EPISODE 21
Your Reputation Matters to Us
EPISODE 21
Your Reputation Matters to Us

Your Reputation Matters to Us

About this episode

In this episode, we are focused on the ever-divisive question of the importance of certifications in the cybersecurity industry. The answer to this question has changed over time from certifications being unimportant, to them being extremely important, to well, it depends.

 

Certifications can be extremely important for several reasons, including their ability to help your resume get through the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) filters used by the human resources and recruiting team, but they are not a silver bullet that will instantly land you a job.

 

As Jason Dion (Lead Instructor of Dion Training) shares with us in this episode, certifications can be your ticket to getting an interview, but they alone won’t get you the position. That said, without having that certification on your resume, you can easily be filtered out of consideration before a hiring manager even gets a chance to look over your resume. This makes having the right certifications and experience imperative if you want to land your dream cybersecurity position.

 

Just as a certification isn’t a substitute for a college degree, you will also learn that a college degree is not a substitution for having the right certifications. This is often not an “either-or” thing, but a “yes-and” type of thing that you must achieve for many cybersecurity positions.

 

What you’ll learn

  • Why certifications are important in the cybersecurity industry?
  • Are certifications or experience more important to a hiring manager?
  • Are certifications or college degrees more important to a hiring manager?
  • Which certifications should you be getting to advance in your career?
 

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Episode Transcript

Kip Boyle:        

Hi everyone. This is your CyberPath. We’re the podcast that helps you get your dream cybersecurity job. I’m Kip Boyle, and I’m here with Wes Shriner. We’re experienced hiring managers of cyber security professionals, and we want to help you. You can give us some feedback on the show, or if you want to pitch us a question, we’d be happy to answer it on a future episode, so just go to the show page. It’s at anchor.fm/yourcyberpath. You’re going to see a message button when you get there. Click that button, start talking and tell us what’s on your mind.

Wes Shriner: 

Kip, I’ve had a crazy busy week on the farm. What are we talking about today?

Kip Boyle: 

I love the fact that you live on a farm because as a suburban dweller, I have no clue what you do. When you tell me on the show that I get a better peek at your life on the farm is so cool. Today’s show is about reputation and personal brand. Of course within the context of somebody who is searching for their new opportunity. As employees and in other identities that we use in the world, we need to understand what is it about reputation? How do we manage it, can we manage it? How does it affect our careers? Some people call don’t use the R word. Some people say it’s your personal brand. Today that’s what we want to talk about. How is your personal brand, your reputation, how does that impact your ability to get your dream cybersecurity job? How do you build your brand so that you can become known for what you want to be known for?

Wes Shriner: 

That’s a good topic. I’m glad we’re talking about that today. I’ve got an interesting problem on the farm. I’ve got a rooster that is earning himself a reputation. He chased my daughter, and he won’t leave the hens alone, and he’s picking some fights with the other roosters.

Kip Boyle: 

He chased your daughter. I didn’t know roosters could be that aggressive, as to chase humans.

Wes Shriner: 

Oh yes. They have spurs on their legs. They’re there to protect the hands and they do a fine job of it.

Kip Boyle:

All right.

Wes Shriner: 

Pecking order on the farm in a hen house is a real thing. We’ve heard about pecking order in the office, but pecking order in the hen house is real. We have a rooster named King George, that’s… We actually carry five roosters, but King George-

Kip Boyle: 

Wow.

Wes Shriner:

He’s causing trouble with Big Red, so we’ve got to have a conversation.

Kip Boyle: 

Wait a minute, wait a minute. Wait. King George… Who’s Big Red? Is that another rooster?

Wes Shriner: 

Yes. Yeah.

Kip Boyle: 

Okay. Are you saying there’s a rooster pecking order as well?

Wes Shriner: 

Of course, of course.

Kip Boyle: 

Okay.

Wes Shriner: 

When you have- [crosstalk]

Kip Boyle: 

Is King George trying to be the top rooster? [crosstalk]

Wes Shriner: 

Here’s a fascinating thing. There’s a red flap of, I’ll call it skin, for a rooster that goes up their forehead and onto the top of their head, it’s called the comb.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah. Okay.

