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  1. Sleeping is for the weak NOC-Ninja's Avatar
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    #1

    Default Stay Technical or Management?

    A part of me is telling myself to stay technical, another CCIE, continue with technical certs (vm's, oscp, and etc).

    Another part of me wants to move to management soon since I will become slow in 10 years.
    I wont have the strength to study and lab.

    What is your take?
    Everyone's telling me I am not a people person. So, CCIE RS (I am coming for you!)
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  3. Junior Member TheWeatherman's Avatar
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    #2
    I don't know you on a personal level but anybody with the name of NOC-Ninja is cool in my book. Looking at your in-depth experience, I would say you should go the management route and make the change that you as THE technical guy see everyday regarding daily ops and other flawed management practices that make us miserable. (Can I get an amen?!)
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  4. Senior Member shochan's Avatar
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    #3
    Depends if you want to stay friends with your co-workers or not
    2018 goals -> PenTest+ Beta (awaiting results), CCNA CyberOps (July-Nov Cohort 7).
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  5. Senior Member
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    #4
    Management pays better.
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  6. Senior Member scaredoftests's Avatar
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    #5
    I like the technical part, myself...
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
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  7. Queen Bee kiki162's Avatar
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    #6
    Do you want to call the shots or continue to be the rainbow unicorn?

    Being the "unicorn" can be a safe place, but the older I get, the less time I have for "studying" as well. Plus you have to renew those certs every few years, and who wants to do that, LOL?
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  8. Senior Member scaredoftests's Avatar
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    #7
    Agreed, but you get to be stuck in meetings most of the day. LOL I love learning new things.
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
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  9. Senior Member E Double U's Avatar
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by NOC-Ninja View Post
    A part of me is telling myself to stay technical, another CCIE, continue with technical certs (vm's, oscp, and etc).

    Another part of me wants to move to management soon since I will become slow in 10 years.
    I wont have the strength to study and lab.

    What is your take?
    Continue with the stuff you really enjoy until you become too slow to do it.
    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
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  10. This site changed my life mzx380's Avatar
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    #9
    Why not delve into management and adjust yaour technical upskilling so you can focus on being a technical manager?
    Currently Working On: PMP
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  11. Senior Member Cyberscum's Avatar
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    #10
    Management is where people go do bury their souls. Stay far far away.
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  12. Senior Member mbarrett's Avatar
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by NOC-Ninja View Post
    Another part of me wants to move to management soon since I will become slow in 10 years.

    My perspective -
    Management = dealing with people, politics, meetings. Some people don't naturally gravitate in this direction. Especially your average techno-geek who likes to have his/her nose in the gear all day. There is a reason Managers make such good money - not everyone is cut out for it. If you have ever worked for a crappy manager who doesn't adequately support/enable/motivate their team, then you know what I mean.
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  13. Senior Member
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    #12
    it kinda depends on you. I wanted to stay technical so I started my own company. I can be as technical or managerial as I want. I have people that work for me, I lead projects and I get down in the weeds for major engagements. I found I like aspects of both. I like the managerial part due to be able to meet with the C suite and influence decisions and watch them come to life. I enjoy the office politics of people acting in self-interest to preserve a project and/or save jobs. I hate the part of dealing with people who aren't cut out for this and no amount of motivation will help them. The technical part I hate outages and late night work. Since I've been so senior I'm used to working late only a few times a year, some want more depending on the client. With small children, this part has taken alot out of me. So there are a few things from my life to think about. Choose wisely. I've seen a lot of careers soar because they moved into management and a lot crash and burn. The sad part is that in the case of the crash and burns we saw that coming a mile away.
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  14. Gaming Tech Expert Dakinggamer87's Avatar
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    #13
    My vote is for management you get to call the shots

    The pay is much better which is up my alley and my overall goal. I think for you it could go either way with your certs. I think it comes down to do you want to manage people or devices.
    2018 Certification Goals: MCSE (70-412,70-413), ITIL v3
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    Matthew 6:33 - "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."
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  15. Senior Member
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    #14
    I am in a similar boat. CCIEs, in the industry for a while, now a manager. I was quite happy as an individual contributor but was asked to take the role and decided it was time. I try to remain technical but it's challenging with 10 direct reports.

    Being a manager is a very different set of problems. There are demands on your employees' time, personal conflicts to resolve, personal issues you become a part of, pay issues, layoffs etc. But there is a lot of good stuff--building a team, mentoring others, and watching people grow. I have to say I had pretty realistic expectations but was still somewhat of a shock when I went from nobody to a bunch of reports overnight.

