Are You Lost?

You will know if you are lost if you don’t know where you are. You need to know where you are currently only if you have a destination. If you have no destination then it doesn’t really matter where you are doing does it?

If that sounds familiar it is based upon an exchange from Alice in Wonderland between Alice and the cheshire cat.This is goal setting 101 and yet because it is so simple pretty much everyone overlooks it as far too basic. So, my point is to get you to determine where you want to go. Once you establish this key point you can set your compass and make a start. If you want to be a consultant then you will be able to rough out a plan. If you want to get promoted inside a company then you have another plan. If you want to eventually become a trainer then you have another plan again.

If you have no plan then you will end up drifting inside a company and when it comes time for redundancy or promotion you will find yourself unprepared and unqualified. Do you know how many young men start in a company and before they know it ten years have passed and they have become the oldest guy on the helpdesk!

Don’t let it happen to you.

Paul Browning

20 Responses to “Are You Lost?”

  1. First plan then act is always true. You’ve got to have a goal.

  2. I always feel lost when working…why should I stay in this company at all?

  3. In fact, I’m rolling on aimlessly but I really don’t know where to go. I’m afraid I’ll end up as “the oldest guy on the helpdesk!” 🙁

  4. I’m on half way now…is it too late to redirect my path?

  5. Your suggestion totally makes sense… I’m enlightened. Thanks!

  6. Thanks for your reminding…I never thought this before..will stop and figure it out.

  7. I don’t want to be “the oldest guy on the helpdesk!” , help me out!

  8. How do you escape from the “No experience – No job” Cycle. I hold a CCNA and CCNA voice, I only got three months of networking experience. Right now I am working in a completely different IT role and I have been doing that for two years, so that’s how my “career” looks like, but the true is that I don’t like it at all. Volunteer job is not an option for me, given that I can’t afford to quit my job.

    I am also getting older (in my early thirties), and I have started to feel that my IT dream job is never going to happen.

    Any suggestions.

    • Try an IT ouutsourcing company that provides support to SMEs. That way you’ll start with helpdesk but eventually move on to support roles over a wide range of businesses and IT solutions. Hope that helps.

      All my IT experience is 10+ years old (Acorn Archimedes / ECONET stuff for schools – was wiped out by Windows, -pardon the pun! – when all the schools upgraded to Windows 95/98). I want to get back in. I did the MCSE 2 years ago and the Network+ a year ago, never did get back into IT. However, I am studing for my CCNA. My problem is I didn’t have a proper stratergy even though I had goals. Just as important. Don’t worry, your not alone. Just got to have the right stratergy/game plan.

  9. Hi Richard,

    I’ve helped guys in their 60s so you are still young.

    You need to look for jobs requiring an immediate start as they are less fussy. Contracting is much easier with less experience.

    You need to get a strategy and keep applying I’m afraid. If you haven’t applied for 100+ jobs then you aren’t trying.



  10. I’m embarrassed to say this, but I am exactly where Paul has said “Don’t let it happen to you”


  11. Ian Findlay, at 77 completed a Masters in IT!

    He says…

    “Build yourself a website and
    use it to advertise, Don’t let anything
    discourage you. Go for every job
    where you can reasonably
    expect a meeting. Never miss an
    opportunity to learn something
    new. Purchase journals in your
    field of interest and download
    as much from the net as you
    can. And above all, never give

    He is expecting a huge boom in computing … Especially in the areas of Networking. In the UK they are talking about Fibre Optics more and more. I’m, guessing there are going to be lots of IT Jobs in Networking just around the corner especially with the Olympics, too. The internet is ridiculously slow in England, even if you are on Broadband. In the US/Canada/South Korea etc. and many other places you can download a 2 hour HD video in 30 seconds. Impossible in England. For a first world country it has third world internet access speeds! I know I’ve worked and lived in many countries. Thats why I’m quitting working abroad and studying Networking and coming home soon. I used to know ARCONET and ECONET (10+ years ago – in the days before certification). My trade was wiped out by Windows95 and Ethernet. Everthing comes and goes around…especially in IT..and its coming around again.

  12. I am trying to look at the state my life is in now and figure out where it is I want to go. I think that I need to make more of a solid plan, more of a compass. I am encouraged by what you wrote to Richard.

  13. The biggest issue I see among my colleagues is that we are all starting to get comfortable where we are. There is a sense of peace in the middle of our boredom. I want to break out of it.

  14. It is comforting to know that I am not alone in my struggle to figure things out. It is hard to begin to make a decision. I think that making a plan is a good way to start.

  15. Unfortunately I find myself in the same position after many years. I think I got a little lost, but I am finding my way out.

  16. It is really easy to “let yourself go” within a company. You become complacent, and it is no longer a priority to better yourself. You are destined to march in place forever then.

  17. to not plan is to plan to fail. This proverb should stick out every car you see. Its true, without a solid game plan you don’t have a game at all!

  18. I got a 799 on my test (ccna) and I finding it very hard to get going again, does anyone have any advice on how to get going again. It was like after I failed all the drive left my body and I don’t know how to get it back.

  19. Darren, feel exactly the same, have some experience in CCNA, very kindly taught to me a cisco expert as I was originally on a summer networking contract back in 2005 which inspired me to do it.

    I have since went to London after returning from world trip in 2008 and done a two week course; but a shame I didnt book and take the exam right away after that when it fresh in my head. Have now been back working in IT helpdesk but not much Cisco stuff, which i really want to do.

    Ive tried to study the material a few times again and got blown out usually at chapter 3 or 4 of the material. I mean just lost interest in keeping the study going right through. Though this site and you guys feedback makes me want to achieve this – Ive wasted too much time now, not really doing it – help guys?

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