September 16, 2008, 11:11 AM — I would like nothing more than to have so many CCIEs in my network available for new jobs that the entire planet would be able to satisfy its demand by calling me. Really, I mean I would love to have so many CCIEs available to me that I could retire while cornering the market on CCIE placements. I cannot dream like that and expect to scratch out a living though. Hell, I snore anyway so dreams like that are usually interrupted by an elbow from the wife. Really I snore like, a loud gnarly bear stuck in a trap, (but I digress).
I am delighted by the confidence I have found placed in my skills to match CCIE demand with CCIE candidates, but Cisco Systems and the Cisco Channel Partners are now in need of a place like the Teddy Bear factory in US malls which builds custom made stuffed animals for kids. I took my sons to Build a Bear Workshop where they were able to select the bodies, features and accessories they wanted their new toys to have. Hey all you Cisco Channel Partners, just imagine that you could send your recruiting team to the mall and they could wonder down the aisle selecting skills, experience, certifications and other sought after attributes to build the perfect CCIE hire. Imagine even better if you are a network engineer and aspiring CCIE who could be picked from the pile and have someone attach the experience and training you needed to become a Cisco Channel Partner CCIE!
I am not writing this to send you off into a lala land, fantasy snooze; I am trying to make a point so WAKE UP.
A wealth of opportunity is being overlooked every day by Channel Partners. On the job market there are lots of skilled NETWORK engineers who are investing their own money and lots of time on certification training and testing. The CCNA who is working on their CCVP or CCNP certification is tomorrowâ€™s CCIE. Any company that now has a CCIE on their staff is probably looking at a vacancy soon or will need to hire another. Many CCIEs are fast approaching retirement age and others are calling me looking for a new job.
It is time to build your talent bench. Invest in a CC__ (you fill in the next two letters) and watch your investment grow while the CCIE mentor is still on your staff. You can build a CCIE to your own specifications if you invest in a journeyman!
When I have work done on my electric or plumbing for the house I often see the technician with a journeyman in tow. Sure this kid is fetching tools, holding flashlights, or just keeping the licensed engineer company, but the important thing is that this shadow is learning the skills of the trade. We should be using this same concept in IT more than we do now. A perfect opportunity for any channel partner is making itself available during this economic down turn. Every day more talent is hitting the market that could be used to build the Channel Partnerâ€™s bench. These kids are the future and many of them will remain loyal to the company that makes a place for them. Cisco has invested time and money to provide advice on retention strategies and they are not hard to implement. This tactic combined with a long term investment in a talented upstart is a good recipe for a loyal CCIE.
Todayâ€™s journeyman is tomorrowâ€™s revenue generating animal! (I mean CCIE)
Where are the next CCIEs coming from? Who are the role models influencing the next generation to take the enterprise infrastructure to the next level? Channel partners need to step in here and raise their corporate hands high in the air. I have a crystal ball and I am going to share with you all one prediction. Economic trends have dictated the loyalty of employees to companies in the corporate world. As these corporations work to improve the bottom line they are helping to heal the global economy. I predict that worker loyalty will once again become the norm. The loyalty my parentsâ€™ generation had for their employers is coming around again. This loyalty was once built upon the investment those companies made in the lesser skilled worker. If we do it now we will see the return of loyalty to the workforce.
So go stand in line at the Build a CCIE Workshop and watch your investment grow!
(If you are a CCNA, CCNP, CCSP, CCDE or CCIE written and I can cast you into the Build a CCIE Workshop pile please send me your resume!)