Matt Jones is a senior information technology recruiter for VIP Staffing.
In this episode, Matt gives advice on the misconceptions of cybersecurity as a career, but how you can break into a cybersecurity gig. He then talks about negotiating for a higher salary, and what IT recruiters look for in candidates.
Here is a summary of key takeaways from the conversation:
- Career Advice: Matt Jones shares his insights on the misconceptions of cybersecurity as a career and how to break into it. He emphasizes that cybersecurity is not an entry-level field and suggests gaining experience in IT infrastructure before transitioning into cybersecurity. He also advises against starting in a help desk role due to limited upward mobility and recommends a desktop tech role instead.
- Interview and Resume Tips: Jones advises candidates to be able to articulate their experiences and skills in detail, both on their resumes and during interviews. He suggests focusing on what you can do and have experience with, rather than what you can’t do or don’t have experience with. He also recommends using specific keywords relevant to the job role on resumes.
- Personal Interests: Outside of work, Jones enjoys gardening, playing music, and rebuilding go-karts. He also enjoys hands-on activities and art.
- Career Journey: Jones shares his career journey, from being unsure of what to do after college to finding his passion in recruitment. He initially worked in insurance before realizing he enjoyed recruiting more. He then transitioned into IT recruitment and has been with VIP Staffing ever since. He takes satisfaction in helping others navigate their career paths, especially those struggling to break into the IT industry.
- Cybersecurity Education: Jones discusses the limitations of current cybersecurity education, stating that most curriculums focus on theoretical knowledge rather than hands-on experience. He suggests gaining practical experience and earning relevant certifications. He also advises against starting with a Security Plus certification, viewing it as a glorified vocabulary test, and recommends starting with more hands-on certifications like A Plus or Network Plus.
Check out the full transcript from the ninth episode of the TechGuide podcast, featuring an interview with Matt Jones.
Ryan Atkinson: We have Matt Jones on the podcast today. Thank you for being here, Matt. Super excited to have you.
Matt Jones: Yeah, absolutely.
Ryan Atkinson: And what I always like to know about people. Before we dive into the podcast I always like to know how do you de-stress from work? You had a long day, a long week. What are some of the ways that you take your mind off of work?
Matt Jones: I do a lot of gardening and like, that’s something I picked up in my old age. But I have other hobbies. I, I play a lot of music. And I’ve also been rebuilding a go-kart lately, and that’s been fun. Yeah. But you know, between those two things, I mean, that occupies a lot of my time between all of that stuff.
But I have a, we have, lately it’s been fixing the pool for about a week.
Ryan Atkinson: A lot of it sounds like a lot of hands-on activities.
Matt Jones: Yeah. I, I do a little bit of art as well. I, I do like to stay busy.
Ryan Atkinson: I love it. And you have been staying busy because in the past, like five years or so, you’ve been in talent acquisition and recruiting.
I’m curious, how did you know you wanted to get into recruiting? Was it just a calling or what was some of the ways that made you wanna say, I wanna get into recruiting?
Matt Jones: So, In all honesty, it was just being at a loss for what to do. I, if I had known that it was even a career I could have at a college, I would’ve been doing that a lot longer.
Wow. I, I got outta school and, and with a com major. Most people don’t want, didn’t want really a whole lot to do with me. And I didn’t know really where to target and how to go about doing that. And, and I think that’s something that a lot of people struggle with is, is the knowing how to, and, and how to frame that in that information and make yourself appealing for those kind of roles.
I, if you’re in the job search for long enough at some point in time, You start wearing past six months or so, the only people that really start bothering you all the time are like, insurance companies, come sell our stuff for commission only, and mm-hmm. And at one point I finally got desperate and I was just like, I gotta do something.
So I did that and I hacked for about three years. Made management, I was our branch field manager recruiting manager. I apologize. And I brought on a few people, mainly people that I knew from college that were looking to do an internship or have any [00:02:00] kind of office experience where they wore a suit and went to the office five days a week.
But I, I did that for a little while and, I, it kind of dawned on me towards the end of my time there, they started offering extra money to recruit for the firm. And it was a lot easier than making calls to 65 year olds about their Medicare and for me that was just, that was a night and day difference, and this is a lot easier to do this.
So I, you know, I just went for it. I left there and I, I applied for a job without even really thinking about it. I clicked on, on a job for recruiting position with Mass Mutual. It’s a Fortune 100 financial group, and I I, I was going to take a different job and at the last minute, like the day beforehand, know there’s like a sign bonus on the line with the other guys and everything.
But they called me the day before and said, Hey, you’ve had some experience in the industry. You know what it takes to survive at least maybe you can help us identify the right kind of people to do this. And so I, I went in and met with them and without having really been paid as a, specifically as a recruiter before, I thought about it for a while, whenever I got an important decision to make, like, I usually call my dad and I talked to him about it and, told him about the offer that they were gonna make cause they had the same day offer and wow.
He he kind of told, we, we talked for a while and he knew that I’d done a little bit of recruiting, but not that I’d been so fully dedicated to it. Mm-hmm. And, so he kinda knew, knew the, the real deal on that and, he said it sounds like a great opportunity. Probably the best one you’ve seen.
But can you do it? Mm. And it took me all of like two seconds to think about it and yeah, I, of course I can do this. I’ve been getting people to go along with me my whole life on stuff. How many times did we get in trouble growing up? That I got somebody in trouble with me and he, he just kinda laughed for me and said, yeah, you probably do.
You probably would do pretty well at it. And it’d be selling insurance. Sure. I got into that there and I, I, I did really well right outta the gate. I located some really key players. During my time there, I, I brought on our loan office tech support guy, and during this time met my wife.
She’s she was in tech recruiting and was telling me, Go do, get out of what you’re doing. It’s really because I was coming home just gray in the gray in [00:04:00] the hair and, and just exhausted because it’s a sell process to get somebody on a commission, only recruiting. And yeah, I she was like, everybody’ll get paid.
They’ll appreciate you for it, and that was, that was all I needed here. So I, I, I took the guy out that I had brought on for a tech support guy. I sat him down. I was like, I’ll take you to lunch. Brought in a notepad and I was like, tell me everything you do from the beginning. You get here to the end of the day and started making notes, all the keywords and stuff, and my content updated the content on my resume to, to focus around the, the, the technical guy I brought on.
Um, and that was enough to get me in. I, I, I worked for about six months with one firm. They had all their eggs in one basket and. Um, that program got ax and I, I was the junior guy, so I gotta let go. I, I ended up landing at v i p and I’ve been there ever since. I got lucky with a phenomenal salesperson that was our, our kind of managing director and we were essentially a startup branch.
The company itself, VIP staffing is about 30 years old. Um, but you know, our branch was, was brand new and, he had been running full desk for about six months or so. And I, I joined on and we just, we crushed it. We, the, the chemistry was there. We did really, really well together. And we’ve been, been doing that ever since.
We, I’ve, , we’ve helped build a team and it’s, it’s now, , A couple million dollar a year business, at least on, mine and one other person’s production. It’s, pretty, pretty solid. But I, I, I love doing it, it’s something where I know how, I know the struggle of not knowing how to go after what you want.
I know the struggle of, of wanting something more, but not knowing how to attain it. And I certainly know the struggle of being in between jobs and the, like, the, the mindset that one goes through during that time. And it, for me, any opportunity to help is something I, I take advantage of. And that’s part of my strategy long term.
I’ve done a lot of talent farming where, usually one or two times a week I’ll spend an hour just fielding random people that reach out to me on LinkedIn or whatever, Hey, can you, can you help me with. Sure. And most of the time they’ll, uh, Know, my thinking is, especially, especially with certain [00:06:00] niche skillsets or whatever, helping somebody get in the door, they will remember who got them in the door at the beginning of their career and they’ll usually take a call three to four years down the road.
So I make a lot less cold calls than, than the average. Um, but I’ve been doing that for now enough years that I’m starting to harvest. Outta these farms that I’ve got, I’ve got a couple clients, a couple companies in town I don’t work with cuz I use them to talent farm. That’ll take me more entry level people and I just, I know what they’re looking for on our resume, so I just help people do that and get in and then, come back later.
Nice, nice. But yeah, I’ve enjoyed doing that and it’s, uh, yeah, I love what I do. I get a lot of satisfaction out of it and it’s a great career.
Ryan Atkinson: You talked about like the resume and like you have, like you’ve helped people like with resumes and whatnot. Sure. Like optimize like keywords for resumes. When companies, when you’re working with companies now, like what are some of like the resumes, like what are some of the keywords you’re here in the IT industry that they’re looking for?
Matt Jones: I would say it really depends on, on what kind of facet of it. Are you going into software development? Are you going into infrastructure or are you going into cybersecurity? Generally on the infrastructure side you’re gonna commonly anybody that, whether it’s network or system side or otherwise, from a help desk all the way up to an engineer.
I’m gonna look for active directory cuz it’s gonna tell me if they’ve actually worked in an IT department or not. Cause it’s 99% of the companies use it. It looks the same everywhere you go. And people either know, it’s like riding the bike, they either know how to do it and they take that with them everywhere or, or not.
But, you, I look for that. I look for basic ticketing software, ServiceNow, whatever. Some network stuff depending on the nature of the business. I work with a lot of managed service providers so that there’s a few more keywords. Relevant to places like that, then, because in a place like that, they don’t get siloed.
When it siloed, you’re working in a big enterprise setting network. Guys just work on the, on the network side. System guys work on the system stuff. Nobody crosses over. There’s no multiple hats. Yeah. But that, and that’s why I like working with managed service providers, especially for anybody that’s like trying to get their start in the tech career because you’ll come out of there 10 times more employable and 10 times more versatile than you could ever get in an [00:08:00] enterprise setting.
Plus you get to do things at a much higher level. For an example, you bring out a new client that did an M msp, you’re gonna gut the old IT infrastructure and install all your own. Well, that’s gonna include defining group policy for an organization where in, in your, any kinda enterprise, somebody did that 10 years ago, so there’s a lot of really cool things that you get to do that are a lot more high level and a little more advanced in that kind of a setting.
Yeah. Um, yeah. So that, that’s one area that I would look for, but manage, I would say active directory ticketing software. Any kind of network protocols that they work with, if they’re doing any networking, what kind of topology is it? WAN Land vlan, wlan, vpn. I always tell people the best way to I would describe it is, You want to think about anything that is a proper noun in technology that you’re having to deal with.
If it’s a, if you gotta capitalize it, or it comes in an acronym and it’s technology related, be it a hardware, software tool, technology, methodology, scripting language, whatever those are, each one of those adds dollar value to your resume. So the, the now caveat to that, you also need to be able to validate it somewhere in your work history.
Yeah. Um, right. And a lot of times people kind of find their losing into catch 22 for, well I an needed experience to get a job, but I can’t get a job without experience. Yeah. And there’s ways that, there’s ways around that. I think one of the problems that, that a lot of people face is the, Most businesses, employers will have a mentality of, well, school doesn’t count as experience.
Yeah. Right. Whether or not you were hands on with anything. And I, I get that to an extent, right. But the way to actually get what I would call partial credit for it is to be able to validate all that experience there in detail. Right. The great equalizer in tech, especially when it comes down to like an interview setting, for example.
You can, if you can recite something step by step exactly how to do it correctly. Mm-hmm. Experience doesn’t matter. Be it you got 10 years or the guy next to you’s got 20, if you know how to tell ’em exactly how to do it, they know you know how to do it. And, and, and that’s something where that, that that process is, is part of what I do in resume building with people.
I build out a lot of questionnaires that’ll have like seven or eight questions, very open-ended questions with some prompts on there. Like, [00:10:00] yeah, tell me about your experience with that directory. Did you, do group policy? Did you do, create new users, this, that, or the other? Yeah. Yeah.
Um, and, and I, it kind of helps them to, to capture some of that stuff in the detail level that I would want. And then I, I just get, where was that at? When was that at? And get it on their resume. But you know, the more step by step you can articulate the guy who articulates best is 100% of the time the guy that’s gonna get the job.
Mm-hmm. And, and I think that’s a big problem that a lot of people run into is, is an inability to articulate. Mm-hmm. And, and that exercise that I do with people tends. Make that a little more organic and it also pulls that information in the front of your main mind. It makes it a lot easier in an interview setting to recall it.
Ryan Atkinson: What is the, what is the framework that you like to do or the exercise that you do with clients who help them?
Matt Jones: Yeah, so what I’ll do, I’ll send ’em out. I’ve got a little eight question questionnaire or whatever. Yeah. For one, for infrastructure, I’ve got one for software development, whatever. And it, it’ll, it’ll just be these eight open-ended questions.
Tell me about your experience with x I use the same one from a help desk guy to an engineer level. And, and the only difference is the, the depth of the answers I’ll get. And the diversity of, of the kind of experience, that they’ve worked with. Yeah. But you know, like it’ll be, what kind of networking have you, have you done administration, engineering, or even support of a, of a network?
Yeah. What topology was it? How many users was it, those kind of things. And. From there? I, I can, I can, I, I basically, I’ll just gut that whole thing and turn it into bullet points. And I, that’s, I try and make it easy on people as possible. Tell ’em, it’s, I know it’s tedious, but I promise it works.
And yeah. So I’ll take a page long run on sentence if it, if it gets a to me five and it’s faster, I’m all about that. Yeah. But whatever I gotta do to help them focus on the content piece as opposed to where I put a comma.
Ryan Atkinson: So it’s like breaking down like a long paragraph into like bullet points that you can talk about or, and then being able articulate.
Matt Jones: Correct. Yeah. And I’ll get that under their resume and, and just, under their work history per which employer it was at.
Ryan Atkinson: Okay. Interesting. And so it’s important to articulate it on like a resume but it’s also art important to articulate it in a job interview, actually [00:12:00] very, like you said, talk about it, uh, step by step by step.
Do you use any framework for that or is it just practice or like what tips would you give for articulating your message?
Matt Jones: So in an interview, I would say, A lot of that will come out on their own if they’re able to, to complete the questionnaire. Even if they can’t do all of it, if they can get half of it and the answers are detailed, they’re on the right track.
If somebody needs a little more coaching, what I’ll, I’ll tell ’em. Yeah. Generally is when you don’t know how to answer a technical question about something you have experienced with. Yeah. I’m not sure how to articul. Fall back to what are the, what are the three tickets I have most commonly dealt with.
Mm-hmm. And what is the one ticket that was the most difficult that I’ve dealt with in this? Yeah. And talk about that. Because that, that that’s something that, they should be able to talk about if they’ve done it, that that’s a good place for them to, to recall. Okay. Cuz they know what they’re dealing with every day.
If, if, if all they’re doing is password resets, they’re gonna know about it, yeah. So that’s, that’s generally kind of my fallback advice to people is, is focused on those things. And also I would say in terms of interview coaching, the number one thing that kills interviews for people is the tmi.
Mm-hmm. Yeah. People will, will, will answer with, they’ll say, well, tell me about your experience with Active Directory. And what people will answer is they’ll tell you everything that they have or everything that they don’t have experience doing in there. Yeah. And, and the best way to answer those kind of questions.
Specifically what you do, what you know, how to do, what you can do, and then just leave it alone. Um mm-hmm. If, if, if they pointedly ask you about something and you don’t have experience with it, then, then tell ’em. But you don’t need to, you don’t need to discredit yourself by talking about all the things you can’t do.
And, and it’s a trap that so many people fall into. And I, I, I think it’s maybe a symptom of imposter syndrome. People deal. But you know, just avoid doing that at all costs and, and you stick to what they say. Tell ’em exactly what you can do with it and, and leave it at that, even if it’s just one thing.
If you know how to do that one thing. Tell ’em about that one thing, nice.
