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Motivation and Self Study

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Griffon, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. Griffon

    Griffon Bit Poster

    Hi all,

    Best place I could find for posting this feel free to move it if there is somewhere more relevant.

    Like a lot of people I am persuing certs that are not related to my current job (doing the certs as part of career change or to apply for other jobs) and through self study. I have hit the same motivation block that I ran head long into when doing the A+.

    When I started studying (for the Network + this time around) I was THE model student, every spare moment was spent making notes, I would read Groth on my lunch etc etc. Now fatigue is setting in. On my way home from the job I hate I plan on doing loads of work to help me get out of that particular latrine. Then I walk through the front door and the last thing on my mind is any form of study.

    I can't be the only one that has these troughs. What techniques, hints and tips do you have for combating this kind of thing?

    I have managed to drag myself into soem notes and reading Groth on my lunch today, so I may have turned a corner, but tactics for next time would be good!
    Certifications: A Degree, A+
    WIP: Network+, MCDST
  2. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

    I've also had this problem. I found the best way for me to get through it was to book the exam. That date is a great motivator to sit down and study as it comes around a lot quicker than you think. :D
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP (270,271,272,290,620) | MCDST | MCTS:Vista
    WIP: MCSA, 70-622,680,685
  3. bmurray2005

    bmurray2005 Bit Poster

    thats about right, i havent booked the exam yet (a+) but i do kow its changing in march so i have until then to get through the coursework i have.
    incidentally, i am using meyers a+ certification passport 4th edition and i have reached chapter 5. so far i have had only 3 questions wrong in the chapter tests at the end, is this a good indication of how i will do in the real exam or is it much tougher, i found them quite easy which scares me.
  4. Griffon

    Griffon Bit Poster

    I tried the booking the exam with the A+, and just kept moving the date every couple of weeks! Having said that when I realised I couldn't move it any more (hit the year deadline) I took a couple of days off and blitzed it. So I might give it a go, I was giving my self until before Xmas to complete the exam. I may go ahead and book it to light a fire under me.

    I used the Meyers All-in-One, so not sure about the tests. If you can do actuall A+ practice tests as a guage, rather than only using the chapter tests as your only guide of readiness. Have a trawl through the A+ forum there is bound to be something more specific in there.
    Certifications: A Degree, A+
    WIP: Network+, MCDST
  5. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester


    This is where the material you are using has a big part to play.
    If you are using material which keeps you interested, you are more likely to want to finish your goals and not find it a chore.

    Book wise, I find the MS press books quite good at doing this. They seem to have a blend of technical information, real life situations and author's opinion's.

    Best of luck.

    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  6. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    I think the study troughs are something we all go through, mainly because it's hard work and life is tough enough generally without the added burden of study. This is one of the reasons why it's so hard to attain something like an MCSE. It's not so much that the material is difficult (which some of it is), it's that you have to keep up the studying for a long time, seven exams is a lot of hands on and a lot of study. This is the reason so many people drop out and fail to finish and the reason why so many people find they have parted with huge sums of money and see nothing in return.

    The reality I am afraid is that you must live and breath IT, you need to want to learn, have a hunger for knowledge and be fully prepared to put the effort in. Certifications don't grow on trees, they are awarded to people that dedicate the time to learn.

    In a nutshell, if you really want to change careers, you will have to kick yourself into gear and work toward it. Procrastination is not your friend, it is the enemy and time spent procrastinating is directly proportional to the time it will take you to attain your goal.

    Think about it seriously and then go and hit the books again!

    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  7. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

    good one Bluerinse, I agree 100%.
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
  8. Gingerbeard

    Gingerbeard Bit Poster

    Hi Griffon,

    I can only concur with the comments already posted, the only thing I would say is be honest with yourself and be sure this is what you want to do, the reason I say that a few years ago (another Computeach story) I started a Java course with Computeach and really struggled with motivation, I thought it was related to holding down a busy job, running a household etc but what I realised is that I didn't particular enjoy programming, in spite of what the Computeach profile of me suggested, if you are interested in the subject matter, which it sounds like you are, then it should provide some inherent motivation.

    Also don't be afraid to take a little break from studying to re-charge the batteries.

    Keep up the good work, I'm sure you'll pull through.

    Best of luck

    Certifications: GCSE in Computer Science, HNC in Manufac
  9. pobolycwm

    pobolycwm Bit Poster

    Hi Griffon

    i have only just started the self study route myself, using the mike meyers book so i am full into it. No doubt a few weeks down the line i will start to wane and need a boot to the skull to keep me going. Like you i have a job i hate and am studying to get a better career ( jobcenter in port talbot tried to get me to go to macdonalds to work) good luck with it and keep plodding on then when i need support you can remind me if i dont keep going maybe i will end up in macdonalds :D

  10. Griffon

    Griffon Bit Poster

    Thanks for all you replies. All good advice.

    Personally, I already work in IT Support, I am persuing certs to give me leverage into a different company. All my academic qualifications are in humanities (Medieval Welsh History if you were curious) I got my current job through demonstrating I could do he job.
    I have fallen into the trap of having annual pay reviews that have put me above the going rate for my position and now that they have stopped vertical movement in the company I need to move on. As I can't drop any money I have to try and move to a more senior position in another company.

    So when motivation goes on holiday my daily pattern falls into come home, ignore study and faf with vmware or tinker with the MythTV pvr setup I have etc.

    I will take some of the hints on board, booking the exam may be enough. Ironically since I posted the original question motivation has not been an issue, I found a job that matches my skill set quite well and pays enough so applying for this has relit the fires.

    So for me the answer seems to be looking for a job and trying to keep my eyes on the prize not the stuff in the way.

    @ pobolycwm

    I only ever went to Port Talbot Job Center once, they tried to get me to take a similar job when I tried to get myself put on the graduate list. Didn't bother going back and nobody ever called after being given my details from the Graduate List either. All round waste of time.
    Certifications: A Degree, A+
    WIP: Network+, MCDST

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