In this video, Marc Menninger reveals three major benefits of networking with fellow security colleagues. Discover how networking can help you expand your knowledge of the IT security field. Learn about the opportunities you can uncover through connecting with other security professionals. Explore the lifetime connections you can make by following the advice in this video.
- [Instructor] The IT security field is surprisingly small. For instance, the CISSP credential was first launched in 1994, but as of 2016 there are less than 71,000 people in the US with that certification. If we look at a more specialized certification like the ISSEP for security engineers, that number drops to just over 1,000. The longer you work in a field this small, more likely you'll run across the same people again and again, especially if you're participating in security organizations and events.
Rather than making casual acquaintances with other security professionals you meet, you should make an effort to get to know them. Doing so can benefit you in many ways. First, by getting to know other security colleagues you'll get a chance to learn about what they do, which will expand your knowledge of the IT security field. Which security system they use, which laws they need to comply with, and what security frameworks they follow are just a few of the things you can ask them about. Then, compare their answers with what you do in your organization.
Just talking to other security professionals can educate you on the latest technologies and security trends. Second, networking with other professionals in the security field could uncover opportunities you would have never found otherwise. Maybe you'll be told about a job that's a perfect fit for you, or one of your colleagues is looking for a new job and your company is hiring, or they may tell you about a security event or some other opportunity that you wouldn't want to miss. You would've never made this discovery if you didn't make the effort to connect with security colleagues.
And finally, one of the best reasons for networking is you'll certainly make friends along the way. I have many security friends who I met for the first time over coffee. We regularly stay in touch and I know I can turn to them if I ever need a favor, and I'm sure the feeling's mutual. So, when a security colleague hands you their card, don't just stick it in your pocket and forget about it, offer to meet them sometime for lunch, or coffee, or drinks. When you get together, learn about what they do in the security field, how long they've been doing their job, whether or not they like it, and so on.
Then, ask them if there's anything you can do for them. Even if there's nothing you can help them with at that time, they'll probably remember your offer if you ever contact them asking for a favor. If you haven't already, read books like How to Make Friends and Influence People, and Never Eat Alone. You'll learn simple ways to make meaningful connections with people that can last a lifetime. My network of security colleagues would be the first people I'd turn to if I'm ever looking for a job or if my company's hiring. If you develop it correctly, your network of security professionals will prove extremely valuable over the course of your career.
Marc closes with a few pieces of career advice specific to the world of information security, which will help you succeed in this dynamic and high-demand industry.
- IT security key concepts
- The job marketplace (government vs. healthcare, etc.)
- IT security success traits
- Career specializations
- IT security certifications
- Getting experience
- Marketing yourself