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NIT (Ninja in Training) looking for guidance.
From: d4ncingd4n at gmail.com (Dancing Dan)
Date: Tue, 12 May 2009 21:22:13 -0500

I was in your shoes at one time. I changed careers without a degree at a
time
when I was the sole support of my stay-at-home wife and small children. Here
are my suggestions:

1. Believe in yourself. You will face setbacks along the way but, you must
never
give up. Part of the reward of the accomplishment is the difficulty of the
task.
Your task will take time and much effort but, it can be accomplished.

2. Learn to understand business principles and not strictly technical
issues.
You will need the ability to communicate your ideas to the business people.
If
you can speak "non-tech" as well as "tech" you will demonstrate your value.

3. Learn to deal with people, even difficult people. Enemies can harm
your career, allies will build your career. Listen to other people. Realize
that you can learn something from everyone. Do not fall into the
"alpha-geek"
trap that can limit your career.

4. Be prepared to do more than is expected. Be willing to help others. See
#3.

5. Network. Look at the ISSA, Infraguard, etc. Put a profile on LinkedIn.
Volunteer
for charities or non-profits. Build a reputation as someone that is
knowledgeable,
dependable, enthusiastic, and pleasant. If you are incredibly talented and
completely
unknown, you are limiting your options.

6. Be patient for the right opportunity. Realize that some companies will
not
hire you without a degree regardless of your skills. Be prepared to "pay
your dues"
for a period of time in a demanding position with little reward. Remember
that
salary is only part of the equation. After a certain point, opportunities
for
training/advancement can out-weigh salary.

7. Pursue free training as much as possible, obtain certifications as
your experience and skill level permits. Always reach a little higher than
where you are now.
Invest in yourself.

8. Don't lose sight of why you are working. Make time for your family. Your
children will grow up way too fast before you realize what happened. Make
sure
you put away some money for retirement and your children's education.

9. Learn a broad variety of skills. I recommend working as a Sys Admin for a
while
to gain skills and experience.

Good Luck!

Bart

Nick,

Hey we all got to start somewhere. the best advice i can give is from
my own experience. Earlier in life i was almost done with med school
when i realized computers wouldn't sue me for making a mistake :) I
started out as a lineman for the local cable company, quickly moving
into cablemodem installs, then up to a tech support role in the call
center. from there i took a couple of certs got a+, mcsa, security+. i
completely relate to the money situation, when i was doing this i had
2 in diapers, wife stayed at home. What i found out is investing in
yourself will pay off. a year later i got mcse + security and ccna,
within 3 months i was able to double my salary. 8 years and several
certs later i hold a director level position for a large BPO firm.

Keep in mind these things are not going to happen overnight. Take a
chance and invest in yourself and it will pay off in the long run.

Good luck!! start off with the fundamentals.... get some network /
system admin time under your belt. in due time youre security chi will
develop

-
Vinny


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