Anyone ever feel guilty for taking too much time off from certs?

JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California KidMod Posts: 2,827 Mod
The last cert I obtained was my GCIA in January 2016. So it's now been over a year since I've obtained a cert, and it's been probably 4 months since I even attempted to study for any. I started the PMP but stuff got in the way, then decided to challenge either the GCIH or GPEN, but stuff got in the way. In both cases I just never went back to studying. Part of the reason is I reached my career and income goals at my new job in December and decided to reward the prior 3 years cert spree with some time off, and part of it is that I just got lazy feeling icon_lol.gif. When I realized this past week it had been over a year since my last cert, I started guilt tripping myself.

I've got to renew my real estate broker's license next month, and then I am definitely starting on my studies for the CISM. Anyways, knowing how this community is like minded in wanting to continually improve knowledge and abilities, I'm curious if anyone else also took a little too much time off and felt the same way.
Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
Currently Working On: Python, OSCP Prep
Next Up:​ OSCP
Studying:​ Code Academy (Python), Bash Scripting, Virtual Hacking Lab Coursework
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Comments

  • MitMMitM Member Posts: 622 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I sometimes feel guilty when I get behind in my studies due to slacking off. In your case, there is nothing wrong it.

    I reached my income goals too and thought I'd take a long break from studying but then I decided I had a new income goal :D
  • iBrokeITiBrokeIT GICSP, GCIP, GXPN, GPEN, GWAPT, GCFE, GCIA, GCIH, GSEC, CySA+, Sec+, eJPT Member Posts: 1,303 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Certs aren't everything! Taking the time to work on other practical projects and reap the benefits of your hard work are also just as important. For me, it is all about balance to achieve longevity and avoid burnout.
    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
  • TechGromitTechGromit GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 2,000 ■■■■■■■■□□
    All work and no play makes jack a dull boy. There's more to life than Work and passing certs, I see nothing wrong with kicking back and taking some time off for yourself. However never forget your goals, and never let your desirable certs lapse.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Mod Posts: 2,827 Mod
    I do, but I'm still trying to creep my way up. Sounds like your a good place and some time off from cert hunting was well deserved.

    Are you still going for the CCSK? I honestly found that test to be extremely easy. The fact that it was open book and there are PDF copies of the material made looking up questions I didn't know stupidly easy... I read both the CSA guide and ENISA papers twice. But still, I think I could've looked up every question on the test just using the Ctrl+F and word searching if I hadn't studied. I don't think they should ever make tests open book, but thats a whole nother can of worms!

    Nah I stopped studying as part of my lazy spell. It's on my to-do list for later this year.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: Python, OSCP Prep
    Next Up:​ OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (Python), Bash Scripting, Virtual Hacking Lab Coursework
  • kurosaki00kurosaki00 Member Posts: 973
    I did not felt guilty until I was laid off...
    Got a new job and I'm getting paid better than on that one but I learned my lesson. Need to keep up with times and need to keep upgrading my skills.
    Always be ready.
    meh
  • NOC-NinjaNOC-Ninja Member Posts: 1,403
    I dont remember when I stopped. I remember I didnt study when I went to a vacation.
    Its getting to a point that I am so sick of it. Although, I know that if i stop, someone is out there pushing himself and out studying me. On top of that, my pay is maxed out.

    I went from CCNA, CCNPs > CCIE > CEH > CHFI > CCIE-sec written while juggling MSISA (Im done after this capstone). Also, Im doing some other jobs on the side that will bring extra money. I wanted it ALL. I let my CWNA expire.

    Next target is CISSP and OSCP.. Juggle python and linux in there.

    Im not really sure when Im going to stop. A lot of people always asked me when does it stop. I actually dont know. Maybe when i die.
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Teradata Assc 16, CSM, MS Access 2016, 2019 Member Posts: 2,584 ■■■■■■■■■□
    @OP - Sounds like you are on the path to rehabilitation.
  • gespensterngespenstern Member Posts: 1,243 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I haven't passed a single cert in a year, but I'm working on OSCP which is big, on top of full time demanding job, WGU and family obligations. I failed CCSP though, which isn't a big deal in both preparation and failure itself as I missed it by just 1 or 2 questions. Will get it later...
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Mod Posts: 2,827 Mod
    kurosaki00 wrote: »
    I did not felt guilty until I was laid off...
    Got a new job and I'm getting paid better than on that one but I learned my lesson. Need to keep up with times and need to keep upgrading my skills.
    Always be ready.

    That's been the single biggest factor for me to continually build up my resume and keep up with the latest technology so I'm not in a tough spot if anything ever happens to my job.

    NOC-Ninja wrote: »
    I dont remember when I stopped. I remember I didnt study when I went to a vacation.
    Its getting to a point that I am so sick of it. Although, I know that if i stop, someone is out there pushing himself and out studying me. On top of that, my pay is maxed out.

    I went from CCNA, CCNPs > CCIE > CEH > CHFI > CCIE-sec written while juggling MSISA (Im done after this capstone). Also, Im doing some other jobs on the side that will bring extra money. I wanted it ALL. I let my CWNA expire.

    Next target is CISSP and OSCP.. Juggle python and linux in there.

    Im not really sure when Im going to stop. A lot of people always asked me when does it stop. I actually dont know. Maybe when i die.

    That sounds like me from 2013-2016. After obtaining my Net+ and Sec+ I went on a tear and knocked out CISSP>ITIL F>CEH>CHFI>GSEC>GCIA while knocking out my MSISA, working on my real estate brokers license, and trying to sharpen some other skills.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: Python, OSCP Prep
    Next Up:​ OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (Python), Bash Scripting, Virtual Hacking Lab Coursework
  • yoba222yoba222 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,199 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I once worked with a guy that took 14 years off between certs. He was comfortable with his job and salary. Then he got laid off (so he claimed). We were both in a jr. tech support role, which he had to accept because needed the money and nobody else would hire him. We were at the same salary. That was about when he realized an associate's in electronics from the late 90s and an MCSE from the same era no longer cut it. Doesn't compare to one year--but one year off leads to two years . . .
    A+, Network+, CCNA, LFCS,
    Security+, eJPT, CySA+, PenTest+,
    Cisco CyberOps, GCIH, VHL,
    In progress: OSCP
  • Dakinggamer87Dakinggamer87 Gaming Tech Expert Silicon Valley, CAMember Posts: 4,016 ■■■■■■■■□□
    iBrokeIT wrote: »
    Certs aren't everything! Taking the time to work on other practical projects and reap the benefits of your hard work are also just as important. For me, it is all about balance to achieve longevity and avoid burnout.

    Agreed spot on!! icon_thumright.gif
    *Associate's of Applied Sciences degree in Information Technology-Network Systems Administration
    *Bachelor's of Science: Information Technology - Security, Master's of Science: Information Technology - Management
    Matthew 6:33 - "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."

    Certs/Business Licenses In Progress: AWS Solutions Architect, Series 6, Series 63
  • bigdogzbigdogz Member Posts: 860 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I do feel a bit a guilt because I see it as a discipline like working out or karate.

    I have been lucky that I can take a month or two off from certs, but I have to realize the fact that I have to be on my game in the case of layoffs. The market is competitive and I have to keep my skills up in order to have the trifecta of education, certs, and experience. I have been learning some coding when I get a chance.
    When I stop studying from time to time, I think of my friends who have the certs and those who don't. I see the difference of how many people knock on the doors of those who possess the certs.
    If my company will pay for my training, or some training, I will take it all because I know (from experience of others) next time they may not ask me.

    I am working on my GCIH and it seems to be fun. I would go on but I have to update my index and notes. icon_cool.gif
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I can't say that I feel any guilt at all. It's been a few years. I think for me - it was just a phase. I may do some again but right now - I prefer unstructured learning.
  • jamesleecolemanjamesleecoleman Member Posts: 1,899 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I don't feel guilty... I just feel kinda stupid.

    From time to time, I've been in a situation where I should have pushed harder, studied longer, went for this or that... and every time I let myself slip that reminder comes back. So I'm always trying to study something that has a cert to back it up even if I don't have the experience for what I'm learning.
    Booya!!
    WIP : | CISSP [2018] | CISA [2018] | CAPM [2018] | eCPPT [2018] | CRISC [2019] | TORFL (TRKI) B1 | Learning: | Russian | Farsi |
    *****You can fail a test a bunch of times but what matters is that if you fail to give up or not*****
  • Dakinggamer87Dakinggamer87 Gaming Tech Expert Silicon Valley, CAMember Posts: 4,016 ■■■■■■■■□□
    paul78 wrote: »
    I can't say that I feel any guilt at all. It's been a few years. I think for me - it was just a phase. I may do some again but right now - I prefer unstructured learning.

    I think that can be true for many of us. I was the same way when I first got into IT. I still do certs from time to time. Life is full of many different opportunities to experience. :)
    *Associate's of Applied Sciences degree in Information Technology-Network Systems Administration
    *Bachelor's of Science: Information Technology - Security, Master's of Science: Information Technology - Management
    Matthew 6:33 - "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."

