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Life, Job, Pandemic, & the Universe

volfkhatvolfkhat Member Posts: 1,062 ■■■■■■■■□□
edited September 2021 in IT Jobs / Degrees

Hola!

it's been a while since i've signed on.
(i was locked out of my account for over 2 years lol)


Anywho, 
i got back in, started catching up on old threads, and started doing some self reflection...
particluarly after reading Geelo's thread:
https://community.infosecinstitute.com/discussion/136790/more-advice-and-tips-from-over-35-years-of-working-in-i-t

I really appreciated his point #5... so i decided i would add my 2-cents :]


---

Back in Fall 2015,
I found myself working at a Dead-end Desktop Tech job.... 60k salary.
it was the best i could get at the time;  Years of slacking & being Lazy & No Certifications... got me in that situation.
It was an Easy gig, and the pay wasn't bad.... but i was never gonna get ahead.
Nonetheless, i leveraged my situation as motivation; and i began studying for my CCNA.
9 months later, i got the cert, and immediately QUIT my job.


3 months later, i got lucky landed at a MSP working on a NOC.... 55k salary.
I promised myself i was Leaving in 2 years.
That 'promise' became a driving force that pushed me to "Make Every day Count".
i learned a ton: cisco catalyst , nexus, palo altos, juniper, f5 load balancers, VPNs, wireshark, solarwinds, Pki, and more.
They even had a cbtnuggets account; which i racked up over 200+ hours of video training.
After 22.5 months of "making every day count".... i QUIT & took some well deserved time off.


8 months later, i landed a job as a Network Security Administrator... 80k salary.
I promised myself i was Leaving in 2 years.
Within the first 4 months, I learned/mapped out the entire enterprise environment 
At that point... there wasnt much for me to do;  My 22-months of EXP working at the MSP, had trained me to do the new job with my eyes closed.
But i thought about the slacker i used to be.
So i decided to teach myself something new; Wireless. I spent 5 months labbing on our production Enterprise gear; and was able to get my ccna-wireless (just before it retired in early 2020).
.
then, as a 2020 Goal, the company wanted to implement/deploy 802.1x across the enterprise (via Cisco ISE).
So i began to start learning about Cisco ISE;
But the pandemic put everything on hold.
Then the furoughs came.... most of the company got PAID to Stay home.
But Not me... i was an "essential" worker lol.
But there was nothing "cool" for me to do.
The company had a 'change of course' and decided to focus on Moving to the Cloud (starting with Exchange to Office365).
Sounded cool in theory.... but in reality all i was doing was pushing goofy firewall rules everyday...
and then it would be ME who had to troubleshoot Why their "cloud stuff" wasnt working properly .
No Bueno.
So last October... after 18 months of employment... i QUIT & took a pandemic-sabatical.


Over the last 10 months, i studied/learned/labbed AWS, and got the SAA cert.
I was also able to finally finish my CCNP certification.
i was also able to reflect on my LAST 6-years...  i guess Pandemics have a way of doing that lol.

Carpe Diem Amigos!

Comments

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    UnixGuyUnixGuy Mod Posts: 4,569 Mod
    What an awesome journey

    you did really well. And you seem to understand the market well, Cloud knowledge is a must nowadays!

    Good luck and keep us posted with your progress! Motivation is hard to come by (for me)
    Certs: GSTRT, GPEN, GCFA, CISM, CRISC, RHCE

    Learn GRC! GRC Mastery : https://grcmastery.com 

  • Options
    volfkhatvolfkhat Member Posts: 1,062 ■■■■■■■■□□

    it's funny....
    i actually think Luck  played more of a Role to my 'success' (more so than me being able to read market-trends).

    My intention was for this post to be 'helpful' for others who are trying to 'make it' in IT.... but my thoughts kinda went elsewhere.

    I mean.. What was really my main takeway here?
    to Get a Job... and then plan to QUIT it within Two years?
    and The Universe will Deliver you a better opportunity shortly thereafter??
    lol



    I guess.... a better/safer piece of insight would be this:

     ENJOY what you do... it is probably the best indicator of eventual Success.

    Don't get into I.T. because you heard there's a lot of $$$ to be made.

    Do it because you enjoy it :]
  • Options
    JDMurrayJDMurray Admin Posts: 13,057 Admin
    volfkhat said:
    i actually think Luck  played more of a Role to my 'success' (more so than me being able to read market-trends).
    Yes, "random luck" is a major secondary factor in finding new opportunities along with "who you know" and "personal presentation." Primary factors are education, certification, experience, and self-marketing.

    volfkhat said:
    to Get a Job... and then plan to QUIT it within Two years?
    and The Universe will Deliver you a better opportunity shortly thereafter??
    This is the thinking of someone who has no spouse and children to support and plan for their future.

  • Options
    TechGromitTechGromit Member Posts: 2,156 ■■■■■■■■■□
    volfkhat said:

    9 months later, i got the cert, and immediately QUIT my job.

    After 22.5 months of "making every day count".... i QUIT & took some well deserved time off.

    So last October... after 18 months of employment... i QUIT & took a pandemic-sabatical.

    While it good to see your advancing in your career, i wouldn't recommend quitting a job before securing a new one. 8 months is a long time for be without a paycheck when you have expenses like health care, mortgage, feeding the kids.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • Options
    E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 2,233 ■■■■■■■■■■
    volfkhat said:

    9 months later, i got the cert, and immediately QUIT my job.

    After 22.5 months of "making every day count".... i QUIT & took some well deserved time off.

    So last October... after 18 months of employment... i QUIT & took a pandemic-sabatical.

    i wouldn't recommend quitting a job before securing a new one. 
    This is how I operate, but apparently what the poster is doing is working lol. 
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA, AWS
  • Options
    volfkhatvolfkhat Member Posts: 1,062 ■■■■■■■■□□
    volfkhat said:

    9 months later, i got the cert, and immediately QUIT my job.

    After 22.5 months of "making every day count".... i QUIT & took some well deserved time off.

    So last October... after 18 months of employment... i QUIT & took a pandemic-sabatical.

    While it good to see your advancing in your career, i wouldn't recommend quitting a job before securing a new one. 8 months is a long time for be without a paycheck when you have expenses like health care, mortgage, feeding the kids.

     :D:D  

    I mean... i think most rational persons would agree with your takeaway.
    in fact... i mostly agree with it too.

    But as i've gotten a bit older (recently hit my 40s)... i've finally accepted the obvious:
    Our time here is finite... so make it count.


    Regarding the 8 months i was "without a paycheck"....
    i described it as taking some well deserved time off.

    But a better choice of words would have been:
    i took some  well needed time off.

    (the MSP was a 24/7 pressure-cooker.... and Burnout  is a REAL thing)


    I only planned to be off for about 6-8 weeks.... 
    but... it turned into 5 Months before i was ready to go back :]
    (i even managed to squeeze in a few vaca trips during my break)

    So... in reality, it took me about 3 months to land my next position.
    (and i was also able to read/lab/study during this period as well :)


    ----
    Hmmm... quick observation:
    So how does a person take a well-needed 6-8 weeks of vacation.... if conventional wisdom dicates NOT quitting a Job before you land your next job?
    Is it really practical to ask an employeer to hold that position for you lol?


    I bet E Double U may be grinning as he reads this.
    Not having to worry about paying Massive monthly Healthcare Premiums, and Not being Restricted to only  2-3 weeks of annual vacation time....
    probably plays a factor ;)

  • Options
    E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 2,233 ■■■■■■■■■■
    volfkhat said:
    volfkhat said:

    9 months later, i got the cert, and immediately QUIT my job.

    After 22.5 months of "making every day count".... i QUIT & took some well deserved time off.

    So last October... after 18 months of employment... i QUIT & took a pandemic-sabatical.

    While it good to see your advancing in your career, i wouldn't recommend quitting a job before securing a new one. 8 months is a long time for be without a paycheck when you have expenses like health care, mortgage, feeding the kids.


    ----
    Hmmm... quick observation:
    So how does a person take a well-needed 6-8 weeks of vacation.... if conventional wisdom dictates NOT quitting a Job before you land your next job?
    Is it really practical to ask an employer to hold that position for you lol?



    You can request unpaid leave if it goes beyond the amount of vacation time you have which I did when my 2nd son was born. Some people even take sabbaticals which I have seen several times with my current employer. Not to say that is what you should have done because as I stated earlier what you have been doing has obviously worked for you.  :)
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA, AWS
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    TechGromitTechGromit Member Posts: 2,156 ■■■■■■■■■□
    edited September 2021
    volfkhat said:
     :D:D  

    Regarding the 8 months i was "without a paycheck"....
    i described it as taking some well deserved time off.

    But a better choice of words would have been:
    i took some  well needed time off.

    (the MSP was a 24/7 pressure-cooker.... and Burnout  is a REAL thing)


    I only planned to be off for about 6-8 weeks.... 
    but... it turned into 5 Months before i was ready to go back :]
    (i even managed to squeeze in a few vaca trips during my break)

    So... in reality, it took me about 3 months to land my next position.
    (and i was also able to read/lab/study during this period as well :)
    I don't pretend to know what your financial situation is, it can't be too bad if you can afford to have such big gaps in employment.  If it was me, I'd be standing in line at the soup kitchen after 8 months. Also it probably didn't help your retirement goals too much, a year of lost contributions, 20 years before you retire. I can see taking weeks off between positions, but not months. I recall a co-worker when was laid off in 2013, he thought it was the greatest thing, he got to enjoy the summer off while collecting unemployment. After 22 months of unemployment, he wasn't thinking it was that great.

    Not that I never had gaps in employment, but it wasn't by choice. I was laid off in 1991 for a year,  I was living with my parents still, so I didn't go homeless, but I exhausted my unemployment benefits and and savings. When I finally did land another job, my car was running on fumes and I paid the car insurance with a credit card. I another run in with the unemployment devil in 2013, for 3 months, but even with max state benefits, it didn't come close to covering my expenses.  Maybe it's just me, but the thought on no paycheck gives me a LOT of anxiety, which it part of what motivates me to get certifications. 
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • Options
    volfkhatvolfkhat Member Posts: 1,062 ■■■■■■■■□□
    edited September 2021

    Hmmm... quick observation:
    So how does a person take a well-needed 6-8 weeks of vacation.... if conventional wisdom dictates NOT quitting a Job before you land your next job?
    Is it really practical to ask an employer to hold that position for you lol?



    You can request unpaid leave if it goes beyond the amount of vacation time you have which I did when my 2nd son was born. Some people even take sabbaticals which I have seen several times with my current employer. Not to say that is what you should have done because as I stated earlier what you have been doing has obviously worked for you.  :)

    I like the way you operate  :)

    In fact... at that MSP i worked at... there was a guy who actually took a paternity leave.
    Quite a few of us lowly NOC guys were amazed by this lol

    I never got around to finding out if this was readily available to everyone.... or to just the chosen ones.
    (the guy was one of their Senior engineers)

    I suspect it had more to do with his title...  but you never know :]



    On the otherhand...
    i was just talking with my buddy last week about her situation.

    A few weeks earlier, she submitted to take 4 weeks of vacation time. She's planning to do some travelling.
    She works for a big Hospital... been there 7-8 years... doing something with Disease Prevention.... something about Vaccine Deployment initiaves into the communities.

    Anyway, i say all that to say: She had been working almost NonStop from March 2020 - June-ish 2021 (obviously).
    And things had finally gotten to a point where she could use some of her vacation time.

    Anyway, her manager got back to her last week...
    said that "the higher-ups weren't gonna approve somebody taking 4 weeks off all at once."
     :D :D 

    Imagine that...
    NOT being able to take YOUR own vacation time.... when YOU want.


    Needless to say, she didnt concede the matter (she's Not from around here).
    She escalated, and demanded to be shown the written-policy stating this 'rule'.
    There was none.

    She argued that it wasnt her fault that the pandemic happened... and she never complained about postponing her 2020 vacation plans... the vaccine work was more important.

    Ultimately... they conceded and approved her vacation request.
    But she's now worried that things might be "in motion" to end her employment.

    i told her to update her resume (just in case)
    :]
  • Options
    E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 2,233 ■■■■■■■■■■
    volfkhat said:

    Hmmm... quick observation:
    So how does a person take a well-needed 6-8 weeks of vacation.... if conventional wisdom dictates NOT quitting a Job before you land your next job?
    Is it really practical to ask an employer to hold that position for you lol?



    You can request unpaid leave if it goes beyond the amount of vacation time you have which I did when my 2nd son was born. Some people even take sabbaticals which I have seen several times with my current employer. Not to say that is what you should have done because as I stated earlier what you have been doing has obviously worked for you.  :)

    .
    said that "the higher-ups weren't gonna approve somebody taking 4 weeks off all at once."

    I have seen this before actually. In the environments that I was in it was about coverage. It was easier to take more time off in the larger 24/7 operational teams than in a group that heavily depends on you. The longest vacation I ever had approved was five weeks and it was approved for two reasons:

    1) It was my honeymoon
    2) The manager was on his way out so he approved it right before I was transferred to another manager. The new manager was not happy because the previous manager approved two of us being away for a similar amount of time lol. 
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA, AWS
  • Options
    volfkhatvolfkhat Member Posts: 1,062 ■■■■■■■■□□
     I don't pretend to know what your financial situation is, it can't be too bad if you can afford to have such big gaps in employment.  If it was me, I'd be standing in line at the soup kitchen after 8 months. Also it probably didn't help your retirement goals too much, a year of lost contributions, 20 years before you retire. I can see taking weeks off between positions, but not months. I recall a co-worker when was laid off in 2013, he thought it was the greatest thing, he got to enjoy the summer off while collecting unemployment. After 22 months of unemployment, he wasn't thinking it was that great.

    Not that I never had gaps in employment, but it wasn't by choice. I was laid off in 1991 for a year,  I was living with my parents still, so I didn't go homeless, but I exhausted my unemployment benefits and and savings. When I finally did land another job, my car was running on fumes and I paid the car insurance with a credit card. I another run in with the unemployment devil in 2013, for 3 months, but even with max state benefits, it didn't come close to covering my expenses.  Maybe it's just me, but the thought on no paycheck gives me a LOT of anxiety, which it part of what motivates me to get certifications. 

     :D:D

    i hear ya brotha!

    Im definitely not rich.... i'm just No Longer Afraid to Fail.


    I lost my Job & my Home 10 years ago (towards the end of the Housing Crash).

    Up until that point... i had done everything the 'right way':
    STEM College Degree (with no loans),
    A1 credit score,
    New home via fixed-rate mortgage,
    even Paid one-extra-housenote each year
    (you get the picture).

    but in the end... none of that mattered.
    i still lost it all
    lol

    I had a lot of time to reflect.
    and then...  by chance... my Aunt sent me this particular 60-minutes story:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwpdGyIY2fQ

    That's when i learned yet another important life lesson:
    The System is RIGGED.

    After a few more years of figuring-things-out....
    I came to the conclusion that doing things the right way wasnt working out for me.... so maybe i should start doing things the wrong way.

    Which leads us back to the start of this thread....... where i found myself working at that Dead-End job in 2015.


    Needless to say... 6 years later... I find myself in a much better situation.

    and i'll probably continue doing it the wrong way for the foreseeable future.
     <3<3
  • Options
    volfkhatvolfkhat Member Posts: 1,062 ■■■■■■■■□□
    has it been 10 months already??
    :D

    guess it's time for a quick status update!

    In short....  #StillWinning

    im currently on contract at a Bank doing a Network Refresh;
    They are replacing their old Checkpoint firewalls with next-gen Palo Altos.

    Have Picked up a Ton of crazy EXP.
    Have also Been stacking a Ton of $$$.
    Unfortunately, have also worked a TON of Hours to meet the project deadlines.
    lol


    oh well...
    Can't wait until December when the project concludes.
    I'll be taking a nice long well-deserved Vacation... then it's on to something new! 

    Who knew BREAKING ALL the RULES could be so Rewarding  B)B)


    also... just a fun read:
    https://insights.dice.com/2022/07/27/how-much-does-it-pay-to-jump-tech-jobs/

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