July 5, 2021

Am I a phony?

Hey all, just want to start off and say sorry if this doesn’t belong here and I assume mods will remove if not.

Currently, I’m going through a rough mental patch lately and not sure if it’s growing pains or if I’m nothing more than a pair of “smart hands”. I have been in IT for about 4 years now but most of that time was at a call center/helpdesk position where I feel I wasn’t gaining much if any relevant experience. So I studied and got my Net+ and CCNA and looked for the next step.
A year ago I joined a MSSP in my area on their projects team. Essentially a client buys some new technology and they bring it to us to configure/test/implement and write up user documentation for their IT staff to take over as well as security assessments/recommendations/rule hardening and a lot of proper network practices. I must say none of my certs felt like they transferred much at all. I feel slightly conversational but feels like I had to “relearn” it all. We’re a smaller team and I started off as a junior tech and was able to progress slowly at first which felt great. Recently we have lost two of our more senior techs which has thrown me into a more mid-level role. This isn’t a horror story where my world is on fire and my boss expects me to be perfect. They know what I am and what I know but keep giving me harder and harder projects and I love the challenge. My problem is I feel like I’m a phony, I feel like I have to rely on google more than I should. I find myself googling terms I should know and things I have done before. My performance at work isn’t bad but I feel like a trained monkey sometimes.

Long winded story aside, is this feeling of being a phony common in the field? I really enjoy what I’m doing but I have noticed almost all of my stress is self inflicted. I’ve def learned a lot so far but feel I’m so far behind the curve in so many different areas and no idea how I can catch up. Any tips or words of advice in someone in my position? Do the skills I vaguely mentioned in the job description sound like a strong base?



This is normal


We all go through it and the graph should have a few more peeks and troughs in it IMO.

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