Do you binge and then just chill?

N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
Now I haven't been doing certifications as long as a lot of you all, but I have done quiet a few in a relatively short period of time. Do you ever take a break and then realize that it's going to take some serious motivation to continue on. Right now I am in the middle of a book ISO 27001 super light read, still I can't get into it at this time. I have a potential job, plus I was semi neglectful with my family when studying for the certs I have.

Is this normal to want to just get away for a month or maybe even more? I know it's probably a silly question, I was looking for people who maybe went through such a time and how did they get out of it, or did they ever get out of it?

Thanks

Comments

  • wolverene13wolverene13 Member Posts: 87 ■■□□□□□□□□
    N2IT wrote: »
    Now I haven't been doing certifications as long as a lot of you all, but I have done quiet a few in a relatively short period of time. Do you ever take a break and then realize that it's going to take some serious motivation to continue on. Right now I am in the middle of a book ISO 27001 super light read, still I can't get into it at this time. I have a potential job, plus I was semi neglectful with my family when studying for the certs I have.

    Is this normal to want to just get away for a month or maybe even more? I know it's probably a silly question, I was looking for people who maybe went through such a time and how did they get out of it, or did they ever get out of it?

    Thanks

    This is totally normal. After going through a draining process such as studying for certs, labbing out configs, etc, it's perfectly understandable to want to take a break. In fact, it's probably better for you so you don't get stressed out. I'm actually on the other side of the spectrum. I recently got my CCNP and have already purchased books to study for the CCIP. I was going to try to just take a break, but I felt unproductive and almost "naked" because I wasn't studying for something. I almost have to force myself to stop studying for certs lately.
    Currently Studying: CCIP - 642-611 - MPLS
    Occupation: Tier II NOC Tech - Centurylink
    CCIP Progress: [x] BSCI
    [x] BGP
    [ ] MPLS
    [ ] QoS
  • cablegodcablegod Member Posts: 294
    Oh yes. I've been on the certification wagon for about 11 years now. We all go through phases with it. We'll do several than take some time off for R&R and then dive back in head-first. Perfectly normal :)
    “Government is a disease masquerading as its own cure.” -Robert LeFevre
  • jamesleecolemanjamesleecoleman Member Posts: 1,899 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I think its normal for some people and not for others. I do take small breaks in the middle of studying but I don't take breaks after getting a certification done. I really like to learn and I usually study two different certifications at the same time and I keep going.
    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*****
  • Chris:/*Chris:/* Member Posts: 658 ■■■■■■■■□□
    This is totally normal. After going through a draining process such as studying for certs, labbing out configs, etc, it's perfectly understandable to want to take a break. In fact, it's probably better for you so you don't get stressed out. I'm actually on the other side of the spectrum. I recently got my CCNP and have already purchased books to study for the CCIP. I was going to try to just take a break, but I felt unproductive and almost "naked" because I wasn't studying for something. I almost have to force myself to stop studying for certs lately.

    I feel just like this when I take a break, I feel like I am falling behind so I have to get back to work. Perhaps when I am more accomplished I will feel differently.
    Degrees:
    M.S. Information Security and Assurance
    B.S. Computer Science - Summa Cum Laude
    A.A.S. Electronic Systems Technology
  • tbgree00tbgree00 Member Posts: 553 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I took a 6 month break between my first test and second, then a year between my second and third. Since that third test, which happened in May 2009, I have taken 13 certification attempts with 11 passes and 1 test coming up. Assuming I pass that test I want to do the Security+ this year and I will possibly rest after that. Then again I may as well take the 299 while it's fresh in my head so who knows.

    I am addicted to achievement. I always have been, since I was in school and they gave a trophy for academic acomplishments. I used to get my fix through getting straight A's in school. Then I added competitive nerd groups (Academic team, Science Olympiad, Debate team). I guess this is just the next step since I'm not in school anymore.
    I finally started that blog - www.thomgreene.com
  • motogpmanmotogpman Member Posts: 412
    In my case, between my daily job, family, and the pressure I put on myself to make up for lost time, I am going through a burn out stage currently. I am also noticing that I am not able to retain the info as good as I used to when I was younger (over 40 now). Taking the 293 really put a mental strain on me, I have never had such a hard time passing one test, it really pulled a lot of wind from my sails.

    One of my hang ups is that when I start losing motivation, I ride myself, and in the process I probably put even more stress on myself by taking on more than I should. I wasted several years ( possibly 6 years) by not getting a lot of these things out of the way when I actually had time (no family) and a job that would allow me to have accomplished what I am trying to do now.

    One of the reasons I come back to TE everyday to at least cruise the various topics is to motivate myself by reading other peoples experiences, to know that I am not the only "slacker" out there at times, and to gain good knowledge. I had to stop for about 7-8 months, and that is hard to get back into it. Before that, it was like fire in me and I was banging them out on a regular basis. I think stopping is a bad thing, at least for me.
    -WIP- (70-294 and 297)

    Once MCSE 2k3 completed:

    WGU: BS in IT, Design/Management

    Finish MCITP:EA, CCNA, PMP by end of 2012

    After that, take a much needed vacation!!!!!
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    motogpman wrote: »
    In my case, between my daily job, family, and the pressure I put on myself to make up for lost time, I am going through a burn out stage currently. I am also noticing that I am not able to retain the info as good as I used to when I was younger (over 40 now). Taking the 293 really put a mental strain on me, I have never had such a hard time passing one test, it really pulled a lot of wind from my sails.

    One of my hang ups is that when I start losing motivation, I ride myself, and in the process I probably put even more stress on myself by taking on more than I should. I wasted several years ( possibly 6 years) by not getting a lot of these things out of the way when I actually had time (no family) and a job that would allow me to have accomplished what I am trying to do now.

    One of the reasons I come back to TE everyday to at least cruise the various topics is to motivate myself by reading other peoples experiences, to know that I am not the only "slacker" out there at times, and to gain good knowledge. I had to stop for about 7-8 months, and that is hard to get back into it. Before that, it was like fire in me and I was banging them out on a regular basis. I think stopping is a bad thing, at least for me.


    But now that you have a family don't you feel you need to allocate sometime to them to?

    I have a family so I have to do the proverbial juggling act, which a lot of time requires me to lock myself in my study to pass and learn the certification material. That requires time and removes me from my family. I guess one dilemma I have run into is just that very thing. Family and Job Success. I think the breaks are good for me, because not only do I give myself time to digest the material and put it to practical use, before learning another technology/framework but I get to spend more time with the family and enjoy life.

    I guess that is why I binge study and cert up in that capacity.
  • mikedisd2mikedisd2 Member Posts: 1,096 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I really only study for things I can used or are currently using. I want to get a VCP but seeing I don't have enough experience yet, it may not be beneficial.

    Which is why I haven't done any exams since January. I'm not sure what will match my experience and lift me up to the next level. I'm struggling to finish my CCNA because I don't touch any Cisco products at work.

    ie., Knowing there is a payoff, will get me motivated to study for it everynight. Otherwise, nothing.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    mikedisd2 wrote: »
    I really only study for things I can used or are currently using. I want to get a VCP but seeing I don't have enough experience yet, it may not be beneficial.

    Which is why I haven't done any exams since January. I'm not sure what will match my experience and lift me up to the next level. I'm struggling to finish my CCNA because I don't touch any Cisco products at work.

    ie., Knowing there is a payoff, will get me motivated to study for it everynight. Otherwise, nothing.


    I am the same exact way. I have one last maybe 2 certs in me. Those are security based certifications. Almost every IT job deals with security in one capacity or another. It is really the only certification at the moment I can justify studying for.

    Maybe Network + too since I do level 1 NOC support.
  • SabaloSabalo Member Posts: 100
    When I am at home, I tend to study certs based on where I am versus where I want to be in the IT field. When it is time to move up, in my mind, I certify.

    Now out HERE, I just certify because I need something to do, and you can only watch so many movies and run so many miles before you need brain stimulation.
    I'm no expert, I'm just a guy with some time, money, and the desire to learn a few things.

    Completed ITILv3 on 11/20, working on College & METEO, reading Classics on my Kindle, organizing my music library with Mediamonkey & TuneUp, trying to lose a wee bit of weight by running, eating less, and lifting weights, planning for my stateside vacation, and wasting time posting on forums.
  • subl1m1nalsubl1m1nal Member Posts: 176
    I go through ups and downs when it comes to studying. Currently, I'm down and kinda burnt out. Motivators usually help. If my boss came in and offered a bonus to get MCITP: EA, I'd be all over it and get it knocked out in a few months. For now, there are other things more important. I got a wife, a son, and a house. I'll probly take up studying again in the winter months.

    Really, I'm getting burnt out on M$ certs. I'm thinking about going after more security related certs as my job is more geared towards security than it has been in the past.
    Currently Working On: 70-643 - Configuring Windows Server 2008 Applications Infrastructure

    Plans for 2010: MCITP:EA and CCNA
    70-648 - Done
    70-643 - In progress
    70-647 - Still on my list
    70-680 - Still on my list

    www.coantech.com
    www.thecoans.net
    www.facebook.com/tylercoan
    www.twitter.com/tylercoan
    www.linkedin.com/users/tylercoan
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Appreciate the responses

    I think there are multiple reasons to get certs, this post is a good indicator of that. Some like to cert up because of the current technology they are presented with others do it to launch their careers into the industry. And some have a lot of spare time and would rather learn and study than watch TV.

    Thanks for participating in the post. I found that this post has heighten my awareness even if just a little bit.
  • motogpmanmotogpman Member Posts: 412
    N2IT, I guess to clarify on the family statements, my family is very important to me. Actually, I allocate a lot of time with my family, the problem is trying to juggle both at the same time. Somtimes when I know I should be studying, I am spending time with my family, and vice versa. I put a lot of pressure on myself to do the best I can too. When I was single, I feel I should have been spending some time doing what I am now, instead of trying to make up time that I can't get back.

    Having a family and kids IS my motivator, it's the time juggling that can be hard for me sometimes. I don't have some family members with me 24/7, so the time they are with me it's total devotion time with them. I think my biggest issue is taking that big break and getting back into the study role is hard at the moment. I won't take that long of a break again, especially if trying to cover a whole MCSE/MCITP type track.
    -WIP- (70-294 and 297)

    Once MCSE 2k3 completed:

    WGU: BS in IT, Design/Management

    Finish MCITP:EA, CCNA, PMP by end of 2012

    After that, take a much needed vacation!!!!!
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    motogpman wrote: »
    N2IT, I guess to clarify on the family statements, my family is very important to me. Actually, I allocate a lot of time with my family, the problem is trying to juggle both at the same time. Somtimes when I know I should be studying, I am spending time with my family, and vice versa. I put a lot of pressure on myself to do the best I can too. When I was single, I feel I should have been spending some time doing what I am now, instead of trying to make up time that I can't get back.

    Having a family and kids IS my motivator, it's the time juggling that can be hard for me sometimes. I don't have some family members with me 24/7, so the time they are with me it's total devotion time with them. I think my biggest issue is taking that big break and getting back into the study role is hard at the moment. I won't take that long of a break again, especially if trying to cover a whole MCSE/MCITP type track.


    I'm in the same boat. The juggling act can get tiring.
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Member Posts: 4,024
    I used to.

    Then I realized that to get where I wanted to be certification wise, I had to treat it like a marathon, not a sprint.

    So now I try to study a little bit each day, just to make studying a habit instead of something I have to relearn after a period.

    I usually take a week off every couple months though and go out and have fun instead of studying. Don't want to catch cabin fever
  • snokerpokersnokerpoker Member Posts: 661 ■■■■□□□□□□
    It's actually refreshing to see people in the same boat I am in. I just became a father not too long ago and am taking WGU courses, working full time, and trying to balance everything. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed because I want to pursue CCNA (as well as other certifications) after my degree and continue to advance my career, but my wife already wants to have more kids. I will probably end up with two kids in the long run of things, but we are only 3 months in with our first. Honestly the thought of a second right now is scary. Anyway....... I wish you guys the best of luck with the juggling/balancing act.
  • Michael.J.PalmerMichael.J.Palmer Member Posts: 407 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I've been binging on certs since April with about a new cert about every four weeks or so. I'm still deciding whether to pursue the Security+ later this year or not... Right now I've got the 646 lined up within the next couple of weeks followed shortly by the Network+ (both of which I don't think should be any problem to pass with at least a little prep work). After that my school is going to give me study materials for the CCNA and I'll be doing a self-study program geared towards that and can test for that whenever I wish within the next year free of charge. So right now I'm thinking about taking the study materials and holding off on that until next year... If I do decided to do the Security+ then it'll be a three to four week prep at the most and test in December sometime.

