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At the start of a new year, people look to refresh their lives, and especially their careers. It is time when possibilities and opportunities are pursued with renewed interest. It is also a time when career goals get set or rearticulated—for example, getting a certification.  In order to make the right investments in credentials, you must choose wisely. The Cisco Certified Networking Professional certification is among the list of top 10 that will give a tangible boost your IT career. But certification doesn’t help if the job opportunities don’t exist. According to the Hackett Group a “jobless recovery” is predicted in 2010 for the US and Europe, and that is after massive job losses that happened in IT in 2009.



There is some hope and many people have a vested interest in getting people back to work and into new lines of work. According to IDC, Asia Pacific IT spending in 2010 is expected to recover, with the exception of Japan, and a 7.7% year over year job growth rate is forecast. It’s not clear what percent of that regained spending is allocated to actual job creation. In the US, President Obama has allocated $787 billion in stimulus money. Of that, a significant portion is earmarked for training and education, as well as workforce reinvestment. One exciting pilot program happened in Vallejo, California as a partnership effort between Cisco and Skyline ATS, an authorized Cisco learning partner, and the Solano County Workforce Investment Board. The “Techsponential” program sought to retrain underemployed workers with the skills needed to move in to IT.



Finding work is an effort on your own behalf, but you can also help others through the process. People often reach out to family and colleagues in an effort to get a job, but it also helps to assist others in expanding their  connections, regardless of industry. In the case of Thomas Jones, a Cisco Learning Network community member (pictured above), perseverance paid off. He spent 6 months unemployed. As part of his effort to find work, he started a Cisco User Group in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina and is an active contributor to our Facebook community. At the end of 2009, he was hired as a contractor working for Department of the Air Force. Later this spring, he will attend Navy Officer Candidate School to become an Information Professional Officer in the US Navy. He found the job through connections he made in joining an IP Officer Facebook group when he applied to be a Naval Officer. He gained insight into the roles, responsibilities, career progression, and daily lives of IP Officers, but also made connections that led to the job. Thomas says, “Never give up - you never know who is listening!”



In a job search, resourcefulness and using the tools that are available to you is key. Here on the Cisco Learning Network, valuable connections are waiting to be made. Just visit any active discussion forum. See who participates; visit their site profile to see if they hold a work role you’re trying to get hired into.


Here are two great examples of community member profiles that really give you a sense of where their passions and interests lie:


Francisco Fossa, a mathematician with his heart in networking.


John Fretwell, a world wandering wireless engineer.


When you find an interesting community member, ask how they got their job. Or perhaps you’ll find someone seeking the same kind of engineering role you are—buddy up with them and keep each other accountable in your job search, regardless of where you are in the world.


Here is one example of a community member, Miizarebel being helped along with career advice about how to approach the job search. Here’s a refresh on how to edit your own Cisco Learning Network User Profile. Other resources to help you in your job search exist here on the Cisco Learning Network:


Christine Yoshida’s Career Coach blog

Funding your training page

The Job Portal and various job role articles (routing and switching, security, voice and more)


And lastly, don't forget the give and take! You never know when you can help someone else- so edit your user profile to let others know where you have skills and knowledge.


Happy New Year and Good Luck!



Cisco Learning Network Community Manager

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