Series Kick-off – Career Development Planning for Networkers

 In 200-301 V1 CCC No Category on Purpose, Career

Where do you want to be in your career in two years? Five?

While often thought of as corny interview questions – and you should be ready for these in any interview – these questions are important to your long-term career success. Taking that idea a step further, your career goals then feed into what you need to learn in order to reach your goals. IT workers have value due to their experience, knowledge, and skills; you should plan and execute a plan for what to learn to meet your career goals.

Today’s post kicks off a series about Career Development Planning for Networkers with a discussion of getting started on a plan, for those of you who are already convinced you need a plan, but aren’t sure where to start. By the end of this post, with 10 more minutes of effort, you should have your first career development plan finished!


Series Intro

A career development plan lists goals, and links those goals to activities that help you meet your goals. It can be as straightforward as having a goal to get into a particular job role, with a list of courses to take, skills to master, and short-term projects to accept in your current job to help you get some related experience. Generally speaking, you think of a goal, then the knowledge, skills, and experiences you’ll need to reach those goals, and then look for activities to build that knowledge, skill, and experience. Simple enough.

The reason I chose to write this series comes from the results of a poll question (unscientific) I posted a while back. It asked whether networkers have a career development plan or not, and if so, how often they review their plan. So far, I’ve seen about 150 responses, but the numbers were frankly startling to me. Some stats at that time:

  • 65% had no written plan at all
  • Only 16% both had a plan and reviewed the plan at least quarterly

Networkers, like most technical IT workers, need knowledge and skills to do their jobs. The mix of knowledge and skills changes over time, so IT workers must make a lifelong habit of learning new technology. Yet 2/3rds of the poll participants had no written development plan.

Frankly, I didn’t like those numbers, and I think we can collectively do better. For the record, I’m sort of in the 2/3rds – I had written notes about my training plans, but I was weak at following through on a review process, on writing down my goals, and getting the most out of the process. So, it got me thinking – what can we do as networkers to be better about planning our personal development? And this blog series is my response.

By the way, the poll is still open if you’d like to weigh in:

Improving Our Collective Score Today: Make a Plan, Right Now!

Let’s do something about that low percentage of networkers with written career development plans, at least in this little corner of the Internet. It’ll take you ten minutes, and it’s a start. Start now.

If you don’t have a written development plan, read the rest of this post, follow the directions, and go make one. Really.

Your initial plan does not have to be sophisticated, nicely formatted, and automated. It doesn’t have to be long. The purpose of this first plan is to get each of us (me included) off fence, get started, and then we’ll work on improving it as we go through the series.

Start the clock, take ten minutes, and follow this list of actions:

  1. Get a piece of paper or open a document. That’ll be your first written development plan.
  2. Career Goal: If you have one/more career goals that you can articulate, write them down. If you have no ideas, write down a heading for goals, and leave it blank. (Spend 2 minutes max – if you need more time, move on anyway, and come back to this task later!)
  3. Learning Activities: If you have one/more in mind, write them down.  Just write enough notes to remember it – no need to get the exact names. (Spend 3 minutes max.) Examples:
    • Read this book
    • Master this skill in a lab
    • Volunteer for a project at work that makes you stretch new skills
  4. Goal Dates: Put a Month/Year completion date on each learning activity. If you freeze, and don’t want to pick: just pick a date, darn it! You’re just getting a good place to start planning for now – you can and probably will change the dates once you work through your plan more.  The goal here is to get dates down and adjust from there. (Max 1 minute.)
  5. Create a Monthly Repeating Calendar Reminder: Create a repeating calendar entry for this same day-of-the-month for all months this year, stating: “Review Development Plan”. (Max 2 minutes.)
  6. Tell Wendell here: Post here, and just tell me that you made a plan. You can embellish and tell me the details, or just tell me you did it. Or Tweet, or Facebook… but tell me.

That’s it for now. Is this the best plan you can ever make? No. Have we talked about all you should do with it yet? No. But if you make a plan, you’ve made a start, and I’ll give some more advice over the coming weeks, which will help us, expand and use the plan. So go make your plan, come back here, post and tell me you made your plan.

Next Post…

Skeptical? Next post, I’ll get into some of the benefits of a written career development plan.

OSPF Interface Config – Answers (Config Museum)
Why Networkers Should Have a Career Development Plan
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Michael Shane Faulkinbury

Hey Wendall I plan on being at this event! Hope to get to talk you there. I have two of your books already ICND1 and ICND2 OCG’s! Not sure if your into security, but sure I will find out in the near future! I’m friends with Paul Stewart if you know who that is? He already has his CCIE Security and lives one state to the south of me in Kentucky.

Alex Akinyemi

I made a CCNA Certified in 1year from now. Master everything at the level of CCNA to progress . Got the book today and start immediately


1 year for ccna!!!!!!


Hello, Wendall.

I’ve been trying to create a career in IT for myself for many years, but never made a plan. But, I have now created a development plan.

I hope to one day become a Cisco certified network professional in security. But, I must first begin with the CCNA, since I am new to networking.

I will buy the CCNA 200-301 official cert guide, master the book the book, learn the practical/simulation exercises and labs, volunteer for projects at work and elsewhere, and take the exam by September 2021.

Thanks a lot for this great post!


Get First Networking Job

1. Knowledge:
A. Finish CCNP
I. Finish reading CCNP switch
II. Continue Labbing switch
III. Take CCNP Switch February 24th
B. Decide between CCDA and CCNA DC by April 8th

2. Skills:
A. Volunteer
I. Volunteer at an organization a week until taken up on my offer
II. Spend 8-16 hours per week doing volunteer work.
B. Start a blog or vlog.
I. First public post by June 30th

3. Experience:
A. Volunteer work (see previous)
B. Continue to mentor others trying to pass CCNA
I. Expand mentorship beyond my site
II. Spend 15-30min weekly answering questions on learning network.


Your welcome!

I really love mentoring others, it’s generally the highlight of my day. I just wish that I was at one site long enough to help someone all the way through the process in person.

My current contract has me only working 30 hours a week currently making the time commitment a little easier for volunteering.

The only real dilemma I’m trying to figure out right now is the CCDA/P vs. CCNA/P DC following the design path. Haven’t found much to compare and contrast them as of yet. Though digging up the info has been on the back burner for a while now.

JP Vázquez

I. Get CCNA certification.
II. Get DevOps and CyberOps associate certs.
III. Create a service.

I just started studying for my CCNA using your Official Cert Guide. Thanks a lot Wendell. Happy Christmas and happy new year.

Wendell Odom

Quite welcome, JP. Great goals! Merry Christmas to you as well. Look for you here at the blog in the new year.


I made a development plan. My wife’s always getting on me for not making goals, well, now I have some. Thanks! Looking forward to reading the rest of the series shortly.

Jose C.

Wendell, I have started a plan today. I read this first blog post and created a plan to help me develop persistence, patience and practice. I’ve slowly started watching CBT Nugget videos and will be needing to purchase your book to go more in-depth with the information. I want to thank you for this website and its resource. although i just stumbled on it, i can say it has already provided me with assistance.

Thank you! 🙂

Gbenga Ehindero

Hello Wendell, thanks for al you do and I like to inform you that I have written my goals. I wil just give the summary of this goals and can always tell you the details later. 1. I will be a CCIE R&S in 10months time (MAX)2. I will be a CCIE Data Center in April 2016 (Max)3. I will complete my Certified Telecoms Project Management (CTPM) course in June 2016. 4. I will have my Masters Degree in DataCenter Management on or before 2018. I can mail you the details if you don’t mind. and I will appreciate your encouragement. thanks.



Hello Wendell!

I read your blog on developing a plan and as of today I have one.

I’ll be working on my AA in Applied Science Winter quarter at my local community college here in Washington state. Stumbled across your website while searching for books relating to the CCNA program.

My goal is to have my certification by Summer 2016 and my AA in 2017.

While completing my requirements for my degree I’ll be considering what path I want to take with my certifications once I complete the CCNA portion of the program.


Hello Wendell,

I know this post was posted beginning of this year, but I just found out about this blog, so I am going through old posts to gather more knowledge 🙂

Here are my goals for next one year(it was more than one so it took little more than 10 minutes). I know the dates will be changed throughout the process, but they are set according to my previous study from CCENT and CCNA.

Thank you for your post! I will be reading rest of your career development series!

Goal #1: Get VMware VCP-NV certification, and understanding the network & cloud integration

Learning activities:
1. Repeat VMware Hands-On-Lab on NSX product – Until Oct. 15th.
2. Read Study guide by Rich Dowling – By Oct. 31st.
3. Take VCP-NV exam and pass it – By November 5th
4. Continually reading network & cloud integration related articles

Goal #2: Be knowledgeable in CCNP level routing & switching. Not only knowing the exam material, but also engraving it in my brain.

Learning activities:
1. Read CCNP Switch book – By Oct. 15th
2. Watch CBT nugget Hands-on-lab SWITCH portion – By Oct. 22nd
3. Read another CCNP Switch book – By November 22nd
4. Take CCNP SWITCH Exam and pass it – By November 30th
5. Watch CBT nugget CCNP ROUTE – By December 20th
6. Read CCNP ROUTE book – By January 31st 2016
7. Watch CBT nugget Hands-on-lab ROUTE – By February 7th 2016
8. Read another CCNP ROUTE book – By March 7th 2016
9. Take CCNP ROUTE Exam and pass it – By March 14th 2016
10. Watch CBT nugget CCNP TSHOOT – By April 5th 2016
11. Read CCNP TSHOOT book – By May 5th 2016
12. Watch CBT nugget Hands-on-lab TSHOOT – By May 12th 2016
13. Read another CCNP TSHOOT book – By June 12th 2016
14. Take CCNP TSHOOT Exam and pass it – By June 19th 2016
15. Continually read blogs and do labs after the certification – After June 19th 2016

Goal #3: Study Python and understand SDN (Software defined network)

Learning activity:
1. Read “Learning Python the Hard Way”, by Zed Shaw – By September 20th 2016
2. Watch CBT nugget on Python – By October 20th 2016
3. Play around with – After October 20th 2016
4. Play around with Mininet and Cisco AIO VM – After October 20th 2016


Was my plan too long and detail? 🙂


Just got my VCP-Network Virtualization last Saturday! (little earlier than my plan)

But now I can focus fully on my CCNP SWITCH exam!

Yeah I have been studying for CCNP SWITCH and VCP-NV exam at same time since my current job allowed me to study majority of my work hours. I couldn’t focus on one topic for hours, so I divided my daily study time between CCNP and VCP exam.

I am little ahead of my scheduled plan, but my main focus for CCNP will be fully understanding the material even it means taking little more time.

Thanks for the career development plan!



Hello Wendell,
Found this article just today but took the 10 minutes and made a plan. Still sorting out specifics on the direction to take but I’ve started school working towards a Bachelor’s degree. I love teaching and sharing and appreciated Joe’s reply including mentoring, got me thinking!
I’ll be back often to see what is new here. Thank you for generously sharing your knowledge and your eagerness to learn more.


Hi Wendell,

Just found your blog today and it’s really inspiring. I’ve planned to complete my CCNA certification by Jan 31st,2016 and CCNP route and switch by June 30th,2016.

After that I plan to move on to VCP exam and will work hard to complete all this by 2016 end. After that I want to get my CCIE routing and switching certification completed asap.

And above all, I promise to visit your blogs as frequently as I can.



Just created my first Development Plan. It was nothing big, just something to keep me on track and focused on my end game.

I added a few achievable goals, and gave those goals dates.


Wendell, I’ve made a plan. Refinements are on the way!


Wendell i graduate this year as a telecommunication engeenier in Cuba and now iam in the us. I just buy the ccent book to study towards the ccna certification. The real dilemma is how to get some experience in a carrer where all the employers asks for 2 or more years of experience. If you could give me some advice i would be very grateful. Thank you in advance. By the way, Wendell, your book ia great.



I am working through your 100-105 guide and have started a development plan as you recommend. Thanks for your insight!



I made a simple plan with career goals, learning activities, calendar reminder, etc. Very basic, but like you say it’s a start. Oh yeah, I also received your ICND1 Official Cert Guide in the mail today.


Hi Wendel I’ve made a plan. Thanks for your insights!


