Pump Your Brakes
With New Year’s resolution pressure heavy and end-of-the-year wrap-ups and reviews dancing in front of you on multiple screens, it’s tempting to want to dive into one of the hot career and certification areas for 2006. But before those of you looking to make a change into one of the hot areas such as security or storage, I’d recommend taking a close look at three things: Do you have a long standing interest in the technology? In the long run, it’s more important that you like what you do than maintain a job for a money or status-motivated reason. If you have to do something all day almost every day, you should love it or at least like it a whole heck of a lot.
Second, is the technology you’re interested in pursuing well-established? If it’s something so new no one knows about it, or the very few people hip enough to have implemented it are not located in well-populated areas, you may want to wait until things heat up a bit before you plunk down money for certification or training classes.
Third, keep your ear to the ground. If you’re searching for opportunities in one of the hot areas but aren’t sure which suits you best, check out what certifications are available. This can tell you a lot about industry position and market strength. For instance, if a well-developed, performance-based certification track has been set up by a dominant vendor, and competition is fast and thick in that space, that area might be worth looking into for potential career roles you can fill. But be careful: Don’t let pressure to make a move this year propel you into making the wrong one.