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How Jakolby Progressed from Field Tech I to Field Tech V in Under Two Years

When Jakolby relocated to Oregon from Texas, he sought employment with Spectrum as a field technician, intending it to be temporary. He quickly realized he was embarking on a promising and rewarding career path. Jakolby says working at Spectrum aligns with his passion for growth and long-term career aspirations.

Q: What was your role when you first joined Spectrum?

I joined Field Operations in Astoria, Oregon, in November 2021 as a Field Technician I.
When I first relocated to Oregon, I found out I was too young to do any work with the local EMS due to insurance reasons, which is what I did in Texas. I found a job opening at Spectrum and applied, thinking it was temporary, but now I’m thankful it led me here.

My initial responsibilities included responding to residential installs and trouble calls, as well as any other special projects that needed assistance – a hotel install, for example.

Q: What is your role today?

I’m currently a Field Technician V in the same office I started in about two years ago. While I still do handle plenty of residential jobs, I have now added business and enterprise clients to my scope of work. This gives me an extremely varied day-to-day work experience, as I can be in a multi-room hotel on one job and an apartment the next.

In addition, I’m one of the technicians in our office who handles Fiber-To-The-Premise (FTTP) installs and trouble calls. I also have assumed a team leadership role on top of my responsibilities. I make sure to communicate to everyone in my office that they can call me at any time and, if I can help them, I’m happy to do so. This may range from the occasional physical assistance I may provide to a fellow tech to teaching a newer tech who needs instruction on a more complicated job. I try to support my coworkers in any way that I can with the hopes that they would do the same for me.

Q: How did your coworkers help you progress so quickly?

I remember being inspired by the senior technicians who trained me. Early on, I saw the kind of career one could have if they invested in their growth and pursued educational opportunities. Most of those who trained me have gone on to leadership positions or advanced to other positions in my office.

Specifically, my mentor and direct supervisor, Justin, has supported my career progression. Justin is one of the few people I know that has a similar thirst for knowledge as I do. He taught me quite a bit about the job, and we both take it upon ourselves to constantly try and learn as much as we can about our field. I know I can always go to him with a question and if he doesn’t know the answer, he will take his own time to research and find a resolution. I credit him for adding fuel to the flame that is my curiosity.

In addition to the support I received from my colleagues, I was really motivated by the financial incentives if I progressed in my field. As someone who loves to learn, it was a no-brainer for me. I saw the opportunity to learn more about an industry that was new and exciting to me while also being rewarded financially. I have doubled my income in just two years at Spectrum. Spectrum makes it simple to make these leaps and bounds in your career.

Q: What are your future aspirations?

While I am happy with where I am in my career, I never want to stop learning. The certificates I’ve obtained and the coursework I’ve pursued have given me the knowledge necessary to be successful in my role while also being an asset to my colleagues. I have been taking additional NCTI courses – paid for by Spectrum – that aren’t required for raises or title changes. I am also working on my associate degree in broadband technology at Arapahoe Community College through Spectrum’s Education Assistance Program.

With the things I have learned from NCTI, working in an ever-changing field of technology, and furthering my education with the support of Spectrum, I hope to someday be a software engineer or cybersecurity specialist. I am excited to continue learning and feel more than capable to take on whatever comes in my path.

Q: Earlier, you mentioned your “thirst for knowledge.” Where did that come from?

I credit my dad for instilling the work ethic I apply to my career. He taught me from a young age how to work hard and what it should mean to me. He now works as a server technician for an IT Services and Consulting company and he tells me often how proud he is of me for getting a good start in my life. The fact that we can talk to each other about new and upcoming things in the ever-changing world of technology that we both work in is one of my favorite things about our relationship.

Q: What advice would you give others looking to advance their career?

I could preach about NCTI and coursework, but having a mentor was by far the most valuable for me. Having someone with a similar career trajectory guiding me was so crucial for my growth.

As much as I offer myself as a source of information for my coworkers, I also rely on a few mentors. Getting another perspective that I haven’t thought about or considered has helped me grow and stretch myself as a leader. Above all else, never stop asking questions.

Q: Is there any additional information you’d like to share?

I don’t think I could do this job to the extent I have without the people I work with. From my supervisors and other members of management above me to the people I see multiple times a week, this job would be a lot less fun without them. I look forward to sharing stories from the week over coffee with my fellow techs during our meeting. I know that if I’m out late stuck on a job, I will always have a friend who will come and help me. The level of camaraderie that is felt every day in my office has been a very large part of why I love this job so much.

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