Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work.
I quit my job. Done. That’s it. And you know what? The CCNA CCNP made it possible!
Calm down! I have another job. But this new job is something I’m really excited about.
For the longest time I have wanted to travel with my family. No, not just a vacation every other year…..I mean long-term, ambitious travel, full of adventure! But, like anything, how would I finance this endeavor? So…I started looking for a fully remote, location independent, position. This is becoming a very common perk amongst younger companies but older companies are still warming up to the idea. The industry I work in, Mortgage financing……nope!! They are very much still old school.
So, whenever a recruiter would reach out to me with a position (this happens roughly 6-7 times a day) I would respond with “Sorry, I’m only looking for a fully remote position. Please let me know if you have anything like that available.” Initially, there was nothing. I started to think anyone that was in networking who had a job like this was a unicorn.
But…..one day…..a guy reached out to me about a job. I initially said no because, again, I was only wanting to go remote. I was actually very happy in my current role and wouldn’t make a move unless it helped me to start traveling. His response…..”We can make that work.”. WHAT?!?!?!?!?!
So, a few interviews later, I have a shiny new job offer that will allow me to travel full time with my family. (We are going to document the entire experience in a VLOG. Follow along here ——> LetsJustGo.Family
But I still loved my current job. If it weren’t for my wanderlust, I would probably stay at this company for 5-10 years. It really was a great job. So, before I put in my notice, I did my best to convince my superiors to let me take this show on the road. They actually did take it into consideration and kicked the idea all the way to the upper echelons of the organization. But, alas, they didn’t want to set a precedent. My manager was completely okay with the idea but HR couldn’t stomach the thought.
So, I gave my notice. This was a VERY difficult thing to do because I had never quit a job that I loved. But I did it. I quit a very comfortable job to pursue a life of ADVENTURE!!
Why Am I Telling You This?
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the cat.
“I don’t much care where——“ said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the cat.
So, why am I telling you this? Thus far this blog has been geared towards learning networking and attaining IT certifications. It has also included a little career advice here and there. This post sort of falls into that category. I want to go into a little detail about living a life on PURPOSE!!
I started my career with one goal. MONEY!! I needed it and the CCNA CCNP was the fastest way to get it. Fast-forward 5 years and I had attained my goal. I was making more money than I had ever dreamed I would at an age I never thought possible. It was GREAT! But…..was it? Once I arrived at the place I thought I wanted to be, I realized that I may have missed a step in the planning process.
I never put much thought into what I actually wanted my life to look like. I got caught up in the rat race of making money to build a life that everyone said I needed. The American Dream. I had safely secured the American Dream without realizing that it wasn’t MY dream.
You see, once I had reached the summit of my goals and I was surveying how far I’d come, I realized that this lifestyle wasn’t making me happy, well, not as happy as I could be. Yes, I had a great career with a beautiful family….but there was something missing. There was a dream that I had squashed down long ago in the name of responsibility and common sense. A dream to travel. A dream to see the world and not waste another moment in a cubicle bathed in florescent light. A dream to spend more time with my family than my coworkers.
I lamented over the realization that if I had only stopped to plan this out years ago I could be in a very different place. But….wait…..I can change this NOW! It’s not too late! And that’s where I’m at. I decided to change the focus of my career from making money to building a lifestyle that I want. Yes, if I had done this sooner I would already be on my adventure. I realize this. But I can’t change the past and I can only look to the future.
They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.
So, here is my advice for anyone just starting out or someone who is finding themselves in a bit of a slump. Before you start working hard on your goals, take a minute, take a breath. Spend some time thinking about what you want your life to look like in 5 years. In 10 years. In 20 years.
Do you want to become CIO of a huge company? Do you want to own your own business? Do you want to work abroad? Do you want to become a digital nomad? Do you just want to work from home?
Figure out what you want your life to look like. DESIGN YOUR LIFE. If you don’t, someone else will.
Now, I feel like I need to say this……getting your CCNA CCNP will definitely help you design a life you want. Network Engineer positions can be worked from anywhere and can be as flexible as you want. Many people will tell you that only programmers or coders can demand a lifestyle like that.
I bought into this as well!! I actually started thinking about abandoning Cisco and starting over with web development. THIS IS A LIE!! Network Engineers can demand this lifestyle TOO!
(I’m DOING IT!!)
There are articles and books that can teach you how to find out what is truly important to you and create a plan. I’ll list those below. With this post, I’m just trying to get you thinking about your life. I highly encourage you do engage in these resources before you set out on a path that may (or may not) lead you to a destination you want to be.
Getting your CCNA or CCNP will help you get a great job. There is no doubt about that. But it’s up to you to decide what type of job that is and what lifestyle it will afford you.