Episode 218 – Take Time before Choosing your Focus and Be Community-Driven with Steph
Phil’s guest on this episode of the IT Career Energizer podcast is Stephanie. She is a Security Analyst with a background in journalism and web hosting. She is the creator and editor of StephAndSec.com which is a blog focused on technology, inclusion and lifetime learning.
She’s also a chapter lead for Women In Security and learning as much as she can about anything and everything.
In this episode, Phil and Stephanie discuss what it takes to work in the IT security industry. They talk about why getting started in the sector is not as hard as people say it is. Stephanie shares insights into the future of IT security. She also talks about how to know when it is time to move on to another opportunity.
(9.11) TOP CAREER TIP
If you want to work in security you need to be a curious and passionate person. Slight paranoia helps too, as does having good attention to detail. But, teams need a mix of traits and skills to be able to be effectively, so potentially anyone can work in the industry and be successful.
A lot of industry veterans make it seem difficult to start a career in IT security. It is actually a lot easier than you think. So, don’t let them put you off of getting involved.
(13.25) WORST CAREER MOMENT
Stephanie knew she wanted to work in IT security from a early stage in her career. But, making the transition was a big struggle. She finally got into a position where the security team at the firm she was working for green-lit her to work with them. Sadly, she was not allowed to move out of her current team. She explains why that was and how she handled the situation, in the podcast.
(18.21) CAREER HIGHLIGHT
For Stephanie, this entire year has been one long highlight. So, was landing her first job in IT security. Better still she loves the work she is doing. All of that time and effort turned out to be worthwhile.
(21.14) THE FUTURE OF CAREERS IN I.T
The future is not as predictable as you think which is exciting. The industry moves at a phenomenal rate, especially within the security sector. As does how things are done in the rest of the industry. The security side of things has had to move fast to to keep up. This is one of the reasons it is so exciting to be involved in IT security.
(23.09) THE REVEAL
What first attracted you to a career in I.T.? – It was her mum that suggested she take her love of computers and turn it into a career.
What’s the best career advice you received? – Fire your boss. If your boss is not compatible with you, life can be miserable and limit the scope of your career. In that situation, it is best to leave.
What’s the worst career advice you received? – Find your passion. If like Stephanie you have not long started working in a sector you need to find your feet before deciding what area you will focus on.
What would you do if you started your career now? – Stephanie would worry less about what others think of the way she does things and how she fits in.
What are your current career objectives? – Right now, Stephanie is focusing on writing and finishing up school. Her aim is to become a Chief Information Security Officer (CSO).
What’s your number one non-technical skill? – Being a good conversationalist. It helps her to draw people out and find out what they really need from her. Also, being a good writer.
How do you keep your own career energized? – Last year, Stephanie experienced burn out. That prompted her to focus on working for her community. It has helped her no end and keeps her energized.
What do you do away from technology? – Spending time with friends and family. She also enjoys writing in a non-tech format and reading.
(30.57) FINAL CAREER TIP
There is a saying if you are alone you can go fast, but if you are with people you can go far. Stephanie has found this to be true. It is important to build good connections with others and be a part of your work community.
(12.53) – Stephanie – “Good attention to detail and a curious nature make you an ideal candidate for working in IT security.”
(24.42) – Stephanie – “If you are working for someone who is not compatible with you don’t hesitate to leave.”
(25.56) – Stephanie – “When you start work in a new sector take the time to look around before deciding what to focus on.”
(31.05) – Stephanie – “Once you find your community the journey to what you want to do in tech is not as daunting.”
ABOUT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS
Phil Burgess is an independent IT consultant who has spent the last 20 years helping organisations to design, develop and implement software solutions. Phil has always had an interest in helping others to develop and advance their careers. And in 2017 Phil started the I.T. Career Energizer podcast to try to help as many people as possible to learn from the career advice and experiences of those that have been, and still are, on that same career journey.
CONTACT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS
Phil can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms:
Join the I.T. Career Energizer Community on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/ITCareerEnergizer
ABOUT THE GUEST – STEPH
Steph is a Security Analyst with a background in journalism and web hosting. She is the creator and editor of StephAndSec.com which is a blog focused on technology, inclusion and lifetime learning.
She’s also a chapter lead for Women in Security and learning as much as she can about anything and everything.
CONTACT THE GUEST – STEPH
Stephanie can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms: