The other day, a skinny guy at the gym told me my form was wrong. A guy who had never run a business told me I was making the wrong decisions for my marketing strategy, and somebody with no kids told me how to raise mine.
In almost every instance of course, I never even asked that person for their opinion. They just felt compelled to give me the benefit of their wisdom.
Some say that everyone has something to contribute, but to be honest, I don’t subscribe to this philosophy. When I need advice, I go to someone who has been there before me and done what I want to be doing. This applies to business, fitness, personal finances, etc. Even after that, I may choose not to take their advice because I’m the one who will have to live with the consequences.
Today, I announced that I was releasing a new course on virtualization. Somebody immediately chipped in that it was a worthless certification and you could get the information for free online. He even managed to pass the exam in 3 days, he boasted.
Pretty much anything can be learned online for free. You can learn languages, stock market trading, and of course, learn cool stuff about IT certifications. The problem, of course, is that you may have to refer to several sources for the information, and the quality may not always be great even if it’s been created by the actual vendors themselves! At the end of the day, the best selling Cisco CCNA guide on Amazon isn't written by Cisco, it’s written by me.
I see so many IT students being given bad advice by people with hidden agendas or who are secretly bitter and don’t want others to get ahead. This is especially true when it comes to career advice and which path to follow.
When I announce a new course I’ve added to howtonetwork.com, I tell you what it’s about, what’s in it for you, and why you should be interested. If you want to be a Cisco expert and I release a Microsoft course, then you might want to pass. The new IPv6 network engineer course, however, would probably appeal to you, right?
But if you started listening to opinions, you would hear somebody tell you to take the Microsoft course because it would round off your resume or make you more employable. I disagree with this philosophy personally, and I have explained why in other blog posts on this and other sites.
I want to round off (if you are still with me) by saying that if you want advice, get it from somebody who has achieved the thing you want yourself. Weigh their advice, ask them why they suggested A over B, and ask them if they have done it themselves. Ask a few other experts, and then make a judgement call.