Best first move for a job

I’ve been overseas and working out of the IT industry for almost 7 years. During this time I’ve:
passed CCIE written
ccnp rs
ccna security
ccda (design)
learned about f5, firewalls and python - still to do labs

Have IT and 3 yrs networking experience in the distance past

I use gns3 w up to date VIRL images

What is the best first step for me to make it as a consultant?

  1. recruiter - robert half, tek systems
  2. job boards - dice, glassdoor, linkdin
  3. Cisco partner
  4. try to start as a consultant

not sure what the first move should be - or moves after that for that matter…

also thought maybe trying for an adjunct professor job at a technical college and trying to contract from there.

Any ideas?

Hello Daniel

It looks like you’ve put a lot of experience under your belt in the past seven years, your achievements are noteworthy. Keep in mind that having the technical experience is one thing, having the consulting experience is another.

If you want to make it as a consultant, I believe the most important thing is getting your foot in the door, so to speak. If you land your first good consulting job, then you have a platform from which to build. Having this experience myself, I found that I was unable to win the confidence of potential clients until I had those first couple of clients with which to gain “consulting” experience, and who could vouch for your work.

It took me 15 years of industry experience to reach the point where I could go out on my own confidently, and consult. Albeit, my advancement wasn’t as fast as yours, so by no means am I implying you’re not ready. I just want to stress the importance of experience.

So how should you proceed? If consulting is your goal, I suggest you find a platform from which to begin advertising yourself, and bombard potential clients with proposals. I had started on an online freelancing platform and required almost one hundred proposals before I got my first good job in which I built the rest of my client base.

I suggest you use as many of the first steps you mention in your post as you can, and see what kind of results you get. Build a portfolio on LinkedIn, or on your own web site and send it out there. Enlarge your online footprint. Be aggressive, and respond to anyone who comes in contact with you. Once you get your first big job, you’re half way there.

If you’re interested in training, then work at a technical college may be a way to go. However, keep in mind that teaching is still outside of the consulting sphere of influence. Sure, you will make contacts and meet a lot of people in the industry, but if consulting is your ultimate goal, it may or may not be the way to go depending on who you come in contact with.

There’s really no clear cut answer, but I hope this gives you an idea of the dynamics of the market, at least from my perspective. If you have any more questions or need clarification, please feel free to ask!

I hope this has been helpful!