Wes Shriner: 

That red comb is that rooster’s pride, and there’s actually a muscle in there. If you have more than one rooster on the farm, the comb stands up on the top rooster and the other roosters lay their comb to the side to demonstrate their submission to the boss rooster.

Kip Boyle: 

Oh my Lord.

Wes Shriner: 

Uh-huh (affirmative) I can walk in the hen house and tell you which rooster is the boss.

Kip Boyle: 

Oh my goodness. Yeah. It’s pretty fricking obvious, isn’t it?

Wes Shriner:

King George has not been behaving well lately. He may be going from protecting the hand house to feeding the family. He might be doing that. Reputation is very, very important and if King George doesn’t change his reputation soon, it’s not going to end well for him.

Kip Boyle: 

Man, life on the farm is like a harsh at times, isn’t it?

Wes Shriner: 

A circle. Yes.

Kip Boyle: 

Okay. Wow. Okay. I got to come meet King George if he’s still around by the time I am able to come and visit next time. Hey, maybe you’ll save a leg for me and I can take him home with me.

Wes Shriner: 

Big Red is such a gentleman. He is such a gentlemen. All right.

Kip Boyle:

Okay.

Wes Shriner: 

In order to talk about reputation on the job search, we should probably bring this back. We should talk about what are inner current activities. I think we have to understand reputation and what we’re doing today in order to understand what a reputation will be tomorrow. Character’s a really important topic to me because when the music fades and everything else sweeps away, when the stadium is empty and we stand before our maker, only what we have done and what he has done will remain. I’m convinced there’s going to be a test. We’ve all worked with that guy who says, “That’s not my job.” Or they take a simple project and make it hard, they argue with team members. I worked with one guy who was described as, “His superpower is how fast he can put his own foot in his mouth.”

Kip Boyle: 

Oh my god. Now that’s a classic case where he wasn’t saying that about himself, and he may not even have realized-

Wes Shriner: 

Unaware

Kip Boyle: 

That was his superpower.

Wes Shriner: 

Sometimes people get distracted with other things in life and the job just doesn’t get done.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah.

Wes Shriner: 

Or they’re maybe they’re unskilled and not able to do the job, and maybe not willing to learn. We’ve all had these characteristics from time to time and they don’t all have to define us.

Kip Boyle: 

Right.

Wes Shriner: 

But when they happen over and over and they happen frequent enough that we become known for them, they become our reputation.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah. I’ve heard people say that your brand is who you say you are to other people, and your reputation is what everybody else says about you when you’re not around.

Wes Shriner:

I like what Wooden said. “Worry about your character, not your reputation.”

Kip Boyle:

Yeah, I think that’s- [crosstalk]

Wes Shriner: 

Your character’s who you are, your reputation is who people think you are.

Kip Boyle: 

Right. Right, right, right. All right, pause. Who’s John Wooden?

Wes Shriner: 

Oh, he was the greatest college basketball coach ever.

Kip Boyle: 

Oh. I’m not clued in. I am now clued in.

Wes Shriner:

The greatest college basketball coach ever. [crosstalk] There’s some good reputations too.

Kip Boyle: 

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Wes Shriner: 

If I’m going to call this person because they always know what to do, that’s a good reputation. I want that person on my team because they make the people around them better, that’s a great reputation.

Kip Boyle: 

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Wes Shriner:

I want this person on the team because computers obey them.

Kip Boyle: 

Computers obey them.

Wes Shriner: 

That’s a great reputation.

Kip Boyle:

Wow. I’ll say. Yeah, that’s a wonderful reputation.

Wes Shriner: 

We can have both positive reinforcement of reputation and negative reinforcement.

Kip Boyle: 

Really, people can have multiple reputation at the same time. The term that I’m thinking about right now is brilliant jerk. I hear that a lot, and I hear some organizations saying, “We won’t put up with brilliant jerks.” Other organizations don’t say it, but they’re full of brilliant jerks, or there is a brilliant jerk and nobody will get rid of them. It’s interesting how sometimes your reputation can actually be a blend of something that’s desirable and something that’s maybe not.

Wes Shriner: 

Oftentimes that’s invisible to us. We don’t know what we don’t know there.

Kip Boyle: 

Oh yeah. Oh, it’s cringy actually to think about not having a good reputation and not knowing that you don’t have a good reputation. You’re just whistling through life thinking that you’re doing good. Oh, that’s so cringy.

Wes Shriner: 

The first thing you want to do in building your reputation is probably figure out what you want to be known for. If brilliant jerk is your answer, then you’re on track.

Kip Boyle: 

There’s lots of role models.

Wes Shriner:

Plenty to find. There’s there’s also other comparisons. Humble smart is one that I’ve heard recently that I thought was really, really cool. You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room, just be smart and contribute and make everybody else better, and that’s a great place to be.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah. The humility part of it is really important, I think, because that’s what allows you to admit to yourself and maybe even to others that, “Oh, I don’t know anything about that. Tell me more.” Which people love to hear.

Wes Shriner: 

Another one, Charlie Hustle, was known as the hardest working baseball player in the major leagues. A problem-solver might be somebody that when I don’t know where to go, I go to that person and they help me.

Kip Boyle:

Yep.

Wes Shriner: 

There’s another reputation for somebody who’s maybe newer on the block, and that might be, I’m a learner, I’m an enthusiastic engaged learner. Somebody who is improving and growing.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah.

Wes Shriner: 

You teach them and they remember it.

Kip Boyle: 

Yep.

Wes Shriner: 

Once you’ve picked your reputation, you’ve got to build on that.

Kip Boyle: 

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Wes Shriner: 

We can work on that wherever we are. I guarantee you, you’re not going to get it right the first time, so you might as well practice. I think I said it before, things worth doing are worth doing poorly and awkwardly.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah. I don’t see how you could get it right the first time. People are going to determine your reputation based on your pattern or behavior over time. That’s what I’ve seen. You have opportunities to build up the brand that you want. Sometimes you’re going to make a mistake and be counter brand, but people will forgive you if you get back on track.

Wes Shriner: 

On message.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah. What can we do? We can ask for feedback from people we trust to help us set the right goals for us. Really. We can ask for feedback, “Hey, I want to be known as this person, does that sound like somebody I could become with the right kind of practice?”

Wes Shriner:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.

Kip Boyle: 

Once we’ve asked for that feedback and incorporated that, so we have a reasonable goal, then we can do a check in a month later and say, “How am I doing towards that goal?”

Wes Shriner: 

Right.

Kip Boyle: 

I did two or three things and I thought I was making progress. That person, if they love you enough, they’re going to tell you the truth, and you still got to buy him the drink because he told you the truth, and that’s worth gold.

Wes Shriner: 

Yeah. You can certainly do this informally, as I think you’re suggesting, with people that you trust and people who will trust you. You could also do this a bit more formally, and I’ve actually done it that way. One of the ways you can do this as what’s called a 360 review. Sometimes that’s part of your actual formal review at work that you get from from your supervisor, but you could also do it on your own. I went to school one time, I got a certificate in executive leadership. Part of what we did in that program early on was to do a 360 feedback with our coworkers and selected other people. It was formal, and then when the results came back in, we incorporated that feedback into the work that we did in class, so that we could explicitly tackle what we’re talking about today. If you want to do something like that, you can absolutely do something a bit more formal, if that makes sense,

It’s scary. It feels really vulnerable to do something like that.

Kip Boyle: 

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Wes Shriner: 

I’m going to say this is the hard work of getting better, of becoming better. Not just at work, but in life and with family.

Kip Boyle: 

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Wes Shriner: 

The better you do this now, the better your grandchildren will be for it. This stuff is good for you, but this is generational work.

Kip Boyle: 

Ah, that’s really interesting. I don’t think I’ve heard anybody position it as generational work at home, that what you do to do become hired in your dream job and then to succeed in that job, that it could actually spill over into a generational thing with your family. Say something more about that, Wes.

Wes Shriner: 

We want to talk about reputation and brand, but the reputation and brand are forged when we have our character, that’s what’s done in secret.

Kip Boyle: 

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Wes Shriner: 

That character, that’s what’s done in secret is going to ooze out of us in every direction because it’s just going to overflow. When it overflows at work, it defines our brand and our reputation. When it overflows at home, it means I yell at my kids when I shouldn’t have, and I have to go apologize to them later. Or, I don’t go apologize to them later and I didn’t get better, and I created a different kind of problem.

Kip Boyle:

As a dad, you get a brand, or you get a reputation with your kids. Well, don’t bring bad news to dad, he can’t handle it. Things like that.

Wes Shriner: 

I hope that’s not the case.

Kip Boyle: 

I hope that’s not the case for anybody, but depending on how you do handle bad news, that’s a way that that could happen. Or, even more fatefully, if I’m snapping at my wife at home, then what kind of a husband am I being there? The generational part, of course, is that the behavior that I model for my kids will become their behavior when they get older.

Wes Shriner: 

That’s the spouse they’ll be looking for because more is caught than is taught.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah.

Wes Shriner: 

That’s parenting and I’d love to have a parenting conversation-

Kip Boyle: 

Wow.

Wes Shriner: 

But I want to stay focused today.

Kip Boyle: 

Well, we just went into the deep end. Let’s get back over to the shallow end for a moment. [crosstalk]

Wes Shriner:

I don’t know that it gets any better.

Kip Boyle: 

I think some people really struggle with this idea of bringing their whole self to work. Isn’t that what we’re really saying is you do bring your whole self to work, even if you have to hide it.

Wes Shriner: 

You do bring your whole self and you’re not going to be successful at hiding it.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah. But some people feel like they need to, for whatever reason.

Wes Shriner: 

That’s when we start doing the hard work with the feedback loops and the people we trust helping us get better.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah, yeah.

Wes Shriner: 

That’s about brand and reputation, but then we have this thing called perception. Edward de Bono said, “Perception is real, even when it’s not reality.”

Kip Boyle: 

Oh my God. Isn’t that the truth?

Wes Shriner: 

Yes. Yeah. It’s so unfortunate. If we bring this back home now, the absolute best thing you can do for your reputation for your job hunt, make sure when you leave this job, you leave it well. You leave it well and leave the one before that well too. The way you leave the people before me is how I can assume you’re going to leave me one day.

Kip Boyle: 

As a hiring manager, you’re thinking about the future when you’re considering somebody. I mean, that’s what I do too, and this is a very specific example of that.

Wes Shriner: 

The way you talk about people you worked for before me is how I can assume you’re going to talk about me one day.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah. That’s great. Let’s zero in for a moment on this idea of leaving a job well. That’s a very tangible thing that we can talk about. How do you define leaving a job?

Wes Shriner:

Let’s see. Give two weeks notice. Define or document the processes of the work you’re doing.

Kip Boyle: 

Hm.

Wes Shriner: 

Communicate with the people who are relying on you that you’re handing the baton off to a new person, you’re communicating to your stakeholders. What about-

Kip Boyle: 

Got it.

Wes Shriner:

Documenting your current progress? I didn’t say stay up all night finishing all the things. That’s not what I’m encouraging you to do. I said, be clear on what is done and what is not done-

Kip Boyle: 

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Wes Shriner: 

So that the next person has a tangible baton to receive.

Kip Boyle: 

God, document, document, document. I mean, I know you’re right. This does make sense, and I think this is a good definition of the things that you should do to leave your job well, but I just want to encourage people in the audience. You probably hate documenting things just as much as I do, so just suck it up buttercup.

Wes Shriner: 

This is a small task with big payoff. you’re really building a platform that can answer the questions they’re going to have for you three weeks from now that they don’t know they have for you today. Whatever you told them on Tuesday, right after you told them you were leaving, they didn’t hear any of it. Their mind was already spinning on the next topic, so you’ve got to write it down and hand it off in a way they can receive it.

Kip Boyle:

Right. Okay. Good.

Wes Shriner: 

In fact, in that conversation, you should probably say, “My goal is that nothing slows down when I leave.”

Kip Boyle:

Okay.

Wes Shriner:

“I hope the customers won’t even notice a change.” That feels weird because I know I’m so important to this organization. If I’m not here, the place screeches to a halt-

Kip Boyle:

Yeah.

Wes Shriner: 

But that’s not your message. Your message is I hope the customers won’t even notice a change. I’m going to do everything I can to make this transition as seamless as possible.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah. You’re setting your hiring manager up for success when you can’t be there anymore.

Wes Shriner: 

That’s going to put us in a great spot.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah. Okay. Cool. Well, I think that’s all great advice under the label of leaving a job well. I really don’t have anything to add to that, but one of the things that I try to do when I’m saying farewell to a team member, even if the road has been very rocky and difficult, and we’ve maybe butted heads, or had a lot of tough stuff happen, I try as a hiring manager, as a supervisor to do my own version of leaving well. For example, I like to treat that person to a team lunch, go out and get out of the office and give them a thank you for what they’ve done.

Wes Shriner: 

That is awesome if they’ll do that, but if they don’t do it, do not be upset, they’re not required to.

Kip Boyle: 

Right. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Some people departing don’t want to do that, for whatever reason, so I might extend the invitation, but they might say, “No, that’s not right for me.” I don’t get bent out of shape about that. I just want to point out that it can be a two way street, because your reputation as a supervisor, as an employer is going to be based, in part, on the way you treat people as they exit your organization.

Wes Shriner: When we try and find a reputation, we spend a couple hours interviewing somebody and we try and figure out what do they like? What do they feel like, what can they tell us about themselves? Some people are really good at putting a foot forward that may not be their real self.

Kip Boyle: 

Mm-hmm (affirmative) Yeah.

Wes Shriner:

Have you seen that before?

Kip Boyle: 

Oh, gosh. Yes. First of all, I’m constantly impressed at how well connected the information security community is. Several times we’d be looking at a stack of resumes and one candidate’s resume will float to the top of the stack. I’ll just ask people on the team, “Hey, does anybody know so-and-so?” Because they’re not moving in from out of the area or whatnot. It happens quite a bit that someone on my team has worked with them before, either they were a teammate at another company, or maybe this person who we’re considering bringing them onto the team worked with a vendor, delivering services to somebody who is on my team and is currently working for me. Every time that happens, it becomes very clear whether that person would be a good fit for our current team.

The reason why I mentioned this up, based on what you just said a moment ago is because I’ve learned that some people interview very, very well. They are excellent at interviewing. I’ve been really impressed by probably a handful of people over time, who individually interviewed very, very well. I extended the offer and they joined the team, but shortly after they started working, maybe within the first couple of weeks, they don’t act like the same person.

Wes Shriner: 

Oh, no.

Kip Boyle: 

It’s not as good, which is really… What a buzzkill. I get disappointed, my team gets disappointed. Everybody was looking forward to having a superstar join the team, just somebody that we could count on. It didn’t pan out very well. So, yuck.

Wes Shriner: 

That interview is really, really important. Seattle is the 15th, I think, largest US metropolitan area, and it’s arguably in the top five for technology jobs.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah.

Wes Shriner: 

We live in a hot market, shall we say?

Kip Boyle: 

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Wes Shriner:

It’s still a really small community of security professionals.

Kip Boyle: 

Definitely.

Wes Shriner:

I can guarantee somebody somewhere is going to get a phone call asking about what you were like to work with.

Kip Boyle: 

Okay.

Wes Shriner: 

This is not a formal inquiry, it’s a discreet one. What were they really like to work with? What were they like to eat lunch with?

Kip Boyle: 

Mm-hmm (affirmative) Yeah. I know exactly what you’re talking about. I have both placed and received calls like that.

Wes Shriner:

It doesn’t have to be a one-way conversation. For the mid-career folks, the people who’ve been in the market for more than a minute, have any of you done lookups on your possible future organization? The company culture, the hiring manager, what it’s like working in that group.

Kip Boyle: 

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Wes Shriner: 

If you haven’t done that, you should be. You’ve got to do the hard work of finding the right fit for you as well.

Kip Boyle: 

Mm-hmm (affirmative) Yeah. [crosstalk].

Wes Shriner: 

That goes back to the same thing happening both ways.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah. It’s a two way street. I think we talked about that in the last episode or maybe the one before, we were saying, “Look, this is about fit. It’s about not just getting a paycheck, but it’s about finding a place that is going to work for you.” You could have an employer saying, “Oh my gosh, you’re the best, here’s your offer.” Based on what you learned, maybe the offer’s really, really attractive, but based on what you learned, you’re like, “I’m never going to last at this place.” The fit is just not there.

Wes Shriner: 

Good stuff. We’re talking about reputation. We haven’t talked about skillset yet.

