All in all I have been working within the same team within BT for about 12 years now. In certain situations this would be a sign of either

  • A lack of motivation to progress your career
  • A real enjoyment and motivation for the current role

In the role that I am in currently it’s not really that simple if I’m honest. This is probably just me trying to defend my position but I have to say I fully believe this statement. You see when you work for a highly technical team in the field of Network Engineering, by necessity the role will be somewhat ever changing due to improvements in technologies. For instance, when I started in the role in 2004 WAN technologies were all about TDM based leased lines or frame relay networks, etc. Whereas today’s WAN technologies can very from using Ethernet delivered MPLS type networks, IP VPN, VxLAN and many more. I guess what I’m saying is that over the passing of time in the role, my learnings have been vast. To that end I haven’t really felt at any time that I was staying stagnant or trapped. The role has seen a progression from junior engineer to subject matter expert/lead engineer.

Having said that, in recent months, I would be lying if I were to say that I felt the same. I have started to feel a real burning need for change and a shift in my career. I’ve been disappointed at my perceived lack of ambition to move into Network Automation in any real way by my employer. All the while I’ve been starting to get heavily involved in the Network Engineering community in Ireland through my involvement in !iNOG( It has become very obvious to me that organsiations outside of my own are very keen to move into the area of automation.

Ultimately I have been presented with a couple of opportunities outside of BT but one internal position has become available to cover maternity in a VERY different field to my own. I have taken the bold step to test myself and see what can learned and have put my name forward for it. Today I found out that I will be covering the secondment and becoming a “Data Sales Specialist” for at least the next 6 months. This is a role that is clearly very different than my current but there are many areas that excite me. For instance, the role is essentially a Technical Pre Sales related role. I will be involved in customer facing solution design and proposition. This gives good scope for me to be a lot more involved in Network Design.

A guess it’s time for a change of direction….