Spouting Off

MowMow Member Posts: 445 ■■■□□□□□□□
I am in my eighth year in systems/networking. I am specifically in the Cisco Voice group of my company, for the past 5 years. In my role, however, Cisco is an umbrella term, so I work on R/S, Voice, and Security. I am also on the list to handle VMWare issues. The bottom of the list, but still on the list. Recently I have asked for advice regarding the state of voice jobs near Charleston, SC, though my family and I are considering both SC and NC (RTP area). I want to start banging away on my CCIE Collab but I have absolutely zero motivation. I know that jobs in those areas are highly competitive, but I figure that even if I can be well on my way to sitting the lab I shouldn't have too much difficulty finding work.

The problem is, I am in a huge lazy period. I start reading the SRND and stop about half a page in. I start watching my IPExpert vids and stop after one. Work is tedious to me, and I get small, boring projects, but mostly I get break-fix.

We really want to move south, the winters here are crappy and we feel that the opportunities for the kids will be greater, but it all hinges on my ability to land a very good job. The plan is to move in two years, which should give me plenty of time to hone my skills.

What do you folks do to get and stay motivated? I am going to try visualization to see if that gets me going, and setting a schedule for study. Any other ideas would be appreciated. Thanks!


  • Danielm7Danielm7 Member Posts: 2,297 ■■■■■■■■□□
    You have a defined time line and a defined goals, that is more than most people have. As you mentioned, scheduling time for training is helpful for me, but it's also the first thing to get dropped when anything else comes along that needs to be done.
  • MowMow Member Posts: 445 ■■■□□□□□□□

    I know all about prioritization. We have 5 kids, ages 9 - 14. By the time I'm done being a network engineer and a dad, I'm exhausted.
  • joehalford01joehalford01 Member Posts: 364
    Prioritize. Don't look at the big picture all the time, just visit the big picture every now and then to make sure you're on track. Focus your daily energy on the small tasks. I have to read this chapter and watch two videos this week, that's it. Keep doing that and eventually you'll be done with all of the material.

    Scheduling the test ahead is good too, you can see how many weeks to study, then break down what you need to do each week to be ready. Then stop thinking about the big picture until that test is done. It keeps you from stopping everything because it looks so daunting.
  • MowMow Member Posts: 445 ■■■□□□□□□□

    Good call. I think this is my main issue, everything just looks so big and far away.
  • zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Where are you moving from, unless I missed it? Also I was previously looking into the RTP area myself and there seemed to be a fairly solid IT market there with a decent presence of companies and with your credentials I think you would have some success. I also have some friends who have similar credentials and work in the Charleston SC area as well. Depending on where you are coming from the COL should be a good bit lower in NC than where you potentially may be up north. I also think 2 years gives you time to further solidify your skills and credentials. As far as motivation, think about your family and doing what you need to do in order to get them where you guys want to be. Break the studying down into manageable pieces and slowly chip away at it.
  • iBrokeITiBrokeIT GICSP, GCIP, GXPN, GPEN, GWAPT, GCFE, GCIH, GSEC, CySA+, Sec+, eJPT Member Posts: 1,296 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Sounds like you need a break from the grind to recharge. Studying and labbing isn't always glorious or fun but the pay off is...

    2019: GPEN | GCFE | GXPN | GICSP | CySA+ 
    2020: GCIP | GCIA | eCPPT | eWPT | eCTHP

    WGU BS IT-NA | SANS Grad Cert: PT&EH | SANS Grad Cert: ICS Security
  • MowMow Member Posts: 445 ■■■□□□□□□□

    I am moving from a town in Central PA called Altoona. It's about 2 hours East of Pittsburgh. I work in the biggest Cisco VAR in the area. COL is not bad here, since it's the middle of nowhere. I already make pretty decent money, but with 5 kids it doesn't go very far. I would need to break 6 figures to make it work, no matter where I go.
  • philz1982philz1982 Member Posts: 978
    You only live once, do you want your life to be awesome or to suck? Look, some people have drive, some need to be motivated. It sounds like you are the later. That is not a bad thing, it's just something to be aware of. Now the trick is to find what motivates you. Obviously whatever motivated you in the past either A) does not work anymore B) is lacking.

    You also could be suffering with the curse of comfort. I'm willing to bet if you lived in Sub-Sahara Africa and your kids were eating dirt cookies living in a shack you'd be busting your a$$. The trick is how do you recapture that motivation?

