Happy “Wi-Fi” New Year to my friends and WLAN professional colleagues! Here’s hoping that 2015 will bring some incredible WLAN opportunities your way. I’m not huge on “New Year’s resolutions”, but I do always take some time at the beginning of each year to reflect and review the past and make plans for the future. So join me as I give you administrative access to the GUI on my AP management app (a.k.a. my head) and let’s look at Wi-Fi past and Wi-Fi for 2015!
WLAN Education: So, what IT certs did you achieve last year? None–really? OK, I am not a cert-a-holic, but I really, really strongly believe that WLAN pros need to constantly be studying and looking at improving their Wi-Fi skill set. Set a 2015 goal to get an IT or WLAN cert you don’t have! Remember, it’s not just the acronyms behind your name, but the hours of study you have invested that will help you as a WLAN professional! Sign up for all the free WLAN webinars that are out there. Sometimes you have to endure some “vendor babble”, but these webinars have worthwhile content. Cisco Live and Wireless Field Day 8 (coming in April 2015) both have video podcasts and are incredible free learning tools. WLAN vendor sites have some great free white papers and technical tips. Get some Wi-Fi reference books you don’t have yet and add these to your WLAN library. Subscribe to some of the many great Wi-Fi blogs out there — Lee Badman just did a great blog on ways to get Wi-Fi learning. (If you need a comprehensive WLAN blogroll list, you can always find one at gcatewifi). There are so many ways to build on your Wi-Fi knowledge skills that are free or at a minimal cost to you. So start now to get some NEW education, NEW reference materials and NEW certifications for 2015!
* Side note #1: It’s not just IT certs or education that WLAN professionals need, but learning how to work with other people. Depending on how many years work experience you have under your belt, it often is not a lack of technical skills that are needed on the job, but education about “how can I work with that guy–he is such a jerk!” Unless you are installing APs in a monastery in Outer Mongolia1, you need to understand the personalities of others (and yours as well!). Devin Akin has podcasted some valuable information on Enneagram profiles while others like to use the DiSC profile tool (free DiSC analysis by TTI can be found here). Bottom line: Learn your personality type and those of others and you will have a NEW skill as you advance your Wi-Fi career for 2015!
WLAN Equipment: What NEW equipment did you get last year, either to test out, modify, or add to your own WLAN tool chest? If I’m getting no ACKs to that last transmission, make a plan now to check out new APs, review eval copies of software, or even make a financial investment in some Wi-Fi tools (hardware AND software) that will help you become a better WLAN professional. Keith Parsons has blogged that WLAN pros “OWN their own tools”. I know some Wi-Fi tools are expensive, but budget now and buy what you can afford to keep on improving your Wi-Fi tool box. Imagine how you would feel if you had to ‘loan’ a hammer to a professional carpenter doing work on your home? WLAN pros need have their own tools. Make a list now detailing what NEW tools and equipment you will get for 2015!
WLAN Job: Do you love the WLAN job you are in right now, or has 2014 been a less than desirable year? Are you ready to boost your RSSI signal level and broadcast some “probe request frames” to seek out a NEW job opportunity? It may be internally at your work place, at another company or even in another vertical. Check out the various job boards, LinkedIn and don’t forget networking with your WLAN colleagues (which may be the best way to find a NEW position!). Are you on Twitter? No–you must be kidding! This is an awesome social media outlet for WLAN professionals and you will learn so much from the WLAN pros you follow. Get on Twitter and start following many of the Wi-Fi pros to build your network as you seek out NEW jobs.
* Side note #2: Networking is so important, and this personal story will tell you why: Toward the end of last year, I received word that my job was being relocated to corporate headquarters, 600 miles away. Not wanting to move, I looked around and interviewed for several internal IT opportunities, but nothing worked out. So I started networking with my WLAN friends and made some contacts with vendors and VARs. Although some of those trails went cold, I did find a contact with a WLAN colleague and through this contact, was offered a position with an IT service provider beginning in 2015! My last job (which I started in 1997) came through an IT networking contact and my new job did as well. So, build those WLAN networks and contacts through social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, your own Wi-Fi blog) and see if you too don’t find a NEW Wi-Fi job for 2015!
While he was a prisoner in Rome for his faith, the Apostle Paul writes a letter of motivation to the church at Philippi. As a WLAN professional, I trust these words of encouragement will help spur you toward your goals in 2015:
“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize…” – Philippians 3:13-14
* To all my WLAN professionals and friends for 2015: Press on!
NEW! *WLAN Education *WLAN Equipment *WLAN Job. What is your WLAN future going to look like in 2015?
1Please note there is no negative implication whatsoever for those who install APs in monasteries or live in Outer Mongolia. 🙂