Monday, April 17, 2006

Hopeless Crowd

Cisco hosted Gulf Partner Summit 2006 in Jumeirah Beach Hotel last week. I went there most probably because of the free buffet lunch and dinner, but there was one thing that really caught my attention during the opening speech.

Samer Alkharrat, General Manager for Gulf and Pakistan mentioned: “Yes, Middle East is one of the Emerging Market with 60% business growth. And for sure Cisco Systems Middle East is expanding. We need to hire more than 30 people in the next several months. But let me makes it clear: We will not touch you all from our partners. We will not hire anyone who works in our partners”

The mood of some people inside the room changed dramatically.
I was one of those hopeless crowds. One of the bunches of people who used to think that if we serve Cisco well, than one day we will get our rewards and be able to work for Cisco directly.

So Cisco Middle East is hiring 30 guys within several months, and all of those cannot be from the partners? Yeah, right. Then from where will Cisco get them?

Sam then continued: “but you have to take care of your employees. It really hurts us every time we see the best people from our partners move to our competitors like Huawei or Juniper

That’s exactly my point.
Unless Cisco wants to see Double CCIE or even Triple CCIE to join its competitor, they should not have this kind of policy at all!
What will be the future for all Cisco engineers who work in partners like me then?
I may not like to go to the competitor, but where should I go?

So it looks like I’m stuck with my 3-options. Or am I?
What if I try to get more options? It may not solve my problems but at least it will make me happier, perhaps.

Starting from last night, I put back my CV in monster.
I used to have my CV available there until I removed it last year because I was so busy with my CCIE security preparation. I didn't have time for searching a job.

Now it is time to announce my existence to the world.
Let’s wait and see.

Monday, April 10, 2006


If you had to choose between these three, what would it be?

Option 1 – Keep the status quo
Stay with current job as both Consultant and Senior Engineer, it means still dealing with all Cisco stuff, may get into several interesting MPLS and VPLS projects that will come up, but no proper job description, do both configuration and consulting
Pros: still keep up with my main interest: Cisco console!
Cons: field engineer job, may do physical work like mounting etc

Option 2 – Same shit, different style
Stay with the same company, but move to sales department as pure pre-sales consultant, stay away from the console, white collar job, get more respect by selling more
Pros: try to do something different, gain more respect
Cons: may get blame when losing project, work for the same company

Option 3 – Uncle Sam, here I come
Move to US, get H1b visa trough some agency company, most probably will be located in San Jose, may be able to work with even Juniper or Cisco, but get only 60% paid from current wages, need to separate from family for first couple of months
Pros: dream comes true, even far from perfect
Cons: lose hell lots of money, need to start from ground zero again, separate from family

So what would it be? Option 1, option 2 or option 3?
Option 1 is the easiest to pass my time while collecting money, and I have already had reputation on this field.
Option 2, will give me respect and proper job description. I still have yet to show my skill as designer and help my company to sale more.
Option 3… hmm, let’s see. Lose money, go into completely new country, work through agency, separate from family, must build reputation from beginning, must compete with the best network guys on the planet, no certain future.

No certain future.
Everything really depends on my self.
It really depends on my performance over there.
I may reach the top of the world, or just end up as a loser.
And that uncertainty is the only thing that makes this option worth.

Choices, one thing that makes our life so dynamic.
And I believe I have already taken my option.