    Heh, that'll give me all together about 10 cert tests that I've taken this year alone and an additional three or so I plan to do next year. I may take a break next year, but I'm like most of you. Afraid to lose that momentum that I've built up so far.
    -Michael Palmer
    WGU Networks BS in IT - Design & Managment (2nd Term)
    Transfer: BAC1,BBC1,CLC1,LAE1,INC1,LAT1,AXV1,TTV1,LUT1,INT1,SSC1,SST1,TNV1,QLT1,ABV1,AHV1,AIV1,BHV1,BIV1
    Required Courses: EWB2, WFV1, BOV1, ORC1, LET1, GAC1, HHT1, TSV1, IWC1, IWT1, MGC1, TPV1, TWA1, CPW3.
    Key: Completed, WIP, Still to come
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Member Posts: 2,621 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I'm the worst at this. I'll blow up 2-3 certs in quick succession and lay back for like six months. I get into grooves where all I want to do is study until I hit a predefined goal. I'm starting to get back in that now.
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
    CCNA Security | GSEC |GCFW | GCIH | GCIA
    [email protected]
    http://twitter.com/paul_bosworth
    Blog: http://www.infosiege.net/
  • rogue2shadowrogue2shadow CISSP, GXPN, OSCE, OSCP, OSWP, eMAPT, CEH, CNDA, A+, Network+, Security+ Member Posts: 1,501 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Paul Boz wrote: »
    I'm the worst at this. I'll blow up 2-3 certs in quick succession and lay back for like six months. I get into grooves where all I want to do is study until I hit a predefined goal. I'm starting to get back in that now.

    I feel the same way at this point. I set the goal to get the CompTIA triad and CCNA and right after I got that my body was like "STOP" lol. If a goal is there, and I see the ROI, I get in the groove.

  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,232 Mod
    you must take breaks to clear your mind; you will be more productive if you take reasonable breaks, and you shouldn't - on no condition - neglect your family.
    Certs: GPEN, GCFA, CISM, CRISC, RHCE
    In Progress: MBA
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I've done the binge/chill thing most of my career.

    Recently, I've been in a "chill" pattern for almost 2 years now. Not intentionally, but is getting really hard for me to get back on the wagon; my job has become some mentally exhausting that I just don't desire to spend any more time thinking about things like tech certifications when I'm home. My last pass I think was January '09. I am slowly and casually working through the VCP4 exam footprint lately, but I've not really been enthused about it.
    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...
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    UnixGuy wrote: »
    you must take breaks to clear your mind; you will be more productive if you take reasonable breaks, and you shouldn't - on no condition - neglect your family.


    High 5 I like the last part of your post! You got some rep for that.
  • snadamsnadam Member Posts: 2,234 ■■■■□□□□□□
    my problem is I have the study urge when I am completely consumed with work. I have 3 quarters of the year to study with relative ease. But, the last quarter of the year consumes all my time/energy with IT related things. For some unknown reason that's when I want to study. Not to mention puts a strain on family life as well. Found this out the hard way last year, but hopefully things are a tad different this go-round.

    I used to be a 3-4 tests a year guy. Nowadays, I'm struggling to be a 2-test a year guy. The past 2 years I have been finding it hard to study, whereas my previous years found it much easier. Perhaps its time to mix things up and go the CCNA/Linux+ route after all this MCSE stuff.
    **** ARE FOR CHUMPS! Don't be a chump! Validate your material with certguard.com search engine

    :study: Current 2015 Goals: JNCIP-SEC JNCIS-ENT CCNA-Security
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,313 ■■■■■■■■■□
    motogpman wrote: »
    N2IT, I guess to clarify on the family statements, my family is very important to me. Actually, I allocate a lot of time with my family, the problem is trying to juggle both at the same time. Somtimes when I know I should be studying, I am spending time with my family, and vice versa. I put a lot of pressure on myself to do the best I can too. When I was single, I feel I should have been spending some time doing what I am now, instead of trying to make up time that I can't get back.

    Having a family and kids IS my motivator, it's the time juggling that can be hard for me sometimes. I don't have some family members with me 24/7, so the time they are with me it's total devotion time with them. I think my biggest issue is taking that big break and getting back into the study role is hard at the moment. I won't take that long of a break again, especially if trying to cover a whole MCSE/MCITP type track.

    Quite normal. I can relate to a lot of this because my first MCP was in 1998 and Im still studying for qualifications. But Im married these days with a 3 year old and another on the way and a demanding fulltime job.

