Learning from Me
What should the reader do in light of one person's story? Don't get comfortable. Keep your options open, research what you want and like to do, don't be vendor- or employer-dependent, and, most of all, enjoy what you do.
And don't listen to any one advisor, including me. My decisions are not necessarily right for you. Do your homework, and research what is hot in your area. Microsoft or Cisco might be king where you live. All that means is if your environment demands that you specialize in one vendor's products that you like, that is what you should do.
Listen to your heart. It is one thing to make a boatload of money and be miserable and not have a family life. It is another thing to be broke and have a great family life. The goal is to make a decent living and have a good family life. You can do this in IT even if you are going through a downturn, as I have.
The key is resourcefulness. Don't quit, and don't let any one person or group beat you into thinking that your value is strictly in their eyes. IT is a great field, even in bad times, if you are willing to say "Now what?" as things continually change. As you continue life in IT, you may experience a personal or corporate downturn. You may have to face many of the same decisions I have. You may not. Either way, the journey continues. Good luck in your journey.
Want to continue reading this series? Click over to Warren Wyrostek's page to see all of his "Now What?" and other career and certification articles.