Am I that "GUY"?

N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
I started off getting certifications in topics that interested me and topics I felt would help advance my career (ITIL which was recommended by management at my old job and encouraged by my most recent company). From there I decided to learn more about IT/business frameworks (MOF and ISO 27000 service management foundations). From there I was like what the heck and grabbed A+ N+ which I thought would assist with my career, showing some technical aptitude. I must admit I did learn a lot from Network +. Then I started to get weird. I grabbed the ISO 27002 which is still a head scratcher, and then Project +. Just a little FYI I am in day to day operations and don't work on a project team.

I think a few things are going on. I got into IT late in the game so I am trying to make up for lost time, which doesn't work. However I feel like I have gained a lot of knowledge and really pieced a lot together in my relatively short time (5) years.

Has anyone gone through this craziness? I think I just need to slam the breaks screw pumping them and just keep working and waiting for the opportunity to arise. Cramming cert after cert, especially when you don't use them seems like a huge waste of time. You do learn the technology, but most mere mortals will forgot a lot if not all of the information.

I want to continue I really do, but I don't know what to do.

A. Back off focus on work and stay away from the certification trail.
B. Continually learn, but not work on the certifications. Focus on one particular topic and keep at that and only that. Leverage that into a position.
C. Continue to accrue certifications in the hopes the sheer volumn will wow an employer and give me an opportunity to either grown within the company or get hired into different, higher level position.


Thanks for tolerating the frustrated rant lol

Comments

  • earweedearweed Member Posts: 5,192 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I understand your frustration. You're probably getting impatient and I can see why. From the certs you've gotten and the work you've been doing you should probably start being involved in projectteams and be working your way into management. It'll take time and maybe even a change of job or 2 but I think you'll make it.
    If you need a break from the cert grind then take it. After your break then figure out some certs that'll benefit you and your career and tackle them.
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    I think you have more than enough certifications. What I would do if I were you is work on getting practical experience in those areas. Easier said than done I know, but if you want to get the real career impact from your certifications you will need the experience to go with them.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • Norrlands TurkNorrlands Turk Member Posts: 35 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I understand your frustration because I'm (I should say I was) pretty much in the same situation.

    I also had that feeling of being late in the game for a while and wanted to get as many certs as possible in a short period of time. Then I realized that the key is being specialized in something you are really interested in and that's what I'm trying to do now. So I would suggest you to pick a subject or two and just try to be as good as you can be in those subjects instead of having a smorgasbord of certs.
    WIP (Q2 - 2012):
    Undecided
  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher Member Posts: 4,298 ■■■■■■■■■■
    At a certain point certification is meaningless. Certs can help you get noticed, but it sounds like what you really need to focus on right now is professional development more than certification. Are there ways that you can develop yourself as a professional other than just getting certs that may or may not help you out?
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    At a certain point certification is meaningless. Certs can help you get noticed, but it sounds like what you really need to focus on right now is professional development more than certification. Are there ways that you can develop yourself as a professional other than just getting certs that may or may not help you out?


    Come to work everyday and do my job I suppose lol.

    That's about it right now.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,313 ■■■■■■■■■□
    N2IT wrote: »
    I started off getting certifications in topics that interested me and topics I felt would help advance my career (ITIL which was recommended by management at my old job and encouraged by my most recent company). From there I decided to learn more about IT/business frameworks (MOF and ISO 27000 service management foundations). From there I was like what the heck and grabbed A+ N+ which I thought would assist with my career, showing some technical aptitude. I must admit I did learn a lot from Network +. Then I started to get weird. I grabbed the ISO 27002 which is still a head scratcher, and then Project +. Just a little FYI I am in day to day operations and don't work on a project team.

    I think a few things are going on. I got into IT late in the game so I am trying to make up for lost time, which doesn't work. However I feel like I have gained a lot of knowledge and really pieced a lot together in my relatively short time (5) years.

    Has anyone gone through this craziness? I think I just need to slam the breaks screw pumping them and just keep working and waiting for the opportunity to arise. Cramming cert after cert, especially when you don't use them seems like a huge waste of time. You do learn the technology, but most mere mortals will forgot a lot if not all of the information.

    I want to continue I really do, but I don't know what to do.

    A. Back off focus on work and stay away from the certification trail.
    B. Continually learn, but not work on the certifications. Focus on one particular topic and keep at that and only that. Leverage that into a position.
    C. Continue to accrue certifications in the hopes the sheer volumn will wow an employer and give me an opportunity to either grown within the company or get hired into different, higher level position.


