We are almost into the last quarter of 2016.
I know many of you have hit some major goals because I see you posting your successes on the forum and of course I get a ton of emails every month from you.
It’s easy to lose momentum, though, and I know many of you have gotten sidelined and can see another year slipping through your fingers. It’s so easy to get in a rut and then the money you spend on books and training you see as an expense instead of an investment.
My wife has gone away for a break for two weeks, and I’m really feeling it myself. I’ve got the twins to get ready for school, take to activities, feed and bath and of course interact with. I’m also finishing off two CCNA video courses, two books and several freelance IT experts who are working on various projects for me.
It’s so easy to let things like fitness, reading and studying fall by the wayside but we have to remember why we started studying in the first place. With IT certifications come job opportunities, better pay, job security, peer recognition and promotion. I’ve found this to always be the case. Even when I’ve been made redundant, I’ve quickly found freelance work or another job because I put the effort in and got certified.
If you are prepared to put some effort in starting RIGHT NOW, you can still make 2016 your best year yet. Here are my tips:
- Be realistic – I actually hate this advice, but if you are expecting to go from CCNA to CCNP in the next three months then it isn’t going to happen. Even if you took three month holiday. Choose something you know you can do such as the CCNA.
- Get an easy win – if you really are struggling then aim for a really easy certification. An example is the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) which can be passed with just a few hours study. It’s a recognised and valuable certification also.
- Give up time wasting activities – for me; it’s Facebook, YouTube, TV and sitting in the coffee shop for an hour per day. It’s only for a few weeks, and the payoff will be huge.
- Remember why you started – when my team of 42 engineers at Cisco were made redundant it was those of us with certifications who walked right into another job. The others who hadn’t bothered really struggled. With the money from my new job, I bought a house for my family. Work out all the positives out of getting certified and use that as your motivation.
- Map it out – print out a calendar for the next three months and write out what you are going to study each day and for how long. Do it on a spreadsheet if you prefer. Whatever you do, though, map it all out, so you have a visual reference.
- Make a promise – tell your kids or friends what you plan to do and tell them to get on your case if they see you slacking or skipping study sessions. Work out a family treat for when you pass such as a meal out or day trip.
- Start today – buy the study guide, join a website, book the exam. Just take one step towards achieving your goal.
And of course as always: