land maps are created. My job was again the user support, for the first time from level 1 to 3, so in full. On the paper I had risen professionally. But in everyday life fell deeply.

Welcome to the Stone Age Support!

The internal organization in the agency was pure chaos. There was no ticket system for support, almost everything stored in Word and PDF files. Welcome to the Stone Age Support! After some time I got married and suggested to the team leader to introduce a ticket system. It was supposed to facilitate work distribution and support organization, especially because we were five in the IT team across five locations.

I also suggested setting up a centralized hotline to help our colleagues with IT issues. In addition, I advised to use a document management system to centralize knowledge in our operations and to break it down into processes. The first attempt at change failed because my team leader had a great deal of IT understanding but did not want to change his way of working and that of the team.

The man is over 50 and has been in public service for 25 years. He was always friendly and always available for problems or questions. But when it came to changes in work processes, he was fundamentally skeptical. The chaos had become a daily routine and without chaos he would probably have missed something fundamental.

A few weeks later a meeting of several dozen IT members of all kinds of authorities took place, organized by the higher authority. The proposed the introduction of a ticket system, but there were too many votes. That's why the topic was suspended.

I quit shortly thereafter, ending the nightmare public service after half a year. The job demotivated me, bored and made me doubt myself. Since then I have a certain aversion to job offers from the civil service.

Work like chewing gum


My authority has definitely worked less than in the private sector. If a colleague had problems with his computer, the solution was not really urgent. People are used to killing their time. I had nothing left to do on several days of the week afternoon because I'm not the type to do a lot of work over the long day so there's always something to do.

Out of boredom, I once disposed of the cardboard from a truckload of new PCs until a colleague has advised me that it is the caretaker's responsibility. Otherwise he has nothing more to do. In order not to have to kill time meaninglessly, I have partly trained privately during working hours or read professional articles. For this we were even asked by the supervisor. Maybe because it's less obvious then that you have nothing to do. So you at least staring at the screen. People who can not be put under pressure and who can work for a long time like chewing gum fit in with an authority.

Everything Takes Time

Less work - less money. You'd think that's fair. But it is not. In big and important authorities, which are mostly located in centers, the IT-people have to do a good job, which I have learned in cooperation with higher-level bodies. However, they earn as much as an IT person in a small office in the province. Authorities flat-rate everything. That's a big problem for the employees there.

Also the bureaucracy. Everything takes longer in office than in private companies. The fewest employees have service cell phones, in the offices there is no WLAN and almost no authority is active in the social networks, for example for personnel recruiting. But for young people like me, that's the second home. The staff council of the authority, I once suggested to seek new employees in social media. That was rejected immediately.

My current employer found me there. Since March of this year I have been working in the foundation of a well-known IT pioneer in Germany, also in extensive IT support. A foundation is the ideal mix of public service and business: there is no pressure to earn money, but enough money for IT. This combination ensures a relaxed work and interesting tasks, in this I have found the right professional balance for me. The proximity to home is not so important anymore: For this job and my girlfriend, I moved away 500 kilometers from home.

Amram David

Senior Contributor at DFI Club
Amram is a technical analyst and partner at DFI Club Research, a high-tech research and advisory firm .He has over 10 years of technical and business experience with leading high-tech companies including Huawei,Nokia,Ericsson on ICT, Semiconductor, Microelectronics Systems and embedded systems.Amram focuses on the business critical points where new technologies drive innovations.
Amram David