CXO

Career roadblocks: Barriers to success for net admins

There are a lot of rungs on the net admin career ladder, and a number of factors can keep you from climbing it. Weigh in on what you think could be blocking your progress.


In general, the biggest impediments to career advancement can be summed up in two words: time and money. Familial obligations and a demanding work schedule may dominate people's time, while large debts or low-paying jobs have a chokehold on their wallets.

But let’s leave the general and focus specifically on net admins. There’s a constant need to stay abreast of technological advances and trends. To capture the attention of those who matter, you must be able to offer innovative, cost-saving solutions. Yet staying on top of the latest and greatest developments takes—you guessed it—time and money.

We’d like to help our members address the biggest barriers in their IT careers. Whether it’s time, money, waning enthusiasm or energy, poor management within your organization, or a down economy, we want to hear from you. Send us an e-mail and let us know what’s holding back your career, or post your thoughts in the discussion below.

To provide some food for thought, here’s a list of ingredients for growing your resume from both a technical and managerial perspective. Feel free to send or post your resume-building strategies for career growth in the field of network administration.

Staying on top of technology
Beyond doing a bang-up job on day-to-day duties, net admins must read and research to find out what will be the next big thing in technology. All things new quickly become old hat in the tech sector. For example, specializing in Web services or Oracle 9i may quickly be proven to be either a brilliant decision or a waste of time.

To make matters more difficult, those who pride themselves on experience and know-how are often asked to demonstrate it again and again. The to-do list for net admins seeking career success often contains items that can never be checked off as complete. For instance, consider the following:
  • Update previously earned certifications regularly to retain their value.
  • Earn new certifications or at least learn newly developed technologies.
  • Gain real-world experience with updated equipment and software.
  • Develop a list of recent achievements starring you as the hero who solved a problem, saved money, or averted disaster.

Moving into management roles
To move beyond strictly technical job roles—and to make more money—net admins must also develop the soft skills necessary to become decision makers within their organization or to be considered viable candidates in another.

It’s been said that you must prove you can do the job before you can get the job, and that’s often the case in the IT industry. If your resume has more certification acronyms than words, you may need to cultivate some of these skills before moving into a management realm:
  • Supervision and team building
  • Training and instruction
  • Cost containment or budgeting
  • Client relationship management
  • Project management
  • Solution building to increase productivity or efficiency
  • Research and analysis

Possible barriers: Time, money, and waning enthusiasm
For the diehard, tech-loving folks who are often drawn to the field of network administration, these lists may not seem like much of a challenge. However, it may be difficult to break out of the day-to-day list of duties and find the time and energy to work on your resume.

After years of long days and longer nights, once-ardent techies may find their enthusiasm declining, their interest fading, or their previously abundant energy diminishing. This may be especially true in a down economy when available jobs are few and far between. Will you bow to the pressure or march on in your fight to stay tops in IT?

What's standing in your way?
Is it time, money, or diminishing enthusiasm that's keeping you from achieving the next level of success? Is it a lack of focus and commitment or a down job market? We’d like to know. Send us an e-mail or post your thoughts to the discussion below.

 

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox