A Tale of Two Job Offers: Stay in traditional networking field or take a Cloud position

psytek000psytek000 CCNA R&S, Security, Data Center, CCDA. Azure MTAMember Posts: 17 ■■■□□□□□□□
Hello All!

So I am in a bit of a conundrum; I've been on the job hunt for the last few weeks and I've received two offers. Both offers are around the same salary with similar benefits and are an increase over what I'm currently making.

Job offer 1 is a traditional senior network engineering position and will offer growth in working on Palo Alto firewalls, Juniper routers, and some light VMware. This will complement my years of Cisco and Arista networking experience. The commute for this job is also great as it will be 8 minutes down the road (compared to my current 35 minutes leave at 630am deal). The contract also has 9.5 years left, so it is stable.

Job offer 2 moves away from traditional networking and is 100% in the cloud (AWS to be exact). I have basic, personal development cloud experience with Azure, so this will offer professional growth opportunities in AWS. In addition to that, there are lots of opportunities for automation (e.g. Ansible and Python) which will be huge. This will be a bit of a learning experience, but I'm dedicated to become proficient and I know they will work with me especially if I show the initiative. Downsides to this position is the contract has 1.5 years left (but they believe they will win the re-compete - I know what they all say) and my commute will stay at 35 mins though i probably won't have to leave as early.

7 years ago I took the risk of leaving IT support for network engineering and it paid off. In my mind, position 2 offers me the future and growth to stay relevant, but that 10 years and short commute though. ;)

What do you guys think?

Comments

  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,752 Mod
    Job offer 1. 
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • psytek000psytek000 CCNA R&S, Security, Data Center, CCDA. Azure MTA Member Posts: 17 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thanks! May I ask why (I assume the 10 year and commute)?
  • TechGromitTechGromit GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 1,995 ■■■■■■■■□□
    psytek000 said:
     Downsides to this position is the contract has 1.5 years left (but they believe they will win the re-compete - I know what they all say) and my commute will stay at 35 mins though i probably won't have to leave as early.

    7 years ago I took the risk of leaving IT support for network engineering and it paid off. In my mind, position 2 offers me the future and growth to stay relevant, but that 10 years and short commute though. ;)

    What do you guys think?
    I'm assuming government contract? I wouldn't be very concerned about the length of time left on the contract. Generally what I've found with government contracts is, if a new company wins the contract, they just hire pretty much everyone that was working under the old contract from the losing bidder. After all they know the work / projects and it's the least amount of disruptions to the client. If they hired all new staff, it would be a considerable learning curve to get everyone up to speed. My only concern would be the new company could try to offer you a lower salary, but if you make yourself indispensable, you just call there bluff and demand what you want.    

    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • bigdogzbigdogz Member Posts: 847 ■■■■■■■□□□
    It doesn't matter what we think.... what do you want?

    Option 1 is more conservative and will give you more of a well rounded networking and firewall background. It is also a longer term position.

    If you can afford to gamble then take option 2. Also option 2 will give you programming skills... if that is what you want to do in the future.
  • psytek000psytek000 CCNA R&S, Security, Data Center, CCDA. Azure MTA Member Posts: 17 ■■■□□□□□□□
    psytek000 said:
     Downsides to this position is the contract has 1.5 years left (but they believe they will win the re-compete - I know what they all say) and my commute will stay at 35 mins though i probably won't have to leave as early.

    7 years ago I took the risk of leaving IT support for network engineering and it paid off. In my mind, position 2 offers me the future and growth to stay relevant, but that 10 years and short commute though. ;)

    What do you guys think?
    I'm assuming government contract? I wouldn't be very concerned about the length of time left on the contract. Generally what I've found with government contracts is, if a new company wins the contract, they just hire pretty much everyone that was working under the old contract from the losing bidder. After all they know the work / projects and it's the least amount of disruptions to the client. If they hired all new staff, it would be a considerable learning curve to get everyone up to speed. My only concern would be the new company could try to offer you a lower salary, but if you make yourself indispensable, you just call there bluff and demand what you want.    

    That is correct it is a government contract. So both salary offers are in and are very generous. I didn't hide my lack of cloud and automation experience from company 2, but they said they liked me and thought I'd be a good fit for the team and capable of learning (which I agree :) ).
  • psytek000psytek000 CCNA R&S, Security, Data Center, CCDA. Azure MTA Member Posts: 17 ■■■□□□□□□□
    bigdogz said:
    It doesn't matter what we think.... what do you want?

