Starting a new career can be an intimidating process, especially when one gets stuck in the details about where to begin. Like solving a maze, it’s sometimes easier to start from the goal and work one’s way backwards mentally. Using this method, one is better able to see the fast track to where one wants to be starting from where one is currently situated.
The first step toward getting on the fast track is deciding, realistically and without being influenced by nostalgia or loyalty, whether or not your current employer has a position that meets your goals. If they don’t, one should consider if there’s the possibility of creating one’s own position at the company. If not, it’s time to look elsewhere and to set flexible goals toward achieving one’s ends.
Information technology offers one of the fastest routes toward significant increases in pay for most individuals. IT skills can be easily and cheaply trained, the certifications available are many and carry great weight and there is almost constant demand for qualified individuals. If one desires the fast track to higher earnings, it’s best to look toward IT fields that are not a result of bubble or bust economics. Networking, repair and systems engineering are all good bets. Whether or not the economic situation is currently a good one, companies will need to service and maintain their existing networks, a constant source of income for those involved in the field.
Starting with a training program is the next step. Choose an entry-level certification to start. The A+ Certification program is incredibly affordable and offered by a great many training institutions. If one already has a few years of computer support and repair experience, they can likely pass the exams without training. There are many practice tests available on the Internet that can serve as quick and easy study guides.
Once the first certifications are obtained, quickly maneuver toward obtaining higher-level certifications. When it’s time to negotiate a new position or higher wages, it’s best to show up with more than a few certifications under one’s belt. This eliminates much of the need to establish one’s usefulness to their company. If outside employment is being sought, a certification such as a Microsoft Certified IT Professional or a Microsoft Certified System Engineer carries with it a great deal of leverage in negotiating. For people who obtain these certifications, it puts them in the position of being able to make reasonable offers for their services that are oftentimes much more lucrative than those with no certifications.
The fast track to success depends on your making use of the right vehicles. There is no substitute for knowledge. Of all the advantages you can bring to bear, legitimate qualifications and the certifications that declare them are among the few that can be taken with you when you move to a different employer. Remember, the fast track is all about you. Define your goals and work intelligently toward them.