Rose-colored glasses: off. I have had the experience of being more fully-exposed to the overall environment in which I will be working for awhile, and unfortunately it is not the panacea I had hoped and believed it would be from the first meeting I attended. It was pretty naive of me to think that it would be. That is not at all to say that I am regretful for leaving my last company. It really was time for a change for me, and I am still gaining lots of excellent experience by being here and am grateful to have been hired. If nothing else, working here is definitely helping me to develop my “soft” skills a little bit. I think everyone I work with currently would agree that I am a lot more open and less reserved than I was when I started, though I am nowhere near as “smooth” in that regard as others whom I work with.
I am quickly discovering how different government work is compared to working for a small business. So far, things seem to be a bit more relaxed among my co-workers, at least at my current level. I can see how it would be very easy to just do the bare minimum and coast along if you wanted to. I don’t see myself being that way.
So at this point in my career, I have the college degree. I have several certifications. I am getting the experience I need. That means for my short-term advancement, certifications are where it’s at. Not that I need to collect them like playing cards, but they do give me a feeling as if I’m working toward something. I have the opportunity to obtain the VMware VCP5-DCV certification for significantly less than the average price, so I will most likely be doing that later this year. I am thinking about doing some more Juniper stuff, and I have been continuing to study for the CCIE R&S.
Right now, the CCIE R&S represents the peak of a mountain that I am slowly climbing. At this point in time, I am climbing at a casual pace. I am not yet dedicating 40+ hours a week to it like others, therefore I know it will take me longer to achieve it. But I think that is okay, because I believe it would be nice to achieve the CCIE R&S and then have the opportunity to use it within the realm of a larger organization. This will give me plenty of time to build up good working experience with where I am at now. Once I reach that peak, I will be happy to continue onto the next mountain; wherever it may be.