    Option 1 is more conservative and will give you more of a well rounded networking and firewall background. It is also a longer term position.

    If you can afford to gamble then take option 2. Also option 2 will give you programming skills... if that is what you want to do in the future.
    If I'm honest - the contract on job 2 is more exciting. I'm more excited to get into the cloud and automation and feel like it will help me stay relevant in the future. I always hear how SDN and virtualization is changing the networking field. I have about 30 - 35 years left before I retire (if I'm lucky), so I've got to stay current as much as possible. I wish company 2 had an on premise network so I could still keep one foot in traditional networking but probably not as much as I wish they were down the road :)
  • bigdogzbigdogz Member Posts: 847 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I think you should go for door #2! Good luck in either case.
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Mod Posts: 2,821 Mod
    Me personally, I'd go for #2. Hammer the crap out of cloud/devops knowledge and certs while you're there for the remainder of the contract. You'll have zero issues keeping or even gaining new employment regardless of the contract situation when it's done. As for job 2 not having a network to keep skills up with, hop on over to r/homelab  ;)
    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
  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,752 Mod
    psytek000 said:
    Thanks! May I ask why (I assume the 10 year and commute)?
    Yes, but ultimately it is up to you..what does your gut say? 

    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • itdeptitdept Registered Users Posts: 174 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Go with your gut. I would go with option 2 as there is a lot of future growth and want to be on the train before everyone else starts jumping on
  • scascscasc Member Posts: 289 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Option 2 all the way; a job that it sounds like you want to do would easily negate any of the negative aspects (commute, 1.5 year left on contract etc). Cloud is the future and here to stay - a different mindset to traditional networking and one if you can really get to grips with will help you for a long, long time. Worst case - even if after 1.5 years you leave, you can find easily find a new position based on the experience you will gain. Coupled with a couple of certs - you are well on your way. Best of luck.
    MSc, BSc (Hons), AWS CSA, C-CISO, CISSP, CCSP, CCSK, CISM, CISA, CRISC, GSTRT, GSNA, GCCC, CEH, ECSA, CHFI, TOGAF, CISMP
  • LordQarlynLordQarlyn Member Posts: 648 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I'm the type who is willing to trade more risk for better growth opportunities. I would go for #2. No change in your commute and to get hands on experience in AWS to supplement your Azure experience, sounds better to me in the long term. Unless #1 offers a substantial pay increase over #2 but you stated that was not the case. Cloud is definitely the direction IT is heading, and having both under your belt will keep you employable and earning good paychecks.
  • LordQarlynLordQarlyn Member Posts: 648 ■■■■■□□□□□
    psytek000 said:
    Thanks everyone! I really do appreciate all the feedback. I accepted job offer 1...






    just joking ;) offer 2 this morning and have already started prepping for the AWS Cloud Practitioner exam. I likely have a few weeks before all the transition stuff happens so this is a great time to prepare and cert. 

    Thanks again guys; I wish you all the best in the new year and beyond! 

    Congrats and all the best to you!
  • DFTK13DFTK13 Member Posts: 174 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I know I’m a bit late to it, but I just wanted to say job# 2 would also be my pick because of the exposure to programming and automation in a cloud environment, the skills and experience gained from that will transfer very well. 
    Certs: CCNA(200-301), Network+, A+, LPI Linux Essentials
    Goals: CCNP Enterprise(ENCOR + ENARSI), AWS CSA - Associate, Azure AZ-104, Become better at python, learn docker and kubernetes

    Degree: A.S. Network Administration
    Pursuing: B.S. in I.T. Web and Mobile Development Concentration
  • email2vmemail2vm Member Posts: 17 ■■■□□□□□□□
    congratulations and all the best!!!
  • SteveLavoieSteveLavoie Member Posts: 827 ■■■■■■■□□□
    It depend on how old you are, and if you will be ready to retire after job #1 contract.  At that moment, you could have some difficulties to find a job. 

    If you are younger, take #2. 
  • psytek000psytek000 CCNA R&S, Security, Data Center, CCDA. Azure MTA Member Posts: 17 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thanks to all who posted, but got some unfortunate news to report. As my [bad] luck would have it - two days after I signed the offer letter for job 2, I was told that funding for the position apparently fell through. However, luckily for me, I did not turn down the offer from company 1. Company 2 did offer me another position with the same salary but it did not have the same level of growth as company 1's position nor their original position. So long story short - I accepted and am in the process of joining company 1. A little disheartened about not being able to work the original position, but I plan to make the most out of company 1's opportunity. If there's a lesson I've learned it's that there are no guarantees. 
  • LordQarlynLordQarlyn Member Posts: 648 ■■■■■□□□□□
    psytek000 said:
    Thanks to all who posted, but got some unfortunate news to report. As my [bad] luck would have it - two days after I signed the offer letter for job 2, I was told that funding for the position apparently fell through. However, luckily for me, I did not turn down the offer from company 1. Company 2 did offer me another position with the same salary but it did not have the same level of growth as company 1's position nor their original position. So long story short - I accepted and am in the process of joining company 1. A little disheartened about not being able to work the original position, but I plan to make the most out of company 1's opportunity. If there's a lesson I've learned it's that there are no guarantees. 
    Man, sorry to hear about that but at least you still had the door to Company 1 opened. And you have the right attitude, all of us should be making the most of our opportunities because, as you point out, there are no guarantees in life. Good luck and I hope this works out a lot better.

  • DFTK13DFTK13 Member Posts: 174 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Well, everything works out the way they do for a reason, as stated above you have the right approach. I wish you the best in this job. 
    Certs: CCNA(200-301), Network+, A+, LPI Linux Essentials
    Goals: CCNP Enterprise(ENCOR + ENARSI), AWS CSA - Associate, Azure AZ-104, Become better at python, learn docker and kubernetes

    Degree: A.S. Network Administration
    Pursuing: B.S. in I.T. Web and Mobile Development Concentration
  • PantherPanther Member Posts: 118 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I've never been in your position OP, but that's amazing job 2 can change things like that, after you've signed. Thanks for sharing your experience, and I like your attitude. 
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,168 Mod
    Congrats! It's a great time to be doing cloud and devops!
    Goal: MBA, Jan 2021
  • Hawk321Hawk321 CCNA R+S, CCNA CyberOPS, LPIC-1, LPIC-2, UBRSS + UBRSA, Proxmox AdvancedAdmin+some other small certs Member Posts: 97 ■■■□□□□□□□
    psytek000 said:
    Thanks to all who posted, but got some unfortunate news to report. As my [bad] luck would have it - two days after I signed the offer letter for job 2, I was told that funding for the position apparently fell through. However, luckily for me, I did not turn down the offer from company 1. Company 2 did offer me another position with the same salary but it did not have the same level of growth as company 1's position nor their original position. So long story short - I accepted and am in the process of joining company 1. A little disheartened about not being able to work the original position, but I plan to make the most out of company 1's opportunity. If there's a lesson I've learned it's that there are no guarantees. 
    I would also tend to job offer #1

    Let me explain something about "Cloud Stuff"

    AwS, Azure etc. are nothing else than a platform that run some Linux tech under the hood. Once the Ansible Playbooks are mature, you will eventually get kicked out and be replaced by some low wage guy (until the sh*t hits the fan).
    1.5 years left for a contract is not long. You will at least need 6 to 12 month to fully master Ansible. And if you don't have deeeeeeep Linux knowledge, your position will be always on the "delete me now list".

    It seems you have some respectable network skills...build on it and become an expert in a serious environment.
    Degree in
    computer science, focus on IT-Security.
    CCNA R+S and CCNA CyberOPS
    LPIC-1,LPIC-2,LPIC-3: Security
    Ubiquiti: UBRSS+UBRSA
    some other certs...


  • TechGromitTechGromit GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 1,995 ■■■■■■■■□□
    psytek000 said:
    As my [bad] luck would have it - two days after I signed the offer letter for job 2, I was told that funding for the position apparently fell through.
    This is one of my issues with Government contract work, funding is problems could make your position very unstable. I was fortune enough to be on a good solid contract from 2006 to 2012.  In 2013 the Government sequestration cuts hit, I avoided getting laid off until May. Eventually i ended up at a much better place, but I knew co-workers that stayed in government contracting, they get one contract, and 6 months later funding get cut and they be looking again. 2013 to 2015 was a very turbulent time to be a government contractor.        
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
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