Ryan Atkinson: I’m curious, um, so let’s just say [00:14:00] someone is in school right now and they’re wanting to break into like cybersecurity for a reason. We were talking a little bit before the podcast, but what are some of like the, the misconceptions right now, if you are a senior in college and you wanna break into cybersecurity, what are some of the misconceptions that come with that?
Or like, what should they be on the lookout for?
Matt Jones: So the first thing that, that people should know, especially, if they’re going to a, to get a degree in cybersecurity or what, There aren’t really entry level positions. It’s not an entry level field. Mm-hmm. Um, I think the perva, pervasive thinking around it, around it is how are you gonna secure it infrastructure if you’ve never worked in IT infrastructure.
Hmm. And because there’s gonna, there’s so many different, combinations, so many different environments. And unless you’ve seen a few of ’em, you’re not gonna be able to adequately remember. And the other thing is that they’re mainly teaching. They’re not teaching a HandsOn, they’re not teaching you to configure a firewall while they’re teaching you about, N I S D frameworks.
Which is fine, people need to know that. But they’re not gonna, they’re gonna get faced with, oh, well you don’t have experience with anything we used, we can’t hire you. Mm-hmm. So the best way to go about it, to get into cybersecurity, there’s like three ways to get in One of them, you either be a high level coder with 10 years of experience, so that’s probably out for you.
Yeah. Get a high level auditing cert like a C I S S. But again, they’re gonna want equal experience having, having put that to use, um, most of the time. So that’s probably out the third way is spend a few years in IT infrastructure start. You know, I always tell people trying to avoid taking a help desk role, take a desktop tech role, there’s a lot more upward mobility.
The skill setss pretty much the same. They’re get paid several bucks more an hour, and it’s really just for the people. Because they’re gonna go out to work stations and help people and show ’em, what went wrong, how to fix it, how to avoid that happening again. Because of their people interactions, they get paid a little more and they also get cross-trained a whole lot more interesting by the networker system.
So yeah, there’s a lot more upward mobility. I see so many people that’ll get trapped in the help desk scroll and they’ll do it for 20 years. There’s just, they don’t know how to get up and out of it. And it’s, yeah. There’s, I think there’s a thinking of kind of once a help, this person always helped this person [00:16:00] and there’s just, so it’s, it’s hard to, to dig out of that if you go into it, but at the end of the day, and you port in a storm, right?
Um, yeah. But wherever you can, get your, get your foot in the door. Start there and, and work your way up. But, once you hit the, about the network or system admin type level, you’re already dipping your foot in either through like identity and access management on the system side or maybe like endpoint management.
So there, there’s, there’s a lot of different ways in, but that’s the most effective one. And that’s the one where you’re gonna actualize income. With increases along the way quickest to get to that point. Um, with a lot less heartache. There’s so much, so many more jobs that are out there for that, that, yeah.
That’s the way to go in, go in and go about it. So a lot of people won’t have that experience, but if they’re, if they take the time to look before they get out of school and find those type of roles, then they’re maybe a little more hireable into that field right outta school. Um, interesting.
Yeah. But otherwise, just start there. That’s the best place to start and the best place to learn and, and kind of cut your. Nice.
Ryan Atkinson: Interesting. And let’s just say you’re in it for like, I mean, like what resources would you point someone to like learn cyber security? Is it like actually like hands-on, like learning with it or are there certifications?
Matt Jones: Most, most curriculums don’t really give you what you need, right? Yeah. Because again, it’s so much in, it’s so much theoretical knowledge and not really the hands-on stuff because, how do you, how do you teach a curriculum to, to account for as many d. Products and technical environments as, as are gonna be out there.
You can teach somebody aw AWS all day and then the, at the end of the day it’s gonna be Azure everywhere they go. Yeah. Vice versa. You know what I mean? So that you can’t really, I can understand from a curriculum standpoint why it’s that way, but I don’t think that the, the way they advertise it is accurate or, or as honest as it could be.
Cuz I, I think they just don’t know. Mm-hmm. But yeah, that’s, I, I, I, I, I teach, I talk about this with a number of the local community colleges. I do this at E C P I I talk about it at Hallmark and a leader Quest, my computer career. A couple of those places have kind of had that same conversation with people, like in terms of certification.
