It’s Not What You Do for a Living, It’s How You Carry It Forward

by Bill Brenner on July 13, 2015

Every job, no matter how lowly it seems, is an opportunity to learn something that’ll come in handy later in life.

The other day I was helping someone who wants to pursue a career in information security. He wasn’t sure if he should list some of his past jobs in his profiles because they don’t have anything to do with his preferred industry. I urged him to include everything.

Mood music:

He’s currently a barista at Starbucks. While it’s not an infosec job, it requires people skills, customer service prowess and an ability to juggle multiple tasks at once — all important qualities for anyone who wants to thrive in the security world.

Most jobs have something you can carry forward.

I learned about customer service working in a record store. I hated working in my father’s warehouse as a teenager, but it taught me a lot about how shipping and distribution works. Working for weekly newspapers had a lot of drawbacks. The pay sucked — really sucked — and I worked 80 hours a week. But I learned a lot about how government and politics work from all the meetings I covered and a lot about the court system from all the arraignments I was sent to. I also learned how to write a lot of stories quickly.

Had I not worked those jobs, I would not have had the success I’ve had in infosec. I wouldn’t be able to make sense of all the threat data I’m constantly writing about. I wouldn’t be able to juggle writing reports, threat advisories and blog posts. And I wouldn’t have been able to build the industry network I have today.

It was all worth it, even if it all seemed like thankless drudgery at the time.

So if you’re in a job you don’t think is a good fit, by all means strive toward something else. But don’t ignore the tools you can collect along the way.

Milton Stephen Root in Office Space

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

jonee July 13, 2015 at 10:00 am

omg that’s a picture of the hilarious scene in …… horrible bosses,…. I think. That poor guy!……he did trudge on, tho

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