My Resume

I’ve worked in professionally for a large discount retailer in the systems, networking, security, and programming arenas for the last 20+ years, much of it in leadership or management roles.

My resume is here.

More versions of it as well as more information in general, can be found here.


  1. Christina Taylor Avatar
    Christina Taylor

    Hi Matt,

    Was looking over your very impressive resume and was wondering if you had any advice for someone just starting out in the business. I am particularly interested in becoming a network administrator. I have put some time into being a helpdesk support technician but am ready to move up. I am A+ and MCITP certified and I am trained in security countermeasures. I am also scheduled to hit 2 career fairs this month. This is a midlife career change for me and I don’t have a lot of experience. I live in DC where there are plenty of delegated admin jobs, but think the lack of experience is hindering my job search. Any tips for finding that 1st networking job?

    Thanks for your time.

    Christina Taylor

  2. Matt Fahrner Avatar

    That’s a tough question – I think what you describe already is pretty good (and smart) start. In general you want to network and even failed interviews are a good way to do it (often you’ll be told, “We can’t use you but XYZ might be able to.” If you’re courteous and professional, often you can generate a rapport with your interviewer, which may aid in your networking later (not to mention help create friends in the industry).

    If you’re serious about security, then I would certainly consider getting a CISSP or GSE certification. Neither of these certifications from a testing standpoint require actual experience (ie: the books are more than adequate), though the CISSP does require having worked in the industry before being able to get the certification.

    Generally speaking if you can’t move up from the inside, a certifications are your best option. Often it’s worth taking a related job in an organization that allows you some flexibility and has positions that could open up in what you’re interested in. Literally saying you’d like to work to “X” position during the interview is both acceptable and reasonable (except of course saying, “I want your job!” 😉

    Another thing I can recommend is building your own home network and systems base. Though not free, if you buy components off of eBay you can put together a fairly advanced lab relatively inexpensively. Those components and their configuration can translate to points on your resume (to note – make sure you really know the subject before putting it on your resume. Having made many interviews, we can sniff out the applicant who’s spent 10 minutes versus someone who’s really thought it out). One way to really know your stuff is to configure your “infrastructure” to the same level of quality as a business. That is, fully fleshing out your firewall, creating an internal authentication methods, making sure you understand your switches, routers, and access point settings (even the obtuse ones), and securing all of them.

    All that said, as you note, it’s tough getting in on ground floor. I wish I had a great answer. I hope this helps a little.

  3. Christina Taylor Avatar
    Christina Taylor

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. I do appreciate your words of wisdom and have, for many months, already implemented some of those suggestions. I have an extensive network built, both real and virtual, and get practice every day. I also have enrolled in additional boot camps for hands-on experience with other Microsoft Server products. I am one test away from being MCITP-Enterprise Administrator certified, but, without the real-world experience, still not “qualified” to work. I would put what I know against any Computer Science major any day of the week.

    I’m 41 and in my many, many (too many) years as an on-air dj I don’t think I’ve ever had the kahoonas to say, “I want your job”. LOL (Even though I may have thought it in the back of my mind a couple of times). Good advice none the less.

    Thanks again for your help 🙂
    Christina Taylor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *