So, I'm now an Associate! (The CISSP exam was something wicked....)
I guess the question I have is, now what? I've pocketed 14 years experience in the IT industry. There's a little bit of a lot of stuff but my main focuses have been on Internetworking (Both physical and logical.) I'm currently the Systems/Network/Security Admin in the Toronto/Mississauga area for an SMB.
After I take a few weeks to rest on my laurels and what I've accomplished these last few months, I'm curious how to even BEGIN to look at that next step in my career! That's where the title comes in...Advice and Opinions are greatly welcome.
You already have experience working in one of the domains (Network), it would be good to focus on gaining experience on other domains so that it helps you in becoming a CISSP. You can pic a domain which is close to your area of work and interest (DR/BCP, Security Operations).
It would be prudent if you look at explore Software Development Security domain, as most of the applications are web based and there is a huge demand for people with good skills.
Chiefly, I would like to congratulate you on obtaining your Associate level. I agree that passing the CISSP is not an easy task. Since you are already working full-time and have 14 years in the IT industry, some of that experience must overlap into at least 2 of the domains. Small or medium-sized business or not, experience is experience.
I would recommend joining other IT related organizations where you can volunteer your time and network to meet other security professionals. Think about a security concentration area if you have not already. Next, seek out new opportunities that peek your interest only that are more security focused. Don’t settle for a position that does not interest you. Indicate your Associate level within your application letter that accompanies your resume. At your next job maybe where you can request to sit down with the Chief Information Security Officer to see about possible endorsement in the near future.