    It comes down to what you want to do and where you want to go. I would never have considered being a manager before I came here but I love what I do and the people I work with. It just made sense.

    You also have to consider whom you will be reporting to and whether they will mentor you in the new role. I have an exceptionally good boss who has worked with me on my own development.

    If you're doing well where you are and those stars don't align--stay where you are. If you think dealing with the aforementioned personal/personnel issues would bother you--stay where you are. If you absolutely love day-to-day in-the-mud network engineering--stay where you are. But if you want to grow as a person and help others grow, then by all means become a manager.

    In the end I think it's important to consider what you personally want, rather than just doing something because it seems like the "next thing" to do.
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  16. Are we having fun yet? UnixGuy's Avatar
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    #15
    I ask myself the same question... I usually think 'technical' or 'presales'... or management. On one hand, management/presales definitely pay more in the short AND long run (kind of)...you don't need to study either (thats a big deal...)

    On the other hand, technical is safe FOR THE TIME BEING...you never know how technology is going to evolve...you will be 50 years and you might not be the most desirable of candidates because someone else can do the same technical job with less money,,,

    I don't know the answer to this question, but I think management and/or consulting/presales is a better path...
    Goal: GCFA (DONE), GPEN (DONE)

    "Never stop learning and every time you are doing something mindless...you could be learning something new." Eric Conrad
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  17. Senior Member
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    #16
    When I first moved into management, it wasn't really management, it was more like a senior team-lead and I treated it as "first among equals". The next job was a very firm management position and I resisted even having an admin account for a while until circumstances and my boss' boss dictated otherwise. This current job has been a step further on the management chain except it's a range of tier-2 and tier-3 people along with a hefty budget.

    Once-upon-a-time, I had real tier-3 skills and once in a while an engineer asks me why I moved to management. I tell them that the opportunity appeared and that I wanted to be the manager I always wanted to work for. To me, that means a respected mix of skills, both engineering and managerial. Respected to the point where I can tell someone a few levels above me "no" and while they will want to know why, they aren't likely to argue too much.

    Business-types like to play dumb regarding IT so I turn it on its head. I'm rather fond of the phrase "what does that mean?" One of the best things about having staked an area of expertise is that it's easy to play dumb about everything else. So while everyone in the conference room is nodding their head enthusiastically at the vague statement the high-priced consultant said, you can say "but, what does that mean?" And when he says something else vague, you have the ability to "innocently" poke holes in his argument, all while appearing to be the token techie at the table, simply asking for more info. Not that I have ever done that ...
    2018: CCIE Written (R/S) (done - Jan), CCIE R/S
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  18. Senior Member
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    #17
    I prefer something more like prodcut manager, sales manager thank pure management.

    IMO the mix of technical skills and sales or being the manager of sales(in the technical field), is the what i enjoy the most.
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  19. Senior Member
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    #18
    Have you ever looked at anyone in charge and thought "I want to be that guy"?

    I haven't, mostly because I know they have to put up with me. If I'm in charge, everyone will have to put up with me.
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  20. Senior Member Queue's Avatar
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    #19
    A CCIE should have no trouble securing employment very quickly (if your're good). After a certain amount of re-certs you're able to do Emeritus. Then you get to continue with new technology without having to re-study the old stuff to keep certing.

    A manager is typically the first to be let go in bad times. Not sure other companies, but here a top network guy earns near management or more across the board. You would have to be a director to earn more.

    Like someone mentioned in here just keep being an network expert, and if you ever have to, use management as a back up plan.
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  21. Senior Member
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    #20
    I'm currently on the management side of things, but am hoping to go the technical route soon.

    The politics and stuff on the management aspect isn't really my cup of tea. Further, where I'm at, there is an abundance of management and governance skillset so going technical would (hopefully) enable me to command a higher pay.
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  22. Senior Member
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    #21
    I've been wondering the same and I asked my previous manager this question once since he came from a highly technical background...

    Here were his positives and negatives:

    Pro's
    1.) Much better pay and nice bonus opportunity
    2.) Not as much pressure to stay on top of new technology
    3.) Being a leader and helping employee's grow in their careers is rewarding

    Con's
    1.) Taking time off can be stressful and hard to separate from work
    2.) Losing technical knowledge
    3.) When things go wrong, YOU are accountable
    4.) Managers are typically first to go when budget cuts/downsizing occurs
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