Time off work to Study Certs?

dontstopdontstop Member Posts: 579 ■■■■□□□□□□
Hey Guys,

I'm kind of stuck in between jobs at the moment, I left a really good job in a really diverse environment for a job at Google which wasn't really all that I wanted (I'm a *nix System Admin, but the role was very much a Help Desk one). After leaving I've now struggled to find such a generous role in *nix (Junior Admin/Novice). I currently only have a Degree, I've always worked on Certs but never really finished them because work got in the way. I still live at home, so money is not really a problem and I seem to have a chicken-egg dilemma going on with not having the right experience/certs for the jobs I want, but having the experience which seems to be a recruiter turn off.

Should I just cut my loss, give up my temporary job that's not giving me any experience and just work solid for 3-6months of certs? I'm thinking about maybe just knocking out a LPIC1/2 and CCENT and maybe CCNA if I can fit it. Working a weekend job to just save up some pocket money for riding my Motorcycles and for my savings.

Thoughts?

Comments

  • YFZbluYFZblu Member Posts: 1,462 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Two main points I'd like to make:

    1. Just because helpdesk isn't *nix experience, that doesn't mean it's bad experience. The helpdesk forces/teaches customer service, ability to explain concepts to the business side of the house, etc - These are skills someone looking for an admin position can easily sell to potential employers.

    2. IMO you need to stop using work as an excuse not to complete your certifications. The vast majority of people here work full time jobs and many support families while completing certifications.
  • EssendonEssendon Member Posts: 4,548 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I wouldnt quit mate, especially given the current job market situation. Unless your in Sydney, there arent many jobs from what Seek tells me.

    Where do your interests lie? What do you want to be doing? I wouldnt work on a cert just for the heck of it really.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

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  • dontstopdontstop Member Posts: 579 ■■■■□□□□□□
    YFZblu wrote: »
    Two main points I'd like to make:

    1. Just because helpdesk isn't *nix experience, that doesn't mean it's bad experience. The helpdesk forces/teaches customer service, ability to explain concepts to the business side of the house, etc - These are skills someone looking for an admin position can easily sell to potential employers.

    it actually was heavily *nix... But I couldn't handle the ticket pace (100+ closed a day) and I have already worked in Customer facing help for 5 years. The amount of mental load from doing that many tickets, repetitive work while also at the same time doing some very complex things with Google Engineers burnt me right out. Also I was doing 5 hours a day of travel for the most part.
    YFZblu wrote: »
    2. IMO you need to stop using work as an excuse not to complete your certifications. The vast majority of people here work full time jobs and many support families while completing certifications.

    That's a true point, But since I've yet to finish one I have a very big monkey on my back + I assume very poor study habbits.
  • About7NarwhalAbout7Narwhal Member Posts: 761
    I don't think certs are worth time off. It would be very hard to justify to a potential employer why you have a 6 month gap in your job history. School is one thing, because you come out with something that is universal in the sense that everyone at least acknowledges it. If you interviewer does not see any value in certifications it could cost you a job.
  • dontstopdontstop Member Posts: 579 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Essendon wrote: »
    I wouldnt quit mate, especially given the current job market situation. Unless your in Sydney, there arent many jobs from what Seek tells me.

    Where do your interests lie? What do you want to be doing? I wouldnt work on a cert just for the heck of it really.

    I feel like I want to work towards something in the Security, It's an interest area and it does give a lot of reason behind the deconstruction and deep dive understanding of much of the work I do. As an Admin, I've found there is very little focus put on understanding certain aspects and this makes me sad. It's much more along the lines of "It's broke, oh now it works... move on", or "close enough is good enough".

    From a Sec standpoint I've noticed that these guys get to dive all the way to the code (not all the time, but an example) in order to understand something or tune it/test it.
  • dontstopdontstop Member Posts: 579 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I don't think certs are worth time off. It would be very hard to justify to a potential employer why you have a 6 month gap in your job history. School is one thing, because you come out with something that is universal in the sense that everyone at least acknowledges it. If you interviewer does not see any value in certifications it could cost you a job.

    I've gone for enough Interviews now to understand that many of the jobs I'm going for are very 'cert' focused. Especially when the job is a System Admin with Windows experience and I have not 1 MC* on my CV. icon_sad.gif

    At the worst, I could just say I took time off to travel. That seems to be an accepted thing.
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I'm thinking of doing something similar myself - but instead of 3-6 months I was thinking 1-2 months off. I'm currently weighing the pros/cons of taking time off to work on my education/certs giving my specific situation.

    However, it def is possible to get certs while working fulltime. For your 1st cert, start w/ a topic you're already well-versed in. Put in long hours on your days off. Maybe review for 5 mins everyday during your lunch break at work. And try to catch 1-3 hours of studying after work.
    Feel free to take breaks every now and then and put off studying for a single day or 2. But ensure you're making progress.

    As long as you put in the study time and focus on 1 cert at a time, it'd probably be pretty easy for someone w/ your experience to finish your started certs within the next few months for both you and HR to be content for a while.

    Good luck w/ whichever route you decide.
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • dontstopdontstop Member Posts: 579 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Yeah it's a tough one, my logic is along the lines of I can smash out more certs full time in the hope that I can apply for the job I want vs. working in the job I don't or not getting the job at all (the market is very slow, some companies are actually freezing recruiting). It seems at the moment, only the largest companies are replying to my applications, but Linux Admin jobs are again even more scarce in Australia (it's all Windows).

    I'm thinking about not giving up working cold turkey, I will still work a job but just one with much reduced complexity... Maybe a sales job. When I'm working full-time I do bring a lot of work home, I will lab and test at home and that kind of kills my motivation for study.
  • dontstopdontstop Member Posts: 579 ■■■■□□□□□□
    So have I answered my own question? Should I just take on a simpler role?
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Stop bringing work home.

    Problem solved.
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Member Posts: 2,338 ■■■■■■■■□□
    dontstop wrote: »
    When I'm working full-time I do bring a lot of work home, I will lab and test at home and that kind of kills my motivation for study.
    +1 what DoubleNN says. Stop bringing work home, unless they're paying you to do so. Put in your 45hrs, set aside time to unwind, and then hit those books. 30 minutes/day or 2 hours/day, your choice, either way leads to getting certified soon. As much as I value certifications, I also wouldn't be impressed by a 3-6 month hiatus to earn basic certifications. School would be okay.
  • JustFredJustFred Member Posts: 678 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I have noticed a lot of people need proper time management in their daily lives, when you manage your time well, you can cope with anything even when life gets in the way and it sure does. Find a balance. You can work, study and even have a social life if you manage your time well.
    [h=2]"After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true." Spock[/h]
  • Master Of PuppetsMaster Of Puppets Member Posts: 1,210
    JustFred wrote: »
    I have noticed a lot of people need proper time management in their daily lives, when you manage your time well, you can cope with anything even when life gets in the way and it sure does. Find a balance. You can work, study and even have a social life if you manage your time well.

    Right here. Simple as that. If you really want to, you will do it without having to sacrifice something so big. Being out of a job for 6 months can have a very negative effect. I work full time, study for certs, and pursue my degree at the same time. Is it hard? Yeah, sure. At times it gets crazy, to say the least. But definitely not impossible and everyone can do it. Plan it and be serious, it should be fine. Good luck!
    Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.
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