The secret to gaining and keeping your dream role is strategy, heard delegates at RSA Europe, but many infosec professionals take the wrong route.

“Although most risk managers use complex methodologies to assess their company's risk profile, few use the same techniques to assess their own career”, said Chris Batten, MD Acumin. “Get to know your weaknesses and take steps to mitigate them. for example, more people when surveyed said that they feared public speaking than death. If this is you, take action, do a course.”

A common error is to look for businesses that you would like to work for, according to Batten. The correct strategy is to consider your needs then match the business to them. Consider issues that affect you, such as your values, aspirations, emotions and situation – these are the elements that will dictate your ideal job role, not the next job title on the ladder.

 

Key accelerators for an information security professionals career are communication, presentation and sales skills, according to Batten. “Specific skill-sets are also the most valuable. Learn about your aspirational job's business, and make absolutely certain that you understand it. higher qualifications are also very useful – take a look into the Msc Information Security and the CISM qualifications.”

 

Batten also believes that the most successful infosec professionals are those that use industry resources such as the security forum and Special Interest Groups to best advantage. “The security industry is unusual in that these resources exist, and are full of knowledgeable people that will be able and willing to help you with information – use this well. Networking is also a powerful tool”, he told delegates at the presentation 'Managing Your Own Security Career'.

 

“Conduct a personal review process, said Batten, “and remember to accommodate change. Your values in life will change over time, and you must incorporate this into your career plan. I'd also recommend either finding a mentor, or offering to be one, outside your current business if possible.”