Career Goal: Recently complete a CyberSecurity certificate from a local college.

Now I am currently studying for two certifications: CISSP in order to enhance and build on my CyberSecurity certificate and also working on my ICND1 certification in pursuit of my CCNA.

Amazingly, I am enjoying the studying and it is kind of a breath of fresh air to bounce from one text to another and think it is giving me time to digest the reading from my previous cert studying session.

I currently between jobs with plans on starting a new position in about a month, hence my ability to put in significant time to reading both technical disciplines.

Learning Activities: Currently reading the (ISC)2 CISSP study guide and the Cisco ICND1 100-105 study guide.

Goal Dates: I am planning to complete my CISSP reading by November 25, 2016 and take the exam around mid December.

I am hoping to complete my studying for my ICND1 by the end of December 2016 and exam in January.

I want to be a CyberSecurity professional and eventual expert in my field, I am building on my background as a Systems Administrator with about 10 years in the electronic health record field. I would like to assist a healthcare organization with securing their network and web applications.

Mike Ali

Hello Mr Wendell, I am self employed I do support for small businesses, I have worked with several different corporations doing Support help desk and desktop work. I do not have experience with Cisco Equipment. I am trying to prepare for CCNA: ICND1 and 2. I purchased your written books, such as 100-105 and 200-105. Also I purchased e books as well and the live video sessions, and 2 network simulators for the ICND1 AND 2. I don’t have any Cisco equipment so I figured the Network Simulators would in place of the equipment. I don’t if it is overkill or just write. Please advise. Also please let me know if you have any suggestions.

Mike Ali


Hi Wendell

Just made my first plan also with some goals that I have wanted for myself and career for a while. Not putting a date on things usually means for me they get put in the “tomorrow pile” It’s not overly big but sufficient for now and I will add/change as I go along because things always change!

Just finished reading through the first half (100-101) of Todd Lammle’s book and since they changed the exam I have now got your 100-105 and 200-105 books.

Really enjoying your 100-105 book so far!

Abdul-Jabbar Bozdar

Hello Mr. Wendell,

I created my career plan few months back and shared it on learning network. I revised it today to keep my determination high.

Thank you very much for a good series, this is indeed helpful. I’ll share the final version of my plan in the last post (probably).

Here, I want to point out a website issue. It will be easier to navigate and find next post, if you place a link to previous/next post in the end of article. Existing previous/next post button doesn’t seem working the way it should.


Abdul-Jabbar Bozdar

I think, previous and next buttons should be at left and right side of the blog (respectively). But on your website, they are not. And, on this page, there is no previous button at all. I’m removing browser cache to see, if Firefox is the reason to this problem.


Hello Wendell,

Thanks for this post, and I’ll keep reading the rest of the series.

I made my Career Development Plan, thanks to you.

I’ve been dancing around the idea of getting into networking, I bought your book, CCENT/CCNA ICND1 100-105 Academic Edition, and it has traveled around with me for over six month, and still is in pristine condition.

Today, on a flight to Austin, TX. I decided to start reading the book, instead of watching a movie. There I learned about your blog, which piqued my curiosity, and now, I have a Career Development Plan.

It is ambitious, I only have dates for the first phase, but I have a plan now.

Thank you!


Hey Wendell,

I have had a plan in my head for a few months but obviously I never wrote it down! Now that I have it is much easier for me to focus on it.

The first step is to complete your ICND1 100-105 book and all of its materials, then relax a little and work through the 31 days before CCENT review series by Allan Johnson and then take the exam its self.

Steven Drzaszcz (@stevedrz)


Nework engineer for more than 10 years now. Working on a plan as suggested. I let my CCNA R+S expire in 2014, figured the industry experience was enough.. Recently had an unplanned hope to just go straight to CCIE, but now plan to do in stages..

As much as we all know Cisco is a major player, I also want to continue with a vendor agnostic approach (keep some Huawei, Juniper, Ciena, and others knowledge), and keep the software future of networking in mind. Hyperconverged environments for virtualization also interest me. Automation using well known tools as well.

End game: Become a networking technical trainer as a primary (with CCIE) , and consultant as a secondary to keep up to date with current real world challenges.

