April 01, 2008, 10:17 PM — You have a great resume, bought a new tie, shined your shoes, cut your hair, taken out a few of your visible piercings and are shopping for a new job. Don't go into the job market even one in such high demand as CCIEs without giving your next steps some thought! When preparing for your job search you must take stock of where you have been.
What made you happy in those old roles? What made you want to leave? How were you supported as you prepared for your CCIE written exam? How were you supported when you took the lab? How about the second time? Looking back over your past can be ugly, but the past can hold clues to where you want to be and how you want to be engaged in your next role.
Take the things you liked about your previous jobs and look for them in your next. Make sure to look for a defined career path since you have a good idea of where you want to go and what you want to be doing in the future. Are you planning on keeping your CCIE and adding a second or third Cisco certification? Do you intend to accomplish this through independent study? Will your new employer support this with a lab?
Your next employer may support your efforts and even provide a lab but will you use the skills? If you really enjoy networking technologies then you want to get into them every day. Where do you look to find a company that will allow you to play with the current and emerging Cisco technologies? So many questions you may want to climb a mountain in search of a guru.
Here's where I am going with this line of questioning.
If you want to maintain a certification and possibly add more then you will want to find a company that supports these efforts. Ask in the interview how or if they support CCIE certification goals. There are plenty of bonuses out there for having your CCIE and other certifications, but if you cannot maintain key certifications you may find it difficult to keep the bonus money coming in. If a company does not support your goal of maintaining or obtaining your Cisco Certifications you may want to look for different options. There are many companies that do actively support Cisco professionals as they purse and maintain their CCIE.
Eman's Points to Consider:
> Work with an agent who will support your career objectives and help you make decisions. Many recruiters do not have many options beyond their customer base when recruiting and giving advice, so make sure to ask who they are representing.
> Look for a company that has been recognized by Cisco and obtained or is obtaining Silver or Gold status. Plenty of companies have become Cisco partners, but look for those that have been recognized for services and innovation.