    Thanks for tolerating the frustrated rant lol

    You need to get the balance right. Before the cert voyage began it was your work that defined your career chart. From about 1995 - 2004 certs were a vehicle to get you to where you wanted to be. That time is over. They are still valuable but everything in it's place. One problem is people trudging the well trodden path, some want to study hard and well but then it can take 2 - 3 years to obtain the certifications they desire. Meanwhile the market moves on. I would say accept that certification has it's place, but that the IT world has evolved into a more sophisticated genre of career. The most important badge is demonstrable experience of impressive technical and commercial accomplishments in the field. If a certification really is a lever to obtaining exposure to the kind of work that will give you that, then do it. Regardless, your powers are best spent on doing good work during your day job, making the right impression, and working to create openings to more advanced opportunities in the field. Pick up some valuable certs on your private time and ensure that the learning experience enriches your opportunities to do high value work in the office even if you never take the test. That has worked best for me. My career progression has been excellent. There is a reason and it's not because I spend valuable works time doing practice exams or hang around on remote racks all afternoon. Far too many meetings to attend and decisions to make. But it was not always so. Back in 1997 it was lots of desktop support with some server work thrown in.
  • motogpmanmotogpman Member Posts: 412
    When you say "day to day" operations, do you mean as an admin type position? It sounds like you have been heading into the management/PM side of things. Have you approached your super about getting more PM experience in the work place? Looking at your cert sigs, without getting yourself burned out any further, have you looked at any Cisco certs? Seems like it would make you more rounded and can take your time versus trying to slam 7 MS certs for MCSE or MCITP.

    I will say, that going from crypto/communications/electronic theory to MS/Cisco admin work, I have forgotten alot of what I was taught, but once a discussion pops up I can hold my own after reaching into the dark areas of my melon. Learning anything isn't a waste of time, you never know when your past training or studying will help open a door or help solve an issue. Pace yourself.
    -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: »
    When you say "day to day" operations, do you mean as an admin type position? It sounds like you have been heading into the management/PM side of things. Have you approached your super about getting more PM experience in the work place? Looking at your cert sigs, without getting yourself burned out any further, have you looked at any Cisco certs? Seems like it would make you more rounded and can take your time versus trying to slam 7 MS certs for MCSE or MCITP.

    I will say, that going from crypto/communications/electronic theory to MS/Cisco admin work, I have forgotten alot of what I was taught, but once a discussion pops up I can hold my own after reaching into the dark areas of my melon. Learning anything isn't a waste of time, you never know when your past training or studying will help open a door or help solve an issue. Pace yourself.


    Desktop and Network Analyst Tier 2 is my title.

    High level helpdesk is really all it is.
  • Geetar28Geetar28 Member Posts: 101
    Turgon wrote: »
    .... The most important badge is demonstrable experience of impressive technical and commercial accomplishments in the field. ....

    I totally agree with this, but it is one of the most difficult things as well. I am in a place that I can't "see" a way to get this experience. I turned to the cert thing so that I could at least teach myself. But I am coming to the realization that certs ain't gonna get me the chance that I was hoping they would. Projects, projects, projects are the thing...but when you're viewed as not much more than a Helpdesk monkey it is tough to get even that.

    N2IT, I totally feel your pain man. And you are right about not being able to keep up the knowledge level...I believe i f'ed up going for the CCNA (although it was as much a personal goal as a professional one...) because I don't DO that work daily. Someone that does do that work could talk to me for 5 minutes and know that. And worse, I could be mistaken for a damn dumper cause I am not on my game knowledge wise. (though I have learned a lesson and begun doing at least one lab per day to try to keep the brain in the game.)
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,313 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Geetar28 wrote: »
    I totally agree with this, but it is one of the most difficult things as well. I am in a place that I can't "see" a way to get this experience. I turned to the cert thing so that I could at least teach myself. But I am coming to the realization that certs ain't gonna get me the chance that I was hoping they would. Projects, projects, projects are the thing...but when you're viewed as not much more than a Helpdesk monkey it is tough to get even that.

    N2IT, I totally feel your pain man. And you are right about not being able to keep up the knowledge level...I believe i f'ed up going for the CCNA (although it was as much a personal goal as a professional one...) because I don't DO that work daily. Someone that does do that work could talk to me for 5 minutes and know that. And worse, I could be mistaken for a damn dumper cause I am not on my game knowledge wise. (though I have learned a lesson and begun doing at least one lab per day to try to keep the brain in the game.)

    I detest the 'Monkey' moniker. It started to appear post year 2000. You earn your dues in support which is where you are and it is good experience. But you are quite correct you must get out of operations and into the project space as soon as you are capable of handling that kind of work. Project work means design, it is where the infrastructure change is driven by strategy and it is closer to customer requirements which is where the real careers are. Operations is disolving into a space where maintainence takes place, vanilla changes are cranked out, and firefighting to deliver on the promises other people make happen. It's increasingly further out from the place where the credit is given. Within 5 years I expect many people in operations to be really struggling as the operations meatgrinder turns faster and faster. Think projects, think design, think technical strategy, think architect. Get some.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Turgon wrote: »
    I detest the 'Monkey' moniker. It started to appear post year 2000. You earn your dues in support which is where you are and it is good experience. But you are quite correct you must get out of operations and into the project space as soon as you are capable of handling that kind of work. Project work means design, it is where the infrastructure change is driven by strategy and it is closer to customer requirements which is where the real careers are. Operations is disolving into a space where maintainence takes place, vanilla changes are cranked out, and firefighting to deliver on the promises other people make happen. It's increasingly further out from the place where the credit is given. Within 5 years I expect many people in operations to be really struggling as the operations meatgrinder turns faster and faster. Think projects, think design, think technical strategy, think architect. Get some.


    Turgon

    With all due respect, doesn't lady luck have to play a large role in getting out?

    I mean how are you to gain the experience when you are not given a chance to perform the work?

    If going to school and getting certs only helps a little bit, then what is one to do?
  • Geetar28Geetar28 Member Posts: 101
    Well the monkey thing is more about how I feel I am viewed by the people doing the designing (they may not think that, but it's hard to tell when you don't interact with them but occasionally)...I'm not sure how to get them to view me as more than a nice "resource" for all the grunt work. I'm not sure what I can "do" to get into a position where design is the focus...hell I'm probably not even ready for it but I would love to know HOW to get ready. What skills I would need, where to put my focus, what I HAVE to know/learn...etc.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Geetar28 wrote: »
    Well the monkey thing is more about how I feel I am viewed by the people doing the designing (they may not think that, but it's hard to tell when you don't interact with them but occasionally)...I'm not sure how to get them to view me as more than a nice "resource" for all the grunt work. I'm not sure what I can "do" to get into a position where design is the focus...hell I'm probably not even ready for it but I would love to know HOW to get ready. What skills I would need, where to put my focus, what I HAVE to know/learn...etc.

    +1

    I am trying like heck to get out. I am applying for deployment projects, system admin position, networking jobs. Anything to get more specialized and focus on projects.

    It just ain't happening yet.

    I guess I just need patience
  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher Member Posts: 4,298 ■■■■■■■■■■
    N2IT wrote: »
    Turgon

    With all due respect, doesn't lady luck have to play a large role in getting out?

    I mean how are you to gain the experience when you are not given a chance to perform the work?

    If going to school and getting certs only helps a little bit, then what is one to do?

    To a certain point you are right. Luck is an aspect of it. But professional development facilitates the opportinuties that are required to "get lucky."

    Your job is not your career. Just showing up to work and doing well is not career development. It is a small aspect, like certification. Get out in the world and start getting seen. Participate in the local user's groups associated with the technology you are learning. Don't just attend. Participate, meaning present. Participate in a SQL Server forum, like SQL Team and some other BI related forums. This is developing street cred.

    The type of career change you are trying to make implies a change of employer. It is rare in my experience that people who move from help desk to higher roles do so via a change in employer. Rarely are they promoted. In fact I have never heard on a single instance.

    But if you are out pounding the pavement looking for your dream job and you put in your resume and get an interview, what impression will you make if they recognize you from the local SQL group? Get to know people, start networking and see what you can do for companies writing reports and such. Do some freelance stuff on the side for small businesses. If you can get a job at a smallish (150 users +/-) firm that uses SQL Server as a sys admin and start helping them get information from their servers, your next step would be that dream job. Some times the path of career development is not direct, but your vision must always be.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,313 ■■■■■■■■■□
    N2IT wrote: »
    Turgon

    With all due respect, doesn't lady luck have to play a large role in getting out?

    I mean how are you to gain the experience when you are not given a chance to perform the work?

    If going to school and getting certs only helps a little bit, then what is one to do?

    Luck always helps, but I can't say I had any more of it than the next guy to be honest. When good jobs came my way, it was by plugging away. You need to get your career moving by working on a wide front. What you do at work is important. It's a training ground for either a better job within that organization or an entirely new one. Filling the wall with more certificates isn't the answer. Spending your time wisely at work is. Most jobs offer some opportunity somewhere to develop skills that will add value to your career. Get in on more meetings, assume responsibilities, make proposals and importantly learn how to handle yourself with people at different levels and making a contribution to projects is all important. The experience trap isn't a new thing, it was there when I started out. It is difficult to counter, but people do it. After a few years working permanent doing support with some infrastructure projects under my belt I went contracting as a Network Designer, I hammered all the agencies, got a contract and went from there.
  • eMeSeMeS Member Posts: 1,875
    N2IT wrote: »
    +1

    I am trying like heck to get out. I am applying for deployment projects, system admin position, networking jobs. Anything to get more specialized and focus on projects.

    It just ain't happening yet.

    I guess I just need patience

    Luck is not the same as randomness. Think of luck as the intersection of preparation and opportunity.

    You can do something about both parts of that equation. You can continue to prepare yourself for what you want, and you can expose yourself to as many opportunities as possible.

    In other words, be as prepared as possible and continue to prepare, and pursue as many relevant opportunities as possible and you will eventually succeed. This is reflected in Turgon's statement as well.

    MS
  • tgfndotcomtgfndotcom Member Posts: 37 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Establish street cred list in another post is perfect......

    however your cred can come from anywhere..... take the hardest calls, redesign processes for effiency within your job workspace ... share innovative ideas.... be noticed is exactly what you want
  • skylineskyline Member Posts: 135
    No you are not that guy. icon_wink.gif

    Please move along.
    Goals for '11
    MCITP: EA
    ITIL
    CCNA

    Studying:
    MS press book 70-680
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