Kip Boyle: 

Hm.

Wes Shriner: 

Which is more important, a good reputation or a strong skillset?

Kip Boyle: 

This is a very philosophical sort of a thing because I’ve seen people land on both sides-

Wes Shriner: 

Take us to your mountain top, Kip.

Kip Boyle: 

Of this issue. Let’s talk about the brilliant jerk, because we hear about the brilliant jerk a lot in blog posts and in news articles and opinion pieces. I mean, people write about the brilliant jerk a lot these days. Do a Google search for brilliant jerk and see how many hits you come up with, it’s going to be a lot. That’s a reputation, oh, he’s a brilliant jerk. Well, what does that mean? That means fantastic skillset, but difficult to work with.

There are some organizations that will place your ability to get along well with other people over your skillset. You can be brilliant, but if you’re a jerk, you’re not going to be allowed in. Then there’s the other side of that. I’ve seen organizations where brilliant jerks were lauded and tolerated. Even though people really struggled to work with them, management would not release them, would not do anything about it. I’ve seen it go both ways. What’s the bottom line here? You need to know, if you’re considering joining an organization, if you don’t like brilliant jerks, you’d better find out if a brilliant jerks are tolerated or maybe even cheered at that place. If you think you’re going to join that place and that that’s suddenly going to change, somehow it probably isn’t.

Wes Shriner: 

A dramatic pause for effect.

Kip Boyle:

Yeah. I think it’s a big deal. The brilliant jerk is a very polarized character, a very polarizing character. If you’ve got an opinion, just make sure you do your due diligence.

Wes Shriner: 

Kip, I’m going to try and transition here because I know we want to keep tight on time. If you’re a new graduate and you’ve stuck with us this far, congratulations and thank you.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah.

Wes Shriner: 

I would bet your question is how does this apply to me? I haven’t built a reputation yet.

Kip Boyle: 

Hm.

Wes Shriner:

Kip, what would you say to the student listening? How could they build their personal brand and their reputation?

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah. Thanks for asking me because guess what, Wes, I have a lot of experience with this. Here, experience is a euphemism for I have both succeeded with this, and I’ve had massive failures with this. The good news is that, as we were saying before, I survived it. I grew from it. Even though I’ve had failures, I don’t count it as a loss. Here’s what I’ve learned.

One of the most important things you can do is play from your strengths. What I mean by that is, don’t look at a list of personal brands and say to yourself, “Boy, I really want to be known as a great team player.” With your brain, if you say, “I want to be a great team player.” But deep, deep down inside, you know that you really prefer to work alone, that’s who you really are, then I don’t think this is a good idea.

The reason why is because being a great team player… And I put the emphasis on great, as in always there, always doing, being self-sacrificing, giving, giving, giving all the time. That’s just not who you are. That’s not a judgment against you, to say that that you’re wrong for not being that way. My point is that if deep down inside you prefer to work alone, and so you’re a good team player, but you’re not a great team player, then don’t try to be a great team player. Be something that is going to play from your strength. Maybe you’re really the humble smart, maybe that’s your personal brand, because that lets you be a good team player and really lean into what you like to do, which is to learn. Not just from self study, but from other people. There may be a lot of temptation to pick a personal brand because you think that will make you popular or because that’s what you think your supervisor wants to see. I’m just here to tell you that if you’re not playing from your strengths, it’s not sustainable. At least, I don’t know how to make it be sustainable.

Wes Shriner: 

That comes back to being authentic. That’s a good message.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah. What would you tell the student?

Wes Shriner:

I’d say- [crosstalk]

Kip Boyle: 

I told them what I thought.

Wes Shriner:

I’d say, “Come in and be a learner.” It’s okay to come into the group and be a learner in the group as long as you learn it after someone teaches, you don’t have to learn it four times in a row.

Kip Boyle: 

Right.

Wes Shriner:

Write down what you learn, document it, repeat it. Bring great energy. Be the most enthusiastic person on the team to be here, excited. There’s some people who’ve been in their job for 20 years and they’re a little bit tired and your energy is going to bring them up in the process.

Kip Boyle: 

Can I say something about that for a moment?

Wes Shriner: 

Yeah.

