As a network engineer, I thought I had found my dream job. I was working on a team of tier 2 engineers, responsible for troubleshooting issues related to bgp ospf tunnels and multicast routing. I enjoyed the work, but I couldn't help feeling like something was missing.

That's why, at the beginning of December, I made the decision to accept a new role as a wireless network admin. Many of my colleagues were surprised by the move, but I knew it was the right decision for me. In this article, I'll explain why I made the switch and what I've learned so far.

First of all, let me clarify that my decision to switch roles had nothing to do with a lack of satisfaction in my previous job. I loved the work I was doing and the team I was working with. However, as a tier 2 engineer, I found that my responsibilities were limited. I was often only able to execute certain commands and take certain actions with permission from my superiors.

I found myself yearning for a role that would allow me to take on more responsibility and make a greater impact. That's where the wireless network admin role came in. As an admin, I am responsible for maintaining and troubleshooting wireless networks. This is a much more hands-on role than my previous job and allows me to take on more responsibility and have a greater impact on the network.

Of course, transitioning to a new role is never easy. There was a learning curve involved in getting up to speed on the wireless network technology and the specific tools and processes used by my team. However, I have found that the challenge has been both stimulating and rewarding. I have been able to apply my previous knowledge of network engineering to this new role, while also learning a great deal about wireless networks.

As a network engineer, I was always looking for opportunities to grow and develop my skills. However, in my previous role, it was challenging to do so. The job required me to be very specific and stay within certain boundaries, making it difficult to work on projects outside of my assigned tasks. Although there were opportunities to assist with implementing new software and protocols, being on shift work made it hard to explore these options without risking neglecting my assigned duties.

Working on the midnight shift further limited my opportunities for growth and development. Most of the significant action happened during the day shift, leaving me with very little to do but wait for calls to come in. While I was on night shift, I used my time wisely, studying and researching different areas of network engineering. However, going days or even weeks without any calls was not uncommon, and it was during these times that I noticed my skills starting to atrophy.

To continue my growth as a network engineer, I needed to find a new role that allowed me to accumulate time doing actual network engineering work. I started by exploring different concentrations for my CCNP certification, considering security and wireless. I knew that proficiency was essential, and I did not want to be in a position where I had spent years as a network engineer but had nothing to show for it.

With this in mind, I decided to start exploring the job market to see what kind of role I could find. I was not sure what kind of job I was looking for, but I was confident that I would know it when I saw it. In the end, I found a job that was the perfect fit for me, allowing me to continue to grow and develop my skills as a network engineer.

As a budding network engineer, I knew that specializing in a specific area of networking would give me an edge in my career. That's why I decided to explore the different concentrations available, and after doing some research, I discovered that there were five different concentrations I could focus on. These concentrations included advanced routing, network design, wireless design, wireless implementation, and SD-WAN, and automation.

With all of these concentrations available, I was faced with a difficult decision. Which one should I specialize in? I knew that choosing the right one could make or break my career, so I took my time and did some digging. It was during this time that I got reached out to for a wireless network admin role.

At first, I wasn't too keen on going back to an admin role. But after doing the interview and learning more about the role, I realized that it could potentially lead to an engineering role. I explained to the project manager that my goal was to become a network engineer, which was why I left my previous admin job. The project manager understood my situation, and after some discussion, I was offered the role.

One of the things that I made clear to the project manager was that I wanted to continue growing in my career. I didn't want to be stagnant and do the same thing every day. I wanted to cross-train with different teams, learn new skills, and become more proficient. The project manager was excited by my eagerness to learn, and he assured me that I would have opportunities for growth in the role.

And he was right. As a wireless network administrator, I'm getting to work with some really cool platforms like Cisco Prime and Ekin Howe. I'm also able to cross-train with different teams, and I'm constantly learning new skills. It's a challenging and exciting role, and I'm grateful for the opportunity.

As I mentioned earlier, I've recently made a shift in my career path to become a wireless network administrator. It was a decision that required me to step back, reassess my goals, and make some changes to align myself with the direction I wanted to go in. I had to do my homework, get trained up, and prepare for the interview process to secure this position.

Now, I'm learning all about site surveys and how they're used to assess the radio frequencies in different environments. It's fascinating stuff, and I can't wait to share more about it with you all. In fact, I'm planning on creating a blog about how I prepped for this role to give others insight into what it takes to become a wireless network administrator.

But the main point I want to emphasize is that sometimes the opportunities we're presented with don't necessarily align with our original goals. And that's okay. It doesn't mean we've made a bad decision or that we have to settle for less than what we want. It just means we need to reassess our goals, analyze the situation, and potentially take a step in a different direction.

It's important to not be scared of making those kinds of decisions. We shouldn't get too comfortable and become stagnant. We need to be wise about the direction we're going in and make changes when necessary to align ourselves with our goals and aspirations.

In the coming weeks, I'll be sharing more about my journey to becoming a wireless network administrator and why it's important to not be afraid of change. So stay tuned for those blogs.


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