Thursday, May 26, 2011

Two Laws - Rewrite

Several years ago I invented something that I called 2-Law of Desperate Workers:

Law 1: To get a better job, you need to have good experience and build good working experience profile
Law 2: In order to get good experience and build good working experience profile, you need to work in a better job

So you are not happy with your current workplace because it doesn't offer good experience. You want to move to a better company, but they are looking for someone with good experience. And to get that good experience, you need to work in a better company.

You can use professional certification like CCIE to remedy the 2 Law issue. Taking CCIE lab won’t give you large scale deployment experience, but at least it’s close enough to teach you about some design aspect, setup and troubleshoot complex technology in much smaller scale. And it can show your willingness to learn, your self-discipline during the study, and your ability to tackle such difficult challenge. Obviously once you are able to move to a better job with your CCIE, you need to start getting the real good experience.

The other way is by making connection and helping others in the community like Project Avatar. Not only it can give you more experience in leadership, coaching skill, and teaming up with others, it will also make people recognize you and it would be easier for them to give you reference (remember, it's 'who knows you' that matter).

It's not easy to write to share your knowledge. It takes effort to answer other questions or to conduct live presentation over web conference. But if you are willing to do so, you will build a stronger profile and get additional experience that you may not be able to get at your current workplace. And all the experience and reference you make now may help you in the future.

So help others to help yourself. Let's start it on Project Avatar.

Friday, May 20, 2011

CCIE's Diary

Many requested me to write down step-by-step how to become CCIE. So today I made 'CCIE's Diary' group in Project Avatar. In this group, I'm sharing step-by-step how to become CCIE, by writing down what you should do each day during the journey in the group's discussion. Some of you may take longer to complete one task in a day, and for some others may take faster or can even skip the tips for few days depending on your current progress. I will start Day 1 with assumption you have just started the journey or you are currently still thinking about going for CCIE. I hope this is useful.

And when you are ready, you are more than welcome to share your own Diary in Project Avatar. Let's start.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Project Avatar FAQ

What is Project Avatar?
Project Avatar is an open professional community with one goal: to help its members to learn, get the experience, connect to each other, and pitch and market their profile to the world. Project Avatar uses modified social networking platform to serve this purpose.

Why is it called 'Project Avatar'?
Avatar = a visible manifestation or embodiment of an abstract concept. Avatar is your profile as others perceive you. This community is about your project to build your avatar, in order for you to be successful as a professional in international market.

Who should join?

Anyone who wants to be a better professional can join Project Avatar. Students can join to learn about the real world working environment from the professionals. Lectures or executives can join too to share their thoughts and experiences.

Is it only for IT Professionals?
Even right now most of the members are professionals from IT and Telecommunication, the community is actually open for anyone. You can form a group with those who have the same profession like you using this platform.

Why can't we use the existing social network?
The other social network is either too personal, you can't mix the professional environment with virtual farming or poker game, or lack more features to allow professional to do more than only making connections.

How can it be different with other professional network site?
Other professional network can provide connections. But that's all. Project Avatar provides mentoring concept where anyone who wants to become a mentor can use the facilities not only to form group, upload video, write blog, and chat, but as well as to answer the questions, make poling, share document, and conduct web seminar or have discussion on virtual whiteboard. And mentor will get point by doing those.

How to sustain the mentoring model in this community?

Senior professionals can mentor younger professionals. Professionals can mentor the students. Students someday will become professionals and can mentor the other professionals or students.

What does it mean: Learn, Experience, Connect, Pitch?

Project Avatar is connecting the dots between the four aspects required to become successful in professional world: skill, experience, connection, and ability to sell and market thyself (pitch).

How can the member learn from this community?
Member can read other professionals' thoughts and experiences from blog, get answer from the forum or Q&A tool, form study group, attend the web conference and whiteboard conducted by other professionals.

What kind of experience do you offer?

Having connection to other professionals around the world can give experience in communication and ability to work as a team. We put Points System as well to simulate the reward from real world that you can get if you actively involve in discussion, share your thoughts, conduct conference and so on. And we are planning to release Project Avatar's Challenge in the near future.

How about connection?

In Project Avatar, not only you can make connections to other professionals around the world, you can also show your coaching skill and leadership by mentoring others. You can use the feature available like virtual whiteboard and desktop sharing to collaborate with other professionals and build stronger connections.

How can the member pitch the profile?
All your activities in this platform is one way to pitch your profile. Recruiter or anyone who wants to know your background can just look at your blog, your recorded web conference, what you have done to help others, how many points you have, have you been as feature member and so on. More experienced professionals can help you to be better during job's interview and to improve your CV in discussion group or forum. And we are planning to release more video tools to make you able to pitch your profile in a better way.

Do I have to pay to join?
No, it's free and it will always be free to join Project Avatar.

Will you use my information to spam me?
No, your information will not be used without your permission.

Can I still follow the community's activities without signing up?
Yes, you can. However you won't be able to participate actively in the community like provide comments, answer questions, discuss in forum, get points and so on.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Who Knows You?

A friend of mine told me once: it's not what you know, it's who you know. I disagree. I think the right statement is: it's who knows you. The complete sentence is: it's who knows you, then what you know and what you have done count in later stage.

A strong connection may be able to give you a job directly (I have seen this, it's common practice in development country like in my home country). But a good connection may only land you to job interview. Hence what you know and what you have done in the past are required to pass the interview and get the job.

How to make people know you? One way is by sharing your knowledge. If you know something write it in the blog, answer people's questions, conduct presentation through web conference, and so on. Even if you think the knowledge has less value for others, because others may think otherwise! And by doing this, you make people know you.

Project Avatar
provides the facilities for the community member to share the knowledge, ideas or lesson learned from past experience. Spread the knowledge even if you think it's not the greatest idea or the most complicated in the world. Something you know might be valuable information for others.

Convey, even it's only a single word.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

How to Become CCIE - Rewrite

How to become CCIE - rewrite.

The complete post is available only for Project Avatar community.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Project Avatar

I had a dream. A dream to build community for professionals and students so they can be better and able to compete in International markets. After 6 months thinking about the concept and discussing it with some close friends, few days ago I launched Project Avatar.

Project Avatar is an open community with one purpose: to help its members to learn, get the experience, connect to each other, and pitch and market their profile to the world. Project Avatar is connecting the dots between four aspects required to become successful in professional world: skill, experience, connection, and ability to sell and market thyself. Anyone who wants to be a better professional can join Project Avatar.

The key behind Project Avatar is the social networking platform that allows the members to form study group, to upload video, write blog, ask and answer question, participate in the poll, share the document, attend virtual session just as my recent CCIE on WebEx. Hopefully the member can act not only as mentee in the community, but as well as the mentor to help the others.

Project Avatar is still considered Beta, but you can join now to start using the platform. I put Feedback feature so you can give direct comments about anything within the community, and I will treat each comment seriously.

The recording of my previous "CCIE R&S, The Unofficial Update" WebEx session has been split into several smaller sections and available for the members of Project Avatar.

Convey, even if it’s only a single word.