20061003

And so a journey begins

Today, right after work, I will begin studying for the CCIE (Certified Cisco Internetworking Expert). My job requires certain proficencies. Up until the tech bubble work experience played a huge part in determining such things for employment (and sometimes continued employment). Post tech bubble and the subsequent management changes throughout the corporation that I work for pieces of paper are now predominantly used to determine proficency. This along with the fact that my salary finally reached pre-deployment levels (2002) once again and the cost of living NOT staying still I am being pinched to ensure my employability. This certification is no easy thing. It is broken up into two test. A written test that has one hundred questions with a two hour time limit costing $300 per attempt, and a lab portion of the test which is an eight hour hands on exam costing $1,250 per attempt (not including food or lodging). Anyone who has known me very long knows that I do not do well with studying on my own. I tend to be easily distracted. I also tend to get brief episodes of "brain cramping". I have been told that I am very good at this sort of thing, but I also tend to doubt my own abilities - after all, I'm the one that has had to live with them these past 40 years. No one is going to hand me this certification, and I am probably going to need it as my career goes forward. My motivations for pursuit of this takes several forms. One is fear for my job. I am essentially a contractor for a government agency. I have been blessed to work on this contract for over three years. However, there are movements within the agency that do not really like the company I work for. I have seen things that do not make sense from my point of view that reduces my company's exposure. Now, because this agency is so close to my home I would love to stay on this contract indefinetly - even if that means leaving my company to work for the government directly. My company also has some incentives with Cisco that require them to maintain certain numbers of the various certification levels. Another motivator is financial. When my unit returned from it's deployemnt in 2003 I was informed that my position had been moved to the swing shift. I voiced my concern about not being able to see my children and was basically given 30 days to find another position/job before I would no longer have a choice. By God's grace I found the job I have now. Unfortunately it included a two paygrade reduction as well as a 10% pay cut (not including the shift differential I would have gotten). For not a few reasons my pay raises since then have not been much more than 1%. Last may I finally completed the CCNA (Networking Associate) - and along with it I was given one of those paygrades back and a pretty good raise. That along with my raise this year I have finally achieved an equivilant salary of what I had. With my pending retirement from the National Guard I could use the extra income that is potentially possible from both my company and other potential employers if that need came up. The last motivator is personal. I have desired to actually pursue this certification since I got into this industry back in 1996. This certification is akin to getting a four year degree in a specific field. I am very nervous. But I know if this is God's will I will succeed. Two - four hour - study sessions a week seem like not enough time... but it is all I can dedicate to it. Status reports on this will be few and far between, but I am anticipating a two year commitment as a minimum. Well, I need to wrap this up. God bless you all.... Updates: none Verse for today: Proverbs 3:1-12, esv My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success [1] in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh [2] and refreshment [3] to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty,and your vats will be bursting with wine. My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.

1 comment:

Bob said...

I bet you'll do well. Most of the time we are our own worst critics. I'll pray that all goes well taking those tests...............