Get Started

The steps below are what I consider to be the most impactful and practical steps that anyone starting a network career should begin with. Their collective purpose is to guide you through the various stages of your career and to help you become a contractor as early as possible. To get started, see the following steps:

 

Step 1: Complete a Diploma or Certificate Program In Networking

 

Practically every network job has this listed as a requirement. When you’re starting off your career with limited experience on your resume, it acts as a bit of an indication that you know what you’re doing. In the long run, your experience and people references will be all that matters, but you still have to learn the material somehow and this is the all around best option by far. Nothing matters if you can’t do the job well. Read More >

 

Step 2: Get CCNA and CCNP Certified

 

These certifications are a must if you want to compete for the high paying Networking jobs at companies that use Cisco exclusively. You went to school to learn how to configure Cisco devices, so now it’s time to get the official Cisco certifications. Read More >

 

Step 3: Set Up A LinkedIn Profile

 

The importance of properly utilizing LinkedIn cannot be overstated. LinkedIn is an irreplaceable tool for connecting to employers, recruiters, and peers. Read More >

 

Step 4: Improve Your Technical Skills

 

If you want to earn more money sooner than later, then you need to improve your skills to a level beyond your “work years”. In other words, if you want to qualify for a job that requires five years of experience in your second year, then you need to make an intentional effort outside of work to close that gap. Read More >

 

Step 5: Change Jobs Often

 

You meet the most people and learn the most within the first year of working at any given job. After that, it naturally flattens out because you already know everyone and are used to their network environment. When this happens, it’s time to move on. Changing jobs frequently is the key to quickly becoming well connected and diversified in experience. Read More >

 

Step 6: Learn How To Negotiate

 

It’s frightening how a brief moment in time can impact you for years. The phone call or interview in which you discuss your compensation often starts and ends quickly. If you aren’t prepared, you may find yourself agreeing to a rate that you’ll later regret. Read More >

 

Step 7: Find Mentors More Successful Than You Are

 

It’s never a bad idea to talk to someone who has already accomplished something that you’re attempting to do. They have already learned the hard lessons and know what to look out for. You might as well benefit from their experience. Read More >

 

If you have any questions, feel free to visit the forum and ask.