    Certs/Business Licenses In Progress: AWS Solutions Architect, Series 6, Series 63
  • Danielm7Danielm7 Member Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
    It's been some time for me too, my work has a budget freeze which isn't helping either. Had a bunch of plans for training for my team and they're put on hold for now. With that said, there is always a ton to learn, so don't make the mistake of thinking not taking another test equaling not learning. I know a bunch of people who haven't had a current cert in a decade plus but are recruited constantly for their work history and skills.
  • Dr. FluxxDr. Fluxx Member Posts: 98 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Depends on what field one is in.
    If I get all certs in my profession im not going to go after random certs. ex If I have OSCP, OCSE,etc, I wouldn't go for networking (cisco) certs.

    In addition, if do have all the Offensive Security Certs, there's really no need for the CEH (unless the job requires it).
    I may get the CISSP, but eventually youll hit a point, certwise, IMO a ceiling.

    Id be enjoying life at that point. (Unless there's cert updates)
    I just dont see the point of doing certs just for the sake of doing it.
    At some point youre making certain companies out there richer and i could be doing other things with my time as noted prior.
    I figure, once ive come to a mastery level, staying sharp and keeping on top/RESEARCH would be where id stay.
    That and probably teaching.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Aside from renewing expired certs, I hadn't spent time on certification in several years. For me, I feel more guilty when studying for certifications takes me away from other things more so than the other way around. I did let myself get way behind, though, and that is a problem. There is a balance which will be different for everyone.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Mod Posts: 2,827 Mod
    That's true blargoe. I already implemented the rule that I don't take time away from my wife or kids for studying. So I have early morning, during work day when I have downtime, and at night. I'm at the point where I don't want to get too far behind so I'm getting back to it after I finish my real estate stuff in March.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: Python, OSCP Prep
    Next Up:​ OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (Python), Bash Scripting, Virtual Hacking Lab Coursework
  • chrisonechrisone Senior Member Member Posts: 2,132 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I think taking time off is healthy. Just understand getting back into the swing of things may be a little rough. Sometimes you can fit in your studies during work and live a study free at home afternoons and weekends. That all depends on the cert difficulty and work responsibilities/downtime.

    I think next year I am just targeting maybe 1 or 2 certs and only studying for those at work. I want to spend my free time in 2018 working out, exercising, hiking, jeeping, beaching, traveling, and enjoying outdoors living. 2019 maybe I do no certs at all and take time to just keep the relevant certs.

    With experience we all tend to slow the cert hype down I suppose :)
    Certs: CISSP, OSCP, CRTP, eCPPT, eCIR, LFCS, CEH, AZ-900, VHL:Advanced+, Retired Cisco CCNP/SP/DP
    2020 Goals:
    Courses: VHL (completed), CQURE: Windows Security Crash Course (completed), BlackHills InfoSec: Breaching the Cloud (completed), eLearnSecurity: WAPTv3 (completed), IHRP (completed), THPv2 (completed), PTXv2 (in-progress)
    Certs: VHL: Advanced+ (completed), OSCP (completed), AZ-500 (failed 1st attempt), eLearnSecurity: eWPT (failed 2x, no further attempts), eLearnSecurity: eCIR (complete), eLearnSecurity: eCTHPv2 (report: awaiting results), eLearnSecurity: eCPTXv2 (Late-Nov)
  • PC509PC509 CISSP, CEH, CCNA: Security/CyberOps, Sec+, CHFI, A+, Proj+, Server+, MCITP Win7, Vista, MCP Server 2 Oregon, USMember Posts: 801 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Sometimes I feel like I'm not doing enough for my career if I'm not studying for and taking another cert. But I am working, getting experience, doing bigger and better projects at work.
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Teradata Assc 16, CSM, MS Access 2016, 2019 Member Posts: 2,584 ■■■■■■■■■□
    blargoe wrote: »
    For me, I feel more guilty when studying for certifications takes me away from other things more so than the other way around.

    Sounds like a person who has it together.
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Mod Posts: 2,827 Mod
    Well my self-guilt period is almost over. My internal drive has returned and I just ordered the latest CISM Review Manual and hoping to attempt the beginning of May. I knew it was only a matter of time before my laziness gave way to my usual burning desire to continually improve myself.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: Python, OSCP Prep
    Next Up:​ OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (Python), Bash Scripting, Virtual Hacking Lab Coursework
  • SteveLavoieSteveLavoie Member Posts: 875 ■■■■■■■■□□
    For the last 3 years, I only maintained my VMware VCP, and wrote some partner specific certs (online), like VMware Sales Professionnal, VMware Technical Sales Pro, Veeam, HPE, etc... I had the drive for 1-2 week, then something else captured my attention. Indirectly I was preparing for many certs like Sec+, MCSA etc.. but never make the last mile toward writing the test. I was feeling guilty of that many times. It is not even a monetary matter, as my company reimburse all certs exam if successfull (and even unsuccessful in some case). I cannot even tell, I was lazy as I worked 50-60h a week and somewhat tried to balance work and family life.