Kip Boyle: 

About bringing great energy? Sometimes you’re great energy doesn’t have to be on display. Great energy doesn’t mean bring pompoms every day and drink Red Bull constantly. Great energy could just mean… Your demeanor doesn’t have to be electric, but you need to be fully engaged. I know there’s some people who, just their temperament is not the kind of person who’s going to jump up and down on the sidelines, but they’re paying great attention. I just wanted to put that out there.

Wes Shriner:

Another great energy is just do the things that not everybody wants to do.

Kip Boyle: 

That’s how I got into cyber security, by the way. That’s my backstory. I’ll tell that story some other day, but that’s great advice.

Wes Shriner: 

Do the things that others don’t. If you have to sweep the floor at the end of the day, that’s okay. You won’t be sweeping the floor forever.

Kip Boyle: 

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Wes Shriner: 

Be a sponge of knowledge and ask for permission regularly to make more senior people’s jobs easier.

Kip Boyle:

Oh, that’s interesting. What does that look like?

Wes Shriner: 

Bob, I’ve been following you around for three weeks. I’ve watched you do this over and over and over. Can I take a turn at doing it, and you watch me this time.

Kip Boyle:

Hm.

Wes Shriner:

Two weeks later, Bob didn’t even come to the call and you just took care of it without him.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Okay. That makes total sense. The term that I would use for that is be an apprentice. Think of yourself as an apprentice. What can I learn? What can Bob teach me? Honestly, in my experience, that’s a lot of how information security know-how is passed on from people with more experience to people with less experience. There’s so much that you just have to learn on the job that you’re never going to get in a book or a certification exam. If you come to work thinking of yourself as an apprentice who’s eager to learn from the master. Oh man, that’s powerful. All right, Wes.

Wes Shriner: 

It is.

Kip Boyle: 

Any final words before we wrap up the episode?

Wes Shriner: 

Sure. Be who you want to be known for now. Do the hard work of becoming better now. You’ll be glad you did later. As a parent, every time I see my children reflect some bad behaviors of my own, I regret it, and I say, “I wish I had of fixed that before.”

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah.

Wes Shriner: 

Yeah. Leave your previous jobs well. What you did to them is what I can expect you to do to me.

Kip Boyle: 

Right.

Wes Shriner:

Take care of those in your past.

Kip Boyle: 

Well, thank you for bringing it all back around to the hiring perspective that we’re really trying to help people with. There’s just so much more to getting hired, I think, than just the blocking and tackling and the mechanics of submitting resumes. There’s so much more going on there. Thank you, those of you in the audience for making it this far in the episode, Hey, listen, as we close out, I just want to remind you that we do have a masterclass. It’s an online video course that can help you get your dream cybersecurity job. It’s told by hiring managers, such as myself and Wes and the class, when we put it through the beta test in April of 2020 went so well that one of our students actually got his dream cybersecurity job before he even finished all the lessons.

I was inspired. Lots of people have been inspired by what this fellow has been able to do, and I want you to be inspired. If you want to hear about his story, just go to yourcyberpath.com/Steve. There’s a nice little write-up that Steve did and you can read about where he was working when he started taking our masterclass. What was his dream cybersecurity job and how did he get it? Don’t be mistaken, just because you take a class doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do the work, and Steve did some great work. Hey, listen. On the next episode, Wes and I are going to share with you how to make sure you have a great skills match between yourself and your dream cybersecurity job. I think you’re going to get a lot out of the episode, so please come back. Until next time, remember you’re just one path away from your dream cybersecurity job.

Wes Shriner:

Nice.                    

 

Headshot of Kip BoyleYOUR HOST:

Kip Boyle
Cyber Risk Opportunities

Kip Boyle serves as virtual chief information security officer for many customers, including a professional sports team and fast-growing FinTech and AdTech companies. Over the years, Kip has built teams by interviewing hundreds of cybersecurity professionals. And now, he’s sharing his insider’s perspective with you!

Headshot of Jason DionYOUR CO-HOST:

Jason Dion
Dion Training Solutions

Jason Dion is the lead instructor at Dion Training Solutions. Jason has been the Director of a Network and Security Operations Center and an Information Systems Officer for large organizations around the globe. He is an experienced hiring manager in the government and defense sectors.