How to Position Yourself as a Network Engineer for Career Success

Network Engineering is a fast-growing career and the demand for qualified employees in this job scope is growing exponentially by the year. This is because more and more companies are depending on the internet and information technology to drive their daily operations.

Network Engineering is a highly technical position and you would have to have a thorough understanding of concepts like servers, network troubleshooting, cloud computing and the like. With all that being said, there are many things you can do to ensure that you make it as a successful Network Engineer.

1. Be humble and learn on the job.

Experience is always the best teacher. When you start out as a Network Engineer, you may possess all the necessary knowledge in the field but you haven’t actually faced many real-life situations. Network Engineering requires you to stay calm and employ your problem-solving skills to solve the issue in as little time as possible. This may be stressful, so you’ll have to develop your patience and E.Q. too, as you face various situations.

2. Communication is the key to success.

During your career as a Network Engineer, you’ll most probably need to work in a team. Even if you’re the sole network expert, you’ll need to liaise with other IT department employees for various reasons. It’s crucial to talk things out and get various ideas and views on how to solve any problem at hand. Many Network Engineers tend to see the concept of ‘asking for help’ as a sign of weakness or lack of skill. Some are afraid to be seen as incompetent. However, communicating with others is crucial to get a new take or a novel view on issues that you won’t see on your own.

3. Be a self-starter and self-educate.

It’s always a good idea to find ways to improve your skills, even if you have a formal education in network engineering. In the field of network engineering, there are many professional certifications you can obtain, even if you’ve begun working. These include Cisco certifications (CCNA, CCNP & CCIE), CISSP, CompTIA Network+ and several others.  Having one of these certifications, especially from Cisco, will give you that extra edge needed to be recognized in the field as someone who is proactive and willing to have a better understanding of the elements involved in Network Engineering. 

4. Improve your time management.

Time is one of the most important aspects in the field of Network Engineering, as any issues with the network can interrupt important daily processes, both for the company and its customers. You have to be able to give a timeline to your superiors and prioritize troubleshooting steps. Additionally, you should allocate a buffer period during troubleshooting as it will give you extra room to work and added time to optimize the network while you’re at it.

5. Resumes are important too.

Your journey as a Network Engineer will bring you to various places and situations, so always be ready to move if you have the opportunity to learn and see more. That’s why having a completed resume with a summary of your roles and everything you’ve accomplished will function as a ticket for you to move upwards and forward.

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