    Focused goals work for some, for others they need to have failure, loosing a job or health issues drive change. Also, finding something outside of work that drives a sense of purpose is valuable. It can be exhausting when all your life is, is work, kids, sleep, rinse and repeat. There is no grand story or sense of achievement in that. I believe everyone wants to achieve, to do something great (not to be mistaken with becoming rich). What is that hunger and desire that drive you? If you could do your life over would you do things differently? If so what? Can you still do those things now?

    Hope this helps
  • MowMow Member Posts: 445 ■■■□□□□□□□

    Cool video. I need to stop recharging, hahaha, and get back into the groove!


    These are things I need to keep in mind. I used to be driven. Now I am too comfortable. Got money, got fat, got complacent. I need to get back on track, thanks!
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    iBrokeIT wrote: »
    Sounds like you need a break from the grind to recharge. Studying and labbing isn't always glorious or fun but the pay off is...


    Here is the one I listen to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70r4thpsCO4

    little more upbeat and gets me going. I know these are cheesy but I like them. icon_thumright.gif I got a shortcut to it on my phone and listen to it while I work sometimes. Don't care for the actual video... Just a bunch of sports stuff, think its better just to listen to it. (will play it over it and over sometimes)

    I agree it sounds like you need to recharge, like a week vacation or something... I have to imagine with 5 kids that has to be pretty hard though!
  • MowMow Member Posts: 445 ■■■□□□□□□□

    That is a good video. I like the bits about "perfect moments".

    We have some pretty good kids. They are well behaved and will leave me alone for studies when I need, I just feel guilty about it. On the other hand, I need to study to get ahead in this industry and I want to make sure they have I have a good financial foundation for when they are out in the world.
  • ccie14023ccie14023 Member Posts: 183
    I got my CCIE R/S in 2004, CCIE Security in 2008, and JNCIE-SP in 2014. Motivation is always a problem. I put off the first one about three years, the second one about two, and the third about four. If I had gotten off my rear I would have had a four digit CCIE number but oh well. Oftentimes I would start studying and then break off, but for me it seems that I reach a critical point in studying where I realize giving it up would be to leave a lot behind. For the JNCIE, it was when I passed the JNCIP (prerequisite for JNCIE). I found it to be a hard test and I dug through a lot of slides and did a lot of labbing. I didn't want to leave all of that behind. It felt a bit like if I left it behind it would be like getting a law degree without taking the bar. What's the point?
    I can only give a couple pieces of advice. Based on the above, the first would be to try to force yourself for a while until you reach the point where you would hate to waste your effort. The second would be to do everything you can in the lab. Watching videos and reading books is boring. If you are interested in your field, you will enjoy testing what you study in the lab. If you aren't interested in your field, you should probably find another.
  • MowMow Member Posts: 445 ■■■□□□□□□□

    It's not really that I'm not interested. It's more a problem that there's just...so...much...

    One thing I always do is change my mind about my goals. I realized this today as I removed my training materials from my tablet for CCNP ROUTE and put my CCIE Collaboration materials on there. As I was doing this, I had a moment of clarity: I do this about every six months. I change between RS, Voice and Sec all the time. It's partly because my job requires a breadth of knowledge across disciplines, and partly because I talk myself out of working. I need to stop that.

    I am loading my lab servers as we speak. I am going to try to keep forcing myself forward and stop second-guessing my choice. I am also going to tackle the CCIE Collab syllabus and break it into small chunks, create a study plan, and STICK TO IT.

    Thanks for the advice!
  • philz1982philz1982 Member Posts: 978

    Your writing already shows an excuse to not succeed. When you say you are going to try to keep forcing yourself or that you need to stop doing something you are subconsciously giving yourself excuses to fail.

    You either will or will not finish your CCIE. You either will or will not stop talking yourself out of working. It's not easy but it is simple.
  • MowMow Member Posts: 445 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Well, Phil, after my reactionary "Who does this guy think he is?!?!?!", I thought about it and you're right. Course corrected, thank you. I will no longer deal in "tries".
  • EdificerEdificer Member Posts: 185

    I would suggest maybe picking up some sort of activity where you physically exert yourself to your limit, it could help. I know it keeps me pretty focused for studying.
    “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” ― Confucius
  • Mike-MikeMike-Mike Member Posts: 1,860
    ccie14023 wrote: »
    I got my CCIE R/S in 2004, CCIE Security in 2008, and JNCIE-SP in 2014.

    Are you loaded?

    That seems like some high level certification, does that reflect in your paycheck?
    Currently Working On

    CWTS, then WireShark
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