Thread: over the years, I had countless infosec newcomers ask me how to build a successful career in the field. I don't have a recipe for success; but there are several things I learned over the years, and they're a bit different from the usual career advice you hear. (Thread)
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My most important tip is about happiness: jobs come and go, conflicts happen, you can't win every argument. It's best not to let your work projects define who you are. If reviewing a code change makes you angry, it's time to pause; non-computer hobbies help.
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In the same vein, friendships last longer than jobs. You don't have to get along with every person you encounter, but it's good to try. And when being a good person clashes with doing your job, it's probably time to pause, push back - and if that doesn't help, bail.
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Next, remember that this is a volatile industry. You might feel invincible today, but job markets can crash overnight - and did so several times before. There are great rewards in tech, but it is foolish to live paycheck-to-paycheck. A Tesla can come after a rainy-day fund.
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I also usually tell people not to overthink job decisions. There's randomness we can't control: stocks move in unpredictable ways, PR cycles ebb and flow. Focus on the long term; over the course of your career, the transient stuff will probably even out.
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What else? Oh: disregard 90% of what you read on Hacker News. There are real gems there, but they're hard to tell apart. Meanwhile, most of the tropes about corporate life are exaggerated or patently untrue, often written by people who know less than you.
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To advance your career, remember that ideas are cheap, so develop a track record of delivering high-quality results. Simplify other people's lives by owning problems instead of merely logging complaints.
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Visibility helps, but only if it instills trust: promote your work juidiously, but be self-critical, too. As for the secret superpower in corporate environments, it's knowing how to write concise, well-structured docs. Take a writing course and see your life change overnight.

1:18 AM · Jun 19, 2021

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Replying to @lcamtuf
Any suggestion for courses/training for that?
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Replying to @lcamtuf
Big tip for docs - Pitch them at 6yo you. Are they written clear and simply enough, with few technical terms that are not immediately explained? - That is the question to ALWAYS ask. My most successful doc has actually been used by a 6yo to set up a system for their mother!
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Also stick to your guns when you know you are right and have proved that you are. Others will second guess and send things off on a tangent, even cancelling what you have set in motion. Just put it back on track and see it through - Own it in as big a way as possible!
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Replying to @lcamtuf
My secret Infosec superpower is my English degree.
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Replying to @lcamtuf
I have the hardest time with self promotion, any tips on that?
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Replying to @lcamtuf
This one is my favorite advice of the thread! Thank you!
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Replying to @lcamtuf
So true. A three-paragraph summary of a long discussion thread is a blessing. To make it look pretty, write in markdown and use pandoc to convert to nicely-formatted word, html, or pdf.
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Replying to @lcamtuf
"knowing how to write concise, well-structured docs" hell yes. this!
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Replying to @lcamtuf
And look for ways to delegate or cross-train on any skill that only makes you useful to your current employer. Imagine interviewing somewhere new. Any activity you spend a lot of time on that wouldn't be useful to a new employer is slowing your career growth.
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