    Keeping all that together and CCIE preparation is a real challenge. Theres more to life than passing a Cisco exam. For me I have been careful not to ask too much of myself or my loved ones during the process so I dont burn out or cause undue stress to my wife and son. Those early years are vital for the family and my wife is managing alone while Im at work all day. Im needed evenings and weekends at home. I found if I pushed too hard on all fronts I could become crankly which is just no good for all concerned, or fair.

    So in 2007 I looked at it and decided the CCIE would be a long term thing, which it has been. It will be 4 years in April. But the progress has been OK. I have learned a great deal and at the sametime enjoyed my family life and escalated my career in the field. It's all good. 2011 will be lab year!

    It really came down to recognising I had reached a new chapter in my life with bigger requirements on me at home and at work. So I consciously adapted my studies to ensure I had more in the tank for those vital areas. Giving up on the CCIE isn't an option because when I do go near the material Im learning useful things for my work.
  • za3bourza3bour Member Posts: 1,062 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Well I've been there I took exactly 4 years as a break and to tell you the truth it wasn't the best break every. I did spend more time with my family but the money factor was very demanding so I took a decision at the beginning of 2010 to go back to certifications which I've been doing since April.

    Yes I am not giving more time to the family now as in the past but at least I know and they know that I'm doing this for them. I'm trying to balance every thing it's hard but it's rewarding if you know how to do it. I personally don't study at weekends which is all for my family but I do study for 5 days. I don't like to study before my daughter goes to bed actually she will not let me so I usually study after 9:00 PM.

    Taking a break is good but a break is something not more than 2-3 months (in my opinion) unless you've been really working hard then I would take a longer one.

    My family too is my motivation like many others and it's a good source to look at when you're full with stress.

    One last thing I wanna add is that sports really help it reduces stress and it actually give you more time to study and more time to stay with your family because it will reduce TV time or whatever keeps you away from family/studying.
  • Dryst999Dryst999 Member Posts: 81 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I busted out the Comptia trio of certs in 6 months right after college graduation, my motivation was that I was severely underpaid at my old company and since they paid for certifications it was easy to keep myself motivated. Right after I get my Sec+ I got another help desk offer with a big brokerage firm that pays double what my first help desk job paid and i've been here 3 months so far and haven't studied a lick.

    I figure i'll be at this job at least a year and a half and i'm worried that if I bust out certs again right now that most of the stuff I studied will not be retained by the time I get a better job, it's been 3 months and i'm already forgetting a bit of the stuff I learned in my Sec+ studies since I don't deal with CIS directly. I want to pursue my MCITP:EA and CCNA next but it's hard to motivate myself knowing that I will forget half of what I learned by the time I get into a position that I can use it, how do you guys deal with learning stuff that your interested in but do not pertain to your day job? I really don't want to get my CCNA then have to spend all my freetime outside of work still doing the same labs just to make sure that I don't forget everything.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Dryst999 wrote: »
    I busted out the Comptia trio of certs in 6 months right after college graduation, my motivation was that I was severely underpaid at my old company and since they paid for certifications it was easy to keep myself motivated. Right after I get my Sec+ I got another help desk offer with a big brokerage firm that pays double what my first help desk job paid and i've been here 3 months so far and haven't studied a lick.

    I figure i'll be at this job at least a year and a half and i'm worried that if I bust out certs again right now that most of the stuff I studied will not be retained by the time I get a better job, it's been 3 months and i'm already forgetting a bit of the stuff I learned in my Sec+ studies since I don't deal with CIS directly. I want to pursue my MCITP:EA and CCNA next but it's hard to motivate myself knowing that I will forget half of what I learned by the time I get into a position that I can use it, how do you guys deal with learning stuff that your interested in but do not pertain to your day job? I really don't want to get my CCNA then have to spend all my freetime outside of work still doing the same labs just to make sure that I don't forget everything.

    LOL @ Labbing to just remember.

    Good post and excellent points.

    This is how I feel for the most part.
  • Ryuksapple84Ryuksapple84 Member Posts: 183
    I am there with you, I just got done with 3 certs and I took a month break where I felt as if I was wasting my time by not studying.

    So now I am studying for my CCNP Switch exam... Study is going slow but once I start, it gets better over time.
    Eating humble pie.
Sign In or Register to comment.