“Listen to me: don’t quit, don’t give up. If it get’s hard tie a knot around yourself, you double tie it if you have to, but you hold on”
Weekend motivation! Stay focused! Keep reaching, keep climbing!
I never thought that I would consider leaving my first networking job in just 7 months. Here is the back story. There has been this company in my area that I have been following for a long time and constantly checking for openings there. This company is rated in top 50 best places to work in the country as well as a huge number in employee satisfaction. I am going to leave the name of this company anonymous.
So this past Monday I received an email from glassdoor.com with my daily “15 network engineer openings in your area” and to my surprise the company I have been following for almost a year had an opening for a Junior Network Engineer. I felt like my heart skipped a beat as I quickly opened up the job description. Reading through the job details I could tell this was perfect for me. They are looking for someone with some LAN/WAN network support experience as well as a degree. Most importantly they are looking for someone that has a passion for networking and learning. I quickly updated my resume and sent it on its way.
Withing two days I received an email from HR saying that they want to schedule an initial phone interview. Ecstatic as hell that my resume was even seen by them we set up a meeting for Thursday at noon. Which is today :). Last night I did my normal research of the company so I can show that I am serious about this opportunity. While doing research on the company I also came across a post that read “Hardest Companies to Interview For” and what do you know the company that I am interviewing with is on that list! My heart sank slightly as I read through tons of potential interview questions. I began to doubt myself feeling scared about this whole entire interview. Then a quote came to mind. A quote that is perfect for my very situation. A quote that sends chills down my spine whenever I read it.
“Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may never exist. Fear is a choice.”
So today is the day, I sit here waiting for noon to arrive so I can take the phone call and hopefully impress the person on the other end. Working for a top company in the country is something that not many people have the opportunity to even interview for. I feel very fortunate to have even been given this chance. But I know that there is only one person that made this all happen, ME! I am the one that studies everyday! I am the one that loses countless hours of sleep! I am the one that refuses to give up and stop pushing myself to my limits! I deserve this chance and now it is once again all up to ME to make this happen!
Yes! Yes! Yes! I was told yesterday by my supervisor and I couldn’t be more ecstatic! I never expected to be going to Cisco Live so early in my career. Just thinking about all the CCIEs that I will be in the presence of makes me slightly nervous. I feel this will be a great learning experience as well as a chance for me to meet a ton of new people. The best part about this is that I will be surrounded by individuals that all share the same passion for networking that I have. Cisco Live this year will be held in San Francisco. I have been to California once before and I loved it. It’s a beautiful state with amazing weather. I have hopes to maybe even work in the area one day
I plan to document my trip to Cisco Live on my blog as well as give a live feed at my twitter @NetworkingLink Obviously the day is still months away but I just wanted to share the good news!
So I came across a forum post this morning and I just have to write about it. Basically there is this man who has been working at the same job for almost 20 years and is upset because he is not making the money that he wants too. It is evident through his posts that he lacks confidence in himself and blames other people for his short-comings. Saying things like “the rich keep getting richer, and the poor keep getting poorer”. These kind of statements make me sick to my stomach! These are the kind of people I don’t want in my life because they literally try and drain the motivation out of you. They have completely submerged themselves in this mentality that there is nothing they can do to succeed in life so they mine as well feel bad for themselves. Well guess what? I am here to tell you this is 100% false. I can say this in confidence because I am living proof that if you work your ass off everyday and never lose sight of your goals you will be successful. There is going to be hard times, a ton of them in fact, that you will need to overcome. However these are merely testing your will and motivation because once you get past those hardships your goal will be in arms reach.
There are a ton of these people in the working world and I am sure many of us work with one on a daily basis. The people that complain about their pay or that they will never be able to afford a certain thing. Isn’t it funny that these people don’t try and change their situation? Really…they sit at work all day and complain…then they go come and complain some more to their family. It makes no damn sense and it actually makes me laugh. Nothing is free in this world and you will only be paid as much as your worth. So logically we should try and make ourselves more valuable right? Exactly! Go out there and make your employer value your work. Get certifications, go for your masters, lead a big project, do whatever you can to make yourself more valuable in your employers eyes. If after all that work and your employer still looks at you the same way then it is time to jump ship and move on.
“Don’t sell yourself short, decide what you are worth and go and get it”
Its been 20 weeks since I began studying for my CCNP Route exam and the time has finally come to show what I have learned! I scheduled my exam for this Saturday at 8am, reason I am taking it so early is because I am going to the beach afterwards :). Hopefully all goes well and I pass so I can have an enjoyable weekend of rest and relaxation at the beach. If I pass Route then I plan to dive right into my Switch studies on Monday. I am still working on the CCNP Switch study plan. However expect to see it posted in the following week. Just to recap here is what I have used to prepare for my CCNP Route exam.
- Cisco Press FLG Route
- CBT Nuggets
- The Bryant Advantage
- 101 CCNP Labs
- Cisco Student Lab Manual: Route
Looking for a job can be very intimidating especially if you have never dealt with job posting websites before. However going to these websites and getting your resume on them is very important so recruiters/employers can see if you are a good fit for their company. Also these websites will allow you to search through thousands of different job openings and apply to whichever ones interest you most. Keep this in mind though, most job posting list requirements that often times far exceed your skill set. This does not mean you shouldn’t apply. Remember these requirements are for an “ideal” candidate. Companies will oftentimes take a risk on someone who doesn’t have the “ideal” skill set and mold them to their liking. However this does mean that you will most likely get paid less than what the job posting originally said. This may be worth it because the experience you gain will pay itself off in 1-2 years time.
Personally I like putting my resume on as many job posting sites as I can. I like being able to go to each site and browse through the different job postings and apply to ones that catch my eye. Keep in mind that these websites don’t always have the same job postings across the board. So if you really want employers to notice you, you should post your resume on at least 3-4 sites. Also as side note, you WILL be contacted by a lot of recruiters and I think it is in your best interest to give them some of your time and chat with them. Recruiters have a very big network and they can often get your foot in the door of a job you have been wanting.
So here are the resources I use when I am on the hunt for my next job.
- Craigslist.com (I usually would only browse around)
I have been told by a few individuals over the years that you can not plan out your career, and that things will always come up that you never expect throughout your entire career. I do agree with this to an extent however I think having a 3 or 5 year plan is crucial to your success. Of course their will be occurrences that you never expect to happen; some will be good and some will be bad. What matters is that you are able to deal with them and continue with your 5 year plan.
Since starting full-time in IT I made myself a 5-year plan and have achieved so far every goal I had initially set for myself. This included passing my A+/Network+/CCENT/CCNA and also getting into the networking field within my first year of working full-time. This is not a coincidence or luck. I am living proof that if you set your mind to something and you want it more than anything else you will achieve it. Some other goals of mine in my 5 year plan include passing CCNP/CCDA/CCDP, become a mid-senior engineer, become a network consultant, and finally passing CCIE. Passing CCIE may not happen in my 5 year plan but I feel that if I stay at the pace I am currently keeping I should be able to pass it by the time I am 26-27.
So please do yourself a favor and literally write yourself out a career path and follow it. Don’t lose sight of your goals and don’t let other people tell you that you are taking the wrong path. Trust me you will run into tons of people that think certifications are a waste of time. Get those kind of people out of your life. I guarantee you will surpass their skill set much faster then they took to get their.
I had an interesting conversation yesterday with one of the network engineers at my current job. We began talking about the new position I had received and he seemed very happy for me. This engineer has always been someone that I could pick the brain of. He is very humble and also loves to teach people that are willing to learn. He was a very valuable resource of mine during my studies. I truly will miss him and I hope that at my new place of employment I find someone similar to mentor me.
He began telling me that their are two types of network engineers. Ones that specialize in a certain niche and ones that are more generalist. By that he meant they handle the servers, voice, networking etc. At my current job the network engineers are more on the generalist side since they often need to wear different hats throughout their day. Their are pluses and minuses to being a generalist or specialist. However in my opinion I think being a generalist is good to be during the beginning of your career and then as you grow and learn you pick a specialty and make that your main focus. Of course it is always good to be “well-rounded” however I believe you can only get so far. I much rather be a master in one specific thing then being decent at everything. Reason being is that as you move into more senior roles you will be required to have very in-depth knowledge of a particular niche.
We both agreed on this, and I am very happy to say that my niche will be Cisco. My new employers network infrastructure is all Cisco gear so I know that my studies and day to day work will go hand-in-hand. I feel very fortunate to be given this opportunity and I hope that my transition will go smoothly.