It’s another good way to get started, never take a security plus [00:18:00] first that certifications worthless. Um, because it’s a glorified vocabulary test. Yeah, yeah. In my opinion, so, and I think most everybody knows that. So you’re better off taking any of the hands-on stuff. Take an A plus, take a, take a network plus or server plus something like that.
Security plus should always be the last one. I talked to the E C P I about that recently about their curriculum and making everything else prerequisite to get into the cybersecurity. Hmm. I don’t know if they’re gonna do it, but that would be my hope. Yeah.
Ryan Atkinson: I’m curious, like, so what are like other typical career paths for someone that’s like an IT professional and how do they defer based on the, like, specialization that someone wants to do?
Can you kind of give a glimpse of all of ’em?
Matt Jones: There’s a lot of different ways they could go. Right? And, and it kind of depends on how wide of a stroke you want to paint with when you’re talking about different IT roles, right? Because there’s stuff that’s Yeah. That’s in, in IT that maybe not, may, may not be technical, they may.
A technical account manager, they may be, a salesperson in technology. Yeah. So they work in tech, right. But they’re not really, as technically minded. Um, I would say, some other really big ones that I see a lot of people go after, project management’s a huge thing there cuz there’s so much implementation, so many software projects, all these kind of different things, infrastructure.
Project management’s a huge opportunity, especially for somebody who, who can maybe whiteboard it all out but doesn’t have the hands-on con, configuration type level knowledge to do it themselves Yeah. But can orchestrate it and, has the people skills to, to collaborate with everybody and pull ’em all together.
That’s a great way. And that’s an easy career path. And you start as a coordinator somewhere and, and hack that for a little while. And you may go into release management, you may go. Yeah. Implementation specifically, you could, there’s a lot of different opportunities there in project management, and then obviously software’s a big one as well.
Ryan Atkinson: Um, is someone, so like, what are the different, like roles that someone should have if they wanna go into, like, project management? I mean, what should they consider that? Like, okay, I really need to excel at this. If they wanna go into software, they really need to excel at this.
Matt Jones: Well, so for project management, I, I would say, start as your, the easiest way in is probably find a project coordinator role.
You, you may take a, you may, [00:20:00] you may get into something like that coming out of working in the infrastructure a little bit. Desktop tech person may be doing Windows migrations or other large scale projects. Yeah. On a, on a big scale and, and have to learn how, how some of that inter operation works.
The, the, the biggest money in it is generally what I’ve seen is, is on the software development project managers, those guys usually tend to clean up pretty well. Mm-hmm. Or anybody doing like big implementations, um, on, you know, in that, in that kind of a space. But in terms of skillsets, the best things that they can learn.
Obviously PPM tools, uh, project portfolio management tools, Microsoft Project, Trello, Asana, Workday, or sorry, work Workfront Monday that was mixed up there. JIRA with Confluence. I mean, there’s so many of ’em that you could use, but those are, it’s a, a nice. Wave to be able to, to track multiple, you know, projects or, or, or, or parts of projects going on.
Um, that’s a, that’s a great one to get in terms of, theory, knowledge and, and, and, and things like that. It’d be always, always good to get either, PMP is always a rock solid certification to have, you can usually find those, you can do it sometimes over a weekend. You just gotta have the hours of projects that you’ve worked to, to back that up to be able to get it done over the weekend.
Mm-hmm. Or, um, any kind of scrum master certifications are generally really useful. I, I, cause a lot of times in the software development stuff, they’re gonna be working with that, so learning all those things, uh, learning software development, lifecycle learning, the different methodologies, your waterfall and agile, that’s, that stuff’s gonna play really well.
And it’s gonna give you kind of an idea on, on the overall, the goals and the process on how we’re getting from a. I would also say like the way that a business analyst would work in terms of, communicating between a development team and the actual, business needs. Mm-hmm.
And, and kind of being able to translate all that, between each group. That is a hugely useful st skill that I see a lot of project managers kind of double duty and, and they’ll kind of have to do some of that too and vice versa. So that’s a very [00:22:00] useful skill set to have as well, I would say.
