Originally Published: Sunday, 18 June 2000 Author: Mark Nowlin
Published to: interact_articles_jobs_djn/Dream Jobs Now! Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

Seeing the Light and Following It

Some people live their entire lives working at a job that they do not like, only because it is "what they do." Happiness is set aside for the greater good, which is earning a living. Well, what if you wanted to make "what you do" become "what you like doing?" Is this possible? Is it realistic to believe that you can make a left turn in your career path to something that interests you?

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Some people live their entire lives working at a job that they do not like, only because it is "what they do." Happiness is set aside for the greater good, which is earning a living. Well, what if you wanted to make "what you do" become "what you like doing?" Is this possible? Is it realistic to believe that you can make a left turn in your career path to something that interests you?

Sure it is.

Although school is an invaluable source for gaining an idea of how the working world functions, it is not always a necessity. Experience is the key to finding the employment you are seeking. Not only will you gain an idea of what your job function is, but you also learn to apply it at the same time. College classes normally will not expose you to the pressure and demand that on-site job functions provide.

This is particularly relevant in the world of Linux administration where a business uses Linux for its core server system. An idea gained from a college course may not be able to bring a server back online when something extra-ordinary goes wrong, but hands-on knowledge and troubleshooting expertise, garnished from experience, can.

Finding a new job without the necessary experience to perform proficiently can sometimes be a difficult task, but not an impossible one. You need to be proactive and take measures to grow the skills that you may already possess. However, this could be a problem. You may be a decent network administrator but this isn't going to help you much in the realm of day-to-day Linux administration tasks. There aren't many places that are going to snatch up a guy with a network administration background to be a Linux administrator.

So you need to take the initiative to learn new things.

Check the Internet (duh). There are 65 million zillion web pages out there that tell you just about everything you need to know about anything. So there should be at least a million or so references to Linux (probably more, I'd say by now). This would include Usenet, mailing lists, web pages, etc. And don't worry, even the most talented Linux people have to consult the Internet for information at some point or another.

Stay late with the Linux geeks at your current job. Most places have some sort of maintenance window in which they do upgrades and general fix-it type things to their servers. Maintenance day/night/weekend would be a perfect time to get involved and gain some pertinent knowledge.

Take the training that is available out there to give you some general information on what Linux is all about. What you learn from training can be a valuable tool for gaining an understanding of the specifics of the Linux operating system. For more information about Linux training, please check out LinTraining.

Ask questions of your Linux guru and listen to the responses, they always talk about Linux anyway, so why not listen?

Of course, your first stop should be your superiors. Let them know what you are doing so that they don't think you are trying to take over the world. They also might like to see that you are interested in growing your technical skills. There could even be some sort of incentive plan for learning another job function. This could only serve to help you when salary review time comes around.

Keep you goals in sight, and take the initiative to see them through. Who knows, you may end up finding out that your "Dream Job" is not exactly how you thought it would be.

Mark Nowlin is a Technical Solutions Consultant for Sprint Enterprise Network Services in Fort Worth, Texas USA. The views, information and opinions provided in this article are expressed and held solely by the author. Neither Sprint Enterprise Network Services nor Sprint Corporation or any of its affiliates assume any responsibility for any opinion or statement of fact presented in this article.





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