    Now, I decided for 2017 to get into cert frenzy :). VCP renewal in January, SSCP in February on my way to CISSP in late Q2 (before my holiday in July). My boss pay me to get the Veeam Certified Engineer cert at VeeamON in May. So I will probably sat this exam in May. After CISSP, I will probably make a few easy one, like Server+ (requirement for HPE, Lenovo partnership) before going to the route of OSCP or MCSA/MCSE on Server 2016.

    One of the thing that help me a lot, is this forum where I can share with like-minded people. I discovered it in the last week, and I try to be an active member. It help me keep my motivation.
  • iDShaDoWiDShaDoW Member Posts: 67 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Guilty here as well.

    When I was in college I was grinding through certs in my spare time or during summer break.

    Now that I'm working it's a bit harder to find the time to sit down and read after work or on weekends when I'm doing all sorts of reading/learning while at work. Would quickly lead to burn out.

    Gotten recently through work:
    -CEH v7
    -Junior FireEye Engineer*
    -CoreImpact PRO*

    *Those aren't really full blown certs imo and are like "gimmes" from the vendor after taking their 1-week training courses.
    Also got training for ForeScout NAC so I should go back and sit their certification exam at some point.

    On the horizon:
    -GCIH - should be soon - just waiting to see if my current employer will reimburse the challenge fee (old employer paid for the bootcamp but I would need so many extensions it'd be cheaper to pay to challenge the exam)
    -CyberArk*
    -Splunk*
    -SailPoint*
    -Xceedium*
    -VCP6 Cloud - Company asked if people were interested in training - said yes but haven't heard back.

    *These are needed for my current job.

    Too much to do, too little time. Life and family gets in the way and it's hard to get away or lock myself in a room to get it done and I don't even have kids (just a 7-month old nephew that I spend a lot of time watching).
  • 9bits9bits Member Posts: 138 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'd say I feel more anxious than guilty. If I take too much time off, I feel like I'm not making any progress toward my goals and then I start to feel overwhelmed under my own self-assigned aspirations.
  • TechGromitTechGromit GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 2,000 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Of course, I failed my CCENT 4 weeks ago, and haven't done any significant studying since. I need to motivate myself, I need to pass this certification to qualify for government positions I'm interested in. Many higher level government IT positions have a security cert, like a Security+ or GSEC and a technical certification requirement, which is usually a Cisco related cert.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • wd40wd40 CISA, eJPT, MCP, MCTS, CompTIA x 6 Member Posts: 1,016 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I feel some guilt like most of you.

    I paid for eLearnSecurity eWPT when it was launched 1.5 Years ago (Lab time expires in June).
    Then I paid for eLearnSecurity eCPPT Gold when it was launched last year.
    And in Jan of this year I bought an ITIL Foundation exam voucher.

    I was thinking if I pay for the course / exam I will be motivated to study, this is not the case, I am still planning to start any one of them "soon".
  • SteveLavoieSteveLavoie Member Posts: 875 ■■■■■■■■□□
    wd40 wrote: »
    I feel some guilt like most of you.

    I paid for eLearnSecurity eWPT when it was launched 1.5 Years ago (Lab time expires in June).
    Then I paid for eLearnSecurity eCPPT Gold when it was launched last year.
    And in Jan of this year I bought an ITIL Foundation exam voucher.

    I was thinking if I pay for the course / exam I will be motivated to study, this is not the case, I am still planning to start any one of them "soon".

    wd40, I think your problem is that you spreaded too wide. You started too many thing, 2 paid course and another un-related certs. So you procrastinate because there is too much work.

    For many month, I was jumping around from project to project.. (MCSA, ITIL, CEH, CISSP) and cannot dedicate to one. Sure I got some knowledge but no certs... Then I started to focus on 1 and only one. I then started to have some result.
  • roninkaironinkai Senior Member San DiegoMember Posts: 305 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Oh yea. My beginning of the year "1 cert per month" plan fizzled out real quick. Cert-ADHD perhaps. I'm doing some that I want because of the perceived ROI. Others, for simply learning more about the topic. But school is really the priority as I dont actually need more at this point in time. My CISSP was the last biggie to knock out, so in time, I'll get back to a good study schedule.
    浪人 MSISA:WGU
    ICP-FDO ▪ CISSP ▪ ECES ▪ CHFI ▪ CNDA ▪ CEH ▪ MCSA/MCITP ▪ MCTS ▪ S+
    2020 Level Up Goals: (1) DevSecOps Learning Path (2) OSCP
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