Ryan Atkinson: Awesome. 66 and we’re kind of, we’re winding down on time here. I’m curious, cause I saw a case study on the v i P website. I thought it was really cool is you helped someone secure an additional 10 k in salary and benefits. Uh, I’m curious, like, take me through that, like, like what are some of the ways that someone outta school should negotiate, like their salary, should they negotiate their salary even benefits?
What advice do you have?
Matt Jones: Coming outta school. You gotta, you gotta play scrappy, man. You gotta take it too good. And I mean, we, that’s, that’s, we’ve had to do that a lot too, cuz we’re a startup, brandish, we don’t have the, the, the, the muscle like, like a big national brand’s gonna have. Yeah.
Um, but by, by playing scrappy and taking, taking what you can to get your foot in the door, a foot in the door is all you need. Mm-hmm. If, if you, if you’ve got some, some value and you’re bringing value to the organiz, You’re gonna see the, the money will will come, if you’re, if you’re bringing the value, the money is gonna be there.
And I’ve kind of seen that in, in a number of, with the number of clients we’ve worked with, we’re, we started out very humble beginnings with, with them. And then, now we’re taking a lot more seriously as a partner to, to some of them. And that’s, that’s kind of afforded us a lot more opportunity to bring, to have those kind of negotiation questions with people or conversations with the people.
Yeah. Um, but in terms of outta school, yeah, I would say play it scrappy, don’t have, have reasonable expectations if you really want to make yourself super valuable. The number one thing I would tell people, and this, this is doubly true, like for developers, I would say, but for anybody in it, period, doesn’t matter where you’re at wherever you get your foot in the.
No matter if it’s the worst place you’ve ever worked in your whole life and you hate every miserable day of it, stay there for three years. You stay there for three years, you will almost double your value. You, you, you have two years, 364 days, and you leave, you’re a job hopper, and you’re gonna leave for the next dollar, is what they’re gonna see as.
You, but that one extra day, you make it to three years and suddenly you’re a model employee. This guy can do no wrong. He’s obviously good at his job and I don’t know why the magic number is three, but it is, it, I’ve, I’ve [00:24:00] seen that, I’ve lived it. It is, it, it is the strangest thing. But yeah, three years on the.man.
That’s, you’re gonna have a lot of people like me that’ll come around and tempt you to, to leave for, a couple bucks more an. Don’t do it. It’s, it’s not gonna, it’s not worth it. You like, just stick it out and grind it for the first couple of years. Really make yourself valuable to them and, and learn everything you can from that environment.
Yeah. So that way you have more transferrable skills. And I would also say, especially for anybody that’s not software, get into an mssp, you’ll, you’ll have 10 times the technical exposure you could get in an enterprise. Nice.
Ryan Atkinson: And what I liked about that is like, if you can do it for three years, definitely learn all you can.
So once you do go to your next job, you’re able to articulate like what you’ve done, everything and really show you
Matt Jones: your value. Yeah, th that’s a good point. I, I always tell people this one piece of advice I give besides the three years, stay there for three years, take a journal with you to work, write down every technical thing you ever do.
Number one, you’ll build absolute rockstar, resume content with that. And number two, inevitably there’s always one day, one time, only one occasion. You’re gonna use this one niche piece of technology. Never. But inevitably, that’s the thing you gotta know how to talk about to get into your next job. And either you got stuff written down about it, you can go back and add your resume and, and sound intelligent about, or you’re the guy that shows up to the interview and you’re like, oh yeah, I kinda worked with it one time.
I sort of remember. And they’re like, no, you’ve never seen this in your life. And it’s you. So you can set yourself up big time, uh, for success with doing that. That’s a, that’s a huge thing, especially I, I think universally across it. Focus on the keywords, write everything down, step by step.
Ryan Atkinson: Well, Matt, thank you so much for joining us today. This is a great episode. Got a lot of good advice out of that. So I wanna thank you so much for joining us today. This is awesome. Awesome. And thank you. Thank you for being here.
Matt Jones: Thank you. Have a good one.