There are two ways to enjoy a successful career in IT -- and they are polar opposites of each other.
The first is to be great at what you do. Some people seem to be blessed with the right combination of logic and intuition right out of the gate, like those with natural talent in sports or music. Others hone their chops through hard work and experience. Either way, whether you're a network architect, a programmer, or an admin, if you can detect anomalies in a flash when troubleshooting or can clearly visualize a path to achieving a functional, stable outcome for any given project, the rest of your involvement becomes almost trivial.
For instance, a skilled network architect can design a large network while taking a shower so that the bulk of the time spend on a networking project goes toward more mundane things, like procuring hardware or dealing with telcos and last-mile providers. OK, maybe it's a long shower, but you know you're a pro when you spend no more than 15 percent of your time actually planning the network topology and layout for a large-scale network and consistently get great outcomes.
You can figure another 25 percent will go toward acquiring and configuring gear. Unfortunately, the remaining 60 percent of your time will be spent on stuff that's a lot less fun: fighting with telcos, straightening matters with building management, begging for conduits that are clearly in the plans but were "forgotten" by the contractors, and other maddening issues.
Ironically, the better and faster you are at the hard part, the more you may leave yourself open to questions. When peers or customers see how quickly someone troubleshoots an infrastructure breakdown or architects a technical solution, they wonder just how hard it could really be. Also, why does this person get paid so much?