When your network engineer quits the job?

When your network engineer started to search for a new job opportunity? When he/she applied for a new job? I know the answer and I will share it with you. It was Monday.

I know it because I was operating a job board for network engineers as a part of this web site. I was checking the statistics for productivity and effectiveness of my campaigns.  I realized that network related job searches have a peak of 20% every Monday. It is a statistical meaningful difference but not a big thing alone.

The surprising truth is people click at least %100 more what they have been offered. They are ready to accept any new job offer two times more than any other days.  It becomes 2.4 times when we multiplied with search tendency. Within the week, figures declining day by day and weekends are so calm. This means Mondays also have a trailer effect on following days.

So, what to do? You should do something for Monday mornings. It would be an extensive “Good Morning” session, per person, a common breakfast or a similar activity (e.g. tai chi). For sure it should not be and official jour fixe. You should free your Monday mornings for the team. If you can hit the ground from the very first day of the week, you will have them for the rest of the week.

Happy Fridays are not working, we need happy Monday mornings!

Network Engineer Job Description

It is a very difficult process to get approval for a new hiring. Especially for a senior network engineer position, it is getting harder because of its high budget. The next steps is to prepare a attractive job posting.

I just prepared a generic list for job description and required qualifications for a network administrator position. I made a list  of all possible skills /qualifications. It can be used by just removing any unnecessary lines. Unnecessary skills requested in a job post,  reduce the amount of applications and of course increase salary expectations. Please comment if you have any suggestions.

Name of the Position / Vacancy

Junior / Senior Network Administrator

Junior / Senior Network Engineer

Network Support Specialist

Network Support Technician

Education / Certifications
Associate / Bachelor’s / Master’s Degree in Information Technology, Computer Science or a related discipline
CCNA / CCNP / CCIE certification or equivalent experience required
CompTIA Network+ certification

Technical Skills & Experience
Experience in an ISP / Enterprise / Academic environment strongly preferred
Expert knowledge of networking technology and concepts
Demonstrated experience with Cisco Switches, Routers and Firewalls
Experience with the configuration of Routers, to include IP addressing, routing and Access Control Lists
Experience with the configuration of network switches including VLANs and VLAN Trunking.
At least 5 years’ experience in operating large routed and meshed VPN
At least 3 years’ experience in troubleshooting, operating and maintaining both IPSEC and SSL client supporting VPN
At least 4 years’ experience with the configuration of network firewalls including access policies and VPN tunneling
At least 6 years in a lead role as a network administrator in a Cisco environment
Experience with network monitoring tools
Some experience with voice, telephony and VOIP systems

Nontechnical Skills
Experience in vendor negotiations
Strong leadership and interpersonal abilities
Strong documentation and/or technical writing skills
Ability to write reports, guidelines, and procedure manuals
Communicate effectively in both oral and written forms
Detail oriented and ability to work independently or as part of a team
Ability to use good judgment, problem-solving and decision-making skills
Have the ability to handle multiple tasks at the same time
Proven analytical, evaluative, and problem-solving abilities
Ability to effectively prioritize and execute tasks in a high-pressure environment
Ability to work in a deadline-driven environment and respond to multiple priorities
Excellent organization skills
Excellent customer service skills
Ability to read, analyze, and interpret corporate guidelines, standard documents, design templates
Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions
Ability to work well with people from many different disciplines with varying degrees of technical experience

Valid driver’s license
Green card or U.S. Citizenship required for this position
U.S. citizenship required
Must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information
SECURITY CLEARANCE REQUIRED: Must be able to maintain a clearance at the TOP SECRET/SCI level

Working Conditions
Willingness to work irregular hours on both weekdays and weekends
Willingness to put in extra hours as projects and priorities dictate
Willingness to sitting for long periods, speaking on the phone
The position may require travel to other domestic and international sites
Shift work is required
Ability to lift 50 lbs.

Is it worth it to getting CCNA Certified?

It depends on how much you can invest in it – The money and your time.
To answer this question, we also need to know about your goal. You can continue with other Cisco certifications or maybe, you can change the line and mix it with something else.

Let’s have a look, which jobs openings are on the job boards to take advantage of a CCNA certificate.

I- You have only a CCNA certificate and you are on the way to be a network professional
This means that you are beginning your journey to become a network expert. You can work as junior admin in an environment where experienced network professionals work. You will do some daily task including monitoring, hardware installations (as the second staff member), and routine things like configuration backup. You cannot earn too much money in this position; however, it is a good investment for your bright future. If you spend one or two years at this step while preparing for your CCNP, you will be rewarded for your efforts with a good income boost and job security. CCNA certificate is a mandatory and foundational step for CCNP.

II- You have only a CCNA cert and you do not want to invest more in it
If you say, “CCNA is enough for me and I don’t want to waste more of my time and money for certifications”, then you can find a job in a mid-size company as system/network admin. You have to look after windows servers and maybe some other systems. You can make an acceptable amount of cash and work in an environment without too much hierarchy. If you are good at relationships and you are a practical kind of person, this is the exact job for you. CCNA certificate is sufficient for this position. It will be very helpful in your career.

III- You have CCNA + some Microsoft certifications (like MCSE) + experience
In this case, your dominant skills are system administration skills. You already proved yourself in this area and can work in a Multinational Enterprise branch as senior system admin. You can handle network administration tasks with your CCNA certificate or better, in very large structures, it will let you lead a team composed of both system administrators and network administrators.

IV- You have CCNA + Security certification (CISA+GIAC) + 3-4 years’ experience
You can work as System Security Engineer in Enterprise environment or you can work in a consulting company as information security auditor. Your CCNA certificate will let you have more expertise on network related issues and support your success.

V-You have CCNA + more than ten years’ experience on Windows & UNIX
If you have development skills, project management skills and you have spent a considerable amount of years in several areas of IT business, then a CCNA is not a big part of your skill set, but at least it shows that you are still in touch with the practicalities of network operations and it helps you to achieve the Enterprise Architect position.

As a step or as a component, CCNA is a valuable item in your personal inventory. It is worthy to get it and anybody can get the certificate, but you need other skills and experience to utilize it to the maximum extent. Initially you cannot expect high paying jobs, but with some experience, you can climb the ladder of success. For students, I strongly recommend participating in Cisco programs in colleges. This will help them make an easy start for their careers.

If you would ask, “How much money can you make with a CCNA certificate?” my first answer would be “No, CCNA itself does not make money for you.”