Now some dates to the plan:
* Finish 100-105 studying by Mid-March 2017
* Finish 200-105 studying by Mid April 2017
* CCNA 200-125 R+S by End of April 2017
* CCNP R+S study, three books over three months. Ready for exam by end of 2017.
CCIE- Prep for 2018.



1. CCNA R&S – certification / Linux base
2. CCNP R&S – certification / Java / Oracle
3. CCIE R&S – certification

It’s enough Wendell ? Five or six years perhaps.

Sijin Alexander

I am small time telecom Engineer in a remote govt. setup in India. But I wish to be ready to earn at a location of choice. I brought the 200-301 CCNA book back in December, read some 8-10 chapters but then missed the bus. Stating again
I have a liking for RF since college, but dont know what to do with it and have done nothing about it. I am already 33.
So I made an initial plan. Please do offer suggestions for improvement
Career direction CCNA, CCNP Enterprise, and keeping on pursuing Analog design/ RF design as a second path for the liking I have.
Learning activities, Target dates
Read the CCNA Book 31 June 2021
Use Online Resources 31 June 2021
Do Hands onLabs31 June 2021
Take the Exam 07 July 2021
Some RF design/ Analog design material 31 Dec 2021



I made my plan today. Thanks for the inspiration. i’m not sure about specifics, all I know is that I’m starting with 100-105.

1. Career Goals
1. Understand Cloud, Security, Streaming, Networking – leverage CTS-D, CCNA(?) to be thought leader in AV/IT consulting

2. Take CCNA and combine with RCDD

2. Learning Activies
1. Study and Pass the CCENT – June 30, 2017
2. Study and Pass CCNA – November 03, 2017


This is my Career Goal:
12 months–Become an entry level IT worker in 2018.
3 yrs–I will become an IT network/security- in 2020.

cert guide,self-test,read/review,

create lab in home, practice


online and sit-in at lecture hall at IU

Take Exams:
CCENT-Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician
CCNA R/S 200-125 – Cisco Certified Network Associate
I have to try.

Jose Vargas

Greetings from Costa Rica !!
I just bought the 200-125 books to take my cert next June 30th, So I went and check the Study Plan…..ITS REALLY MAKING A DIFFERENCE this time -THANKS- I enrolled the cnna courses back in 2010, but for some reason I never look for a job to put into practice all the knowledge, Here in CR are plenty of positions by the way !! Anyway I´ve been doing some changes recently and reading that part was the best thing i´ve done this week !!
Here´s my development plan :
1)CCNA Cert by June 30, 2017
2)Get a job THIS TIME-July 30,2017
…just want to say thanks and I´ll continue reading all the posts !!
Any advice will be appreciated ….!!


Hello Wendell,
I just started reading your book for ICND1 and l came across your blog.
I’m still very much new to networking and l hope to become an expert in the nearest future. But there’s one thing with me. I have good analytical skills but I get very nervous when it comes to exams even though I’m very prepared. I’m expecting a change in this new beginning as l start my preparation.
I’ve made a short-term career goal:
-get CCNA

Learning activities
-read ICND1 & ICND2 books
-practice examples in lab simulations
-join blogs and communities that relate with CCNA certification
-practice everyday
Take exams in 5 months

I appreciate your motivation sir!



I have started my plan. I am big into lifting weights and after reading your post here I had never thought about applying those tactics I use for lifting into my career.

To lift and make progress you have to track your weights weekly. You have to have a goal in mind and track your progress to that goal. Thanks for helping me make a connection between the two. I have started my plan and I am working now on tweaking it to make the large goals into smaller more realistic ones. As with anything this just takes time.

Again thanks!!


Thank you for all ur inspiring words wendell! I did it, it’s on paper…later on after some modification, will come back with details..


My Network Development Plan

Career Goal:
Create my own successful Information Technology Business. Create reoccurring revenue streams, which generate profit. Give quality, meaningful, excellent service.

Generate a networth of $50,000,000. Give back to my community and the needy.
Retire at age 47.

Learning Activities:
CCNA Route Switch, CCNA Security, MS 70-698, VMware Certs, Microsoft Server/AD Certs, Software Development and Programming Language Certs.

Goal Dates:

CCNA Route/Switch: 10/28/17
CCNA Security: 01/28/18
MS 70-698: 03/28/18
VMware VCA-DBT: 06/28/18
MS Server 2016 70-740: 08/28/18
MS Server 70-741: 10/28/18
MS Server 70-742: 12/28/18
MS Server 70-744: 02/28/19

jeff Inthaly

Hello Wendell,

I just came across your blog and I will be using this to help me further my career because you helped me actually form a goal. I’m excited to see what else you can draw out of me. With that said here is my plan, though I will go further into detail when I get to that monthly review development plan.

Career Goal: System Admin

Learning Activities: Take classes, do practice exams, labs, take certifications

Goal Dates:
-Complete my ICND 1 certification by end of 2017.
-Complete my ICND 2 certification by mid 2018.
-Complete Microsoft server certification by end of 2019.
-Complete red hat certification by end of 2020.

Looking forward to reading all your blogs.

Thank you
Jeff Inthaly


Hi Wendell, started a career plan. Taking the CCNA soon then will move into CCNP route. Have been working for ISPs for 7 Year’s now but only last few years been getting into more dedicated networking rolls looking after network infrastructure. Enjoying taking time to learn through the theory with your books in addition to learning in fast paced environment of the workforce. One major goal is to move into a network architect / design role.


Hi Wendell

Just started your series on “Career Development Planning for Networkers” and I just completed my first career plan.

Thanks for taking the time to put this together. I am looking forward to the rest of the series.

Be well.


Rafael Duarte

Carrer Goal

Move to another country working as an IT specialist probably in the security field.
Dream country is Canada, but there is a lot of possibilites.

Learning Activities

First get a CCENT cert till then I’ll probably be sure if the security path, if so I’ll study to get an Comptia Security+, if not probabbly will get an CCNA. For now it’s enough planning.

Also I need to improve my english skills, and that has to me a continous task.
if anyone that is reading this likes to chat and want to know about Brazil or talk about CCNA I’ll be really grateful. Skype: live:dev.rafa.duarte

Goal Date
I’m married, still in college and working full-tim so I don’t have so much time spare time to study and my knowledge in the subject is still low, also I’m broke AF to pay the cert, I’ll set an honest goal date for get my CCENT. August (probably will change for later or sooner)

and every 15th I’ll review this carrer development plan.

I”m already 28 years old, don’t have more time to play around.

Thanks Wendell.

Ibar Ozman Ibrahim

Hi Wendell,
i am a telecom student from Somalia i need to prepare CCNA and CWNA, then what can i do to get the required information
thank you


Hi Wendell, here is my plan:
Carrer Goal: to get a job being a specialist in IT and get all the knowledge possible in all technology, after that, move to another country, to learn more.
Learning Activities
I promisse to myself read as much possible informacion about each chapter of the ICND1 book.
Use all software able to still learning.
Goal Date:
I’m planning to take the exam in December, 11 of this year.

Thanks for all, Wendell.

Christophe Ozkur

Hello Wendell,

i did my first plan ! Thank you so much for your coaching ! I want to find a job as an Expert and trainer in One year, i will work hard to achieve this goal !

God bless you !



I have been working in IT since 1999 and have skated through with no certifications. I am doing very well as a Senior System Administrator but today I created my goal to complete CCENT 100-105 by October 25 and immediately review and do very lab. I have a reminder for every Monday to re-evaluate my goals until I complete the book, Review and then take my cert test.

(Brian Tracy’s “No Excuses” gave me the impetus to get up off my ass.


Hi Wendell,
I’ve started to make my Development Career Plan, starting at the first step of the Networking career, it means taking the commitment to get INCD1 certified, I would like to ask you what is the average time to finish to read the 100-105 ICND1 Official Certification guide, considering a new entry level person in the networking field. what is the suggested time to be expend per chapter and per part.

Thank you!


Hi Wendell,
My Career Goal: to become network consultant specializing in LAN, WAN and Security areas.

Learning Activities:
1-Learn CCNA course (Completion date: 30/4/2019)
2-Learn JNCIA course (Completion date: 31/5/2019)
3-Learn Security course (Completion date: 31/7/2019)
4-Practice skills in labs (Completion date: refer 1,2, and 3)
5-Volunteer to mentor junior colleagues in office (Completion date: on going until 31 Dec 2019)


I made a plan Wendell! I recently changed careers from law enforcement to IT, and I’ve been interested in Networking, but my network admin has no desire to train others, or to TS blatant network issues. (I am a lowly help desk/site technician -for now-). Fortunately the negative energy has been fueling my motivation as of late and here I am! I’m super excited to finally put the time aside and get some self study done with a goal. I have a little experience through resolving said network issues, but the thought of getting down and dirty with the Cisco CLI gives me butterflies. I’m torn on starting on the composite exam or CCENT then CCNA. I’ve already purchased your most recent CCENT Guide, so that’s what I’ve been pouring through.

Thank you, Wendell
for affording me the resources to change myself, and indirectly the lives of my wife and kids.


Just got the books and the network simulation as recommended in the CCENT/CCNA books. Stopped at the goal setting note and made a plan to finish the books and all projects the book lists by April 31’st, then acquire CCNA certification in early May. If I overshot I’ll certainly adjust as necessary.

Jiayuan Yu

Hey Wendell, I would like to tell you that I made my first written career plan just now, and I feel I am now more confident with my future career. It took me two days to make my first plan, not exactly as you suggested in this thread, but I wish to tell you, it helped me a lot.

If I did not read the ICND1 page by page and found this web, I wouldn’t force myself to make a real plan. I have been thinking about my career plan for couple years already, but it was not that clear, and I was kind of letting myself go whatever I wish at the moment, but a long-term and steady career plan is what I wanted and never actually did.

I know this is going to help, and I have set up a reminder to remind me to review it every month.

Thank you again, Wendell!

Krista Albright

Hi Wendell, I’m writing to say thank you for this series. 2019 began for me with just two words: opportunity and influence. The months since have seen a deepening of those words that now include weekly, monthly, annual, and 5 and 10 year goals working toward a networking career and CCNA certification.

Thank you for the accessible, approachable, and practical advice you provide to folks looking to bring more meaning to their lives and the lives of the people around them.

Glenn Gillis

Created my Career Development plan today, Wendell. My career goal is to “Work for a progressive organization, large or small, that has a positive impact on the environment, social justice, etc.” Cheers, –Glenn.

Alex L

Salutations! I would like to be a CTO of a major influential company in an emerging technology field. I think this exercise of mapping out my career is most excellent. Thank you very much for your guidance.

Brianna Alva

Great exercise! I plan to finish my CCNA and start off with network engineering. I would like to branch into security and obtain CISSP later down the road (within 5 years). My goal is to end up in a senior security analyst role and hopefully still be doing some hands-on work with the team!

Charlie Magati

This is my first step towards my larger goal becoming a Data center specialist and Network Engineer.
I have listed down my goals on paper and this is my first Cisco Course. (CCNA)

My Career Goals

i) Designing Networks and Firewalls
ii) Network Security Analysis
iii) Building and Designing Data Centers

I believe one has to loose the sight of the shore in order to surf the ocean.
Consistency is key.
My Goal is to finish the CCNA Course in two Months plus all the labs.
At the end of this I want to engage in a real life project just for CCNA to test my skills.
Good luck to everyone in this race.



Thank you for the motivation with group accountability – a winning pair!

After 30+ years in IT with progressing roles & responsibilities, I’ve hit a plateau in the last 8 years with no obvious path forward.

I’ve been doing networking since the IPX, hubs & 10Base2 days, but never achieved any certification for it as it was never a requirement for my role. Fast forward to today, and now its a requirement.

I accept it as a challenge, and while I don’t see this as a hands-on tool for my role (strategic, not functional), I still see the value in having this as proof of my mastery of the concepts and skills.

The CCNA, along with my CISSP (Feb 2018), ongoing AWS Certification Path and subsequent entry into a MBA program, will provide the technical foundation with which to leverage my eventual next stage and I plan to overcome the career ascension obstacles before me.

I’m not old; I’m just getting started and there is so much more to learn.

I will check in as I progress.

Again, thank you for the kick in the pants to put the plan into action.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x