Building your InfoSec tribe

The journey to an InfoSec career

2 male executive standing on fever line reaching out to each other showing partnership or mentoring
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Perhaps you are new to InfoSec. You've graduated, or maybe you've been in a position that is no longer satisfying and you yearn for change. You are likely wondering what you need to do to land that dream job. You're not alone. In fact, you may find the company of like-minded individuals in a variety of different places. 

There is a lot that you can do that won't break the bank while you wait for that paycheck to start rolling in. First, you need to know people. You need to build your tribe.

In the introduction to Peerlyst's new free e-book, Beginner’s Guide to Information Security Kickstart your security career with insight from InfoSec experts, Limor Elbaz, founder and CEO of Peerlyst, writes, "When security pros work together and educate each other, people’s jobs get easier. And if advice from experts helps more newbies get involved in InfoSec, that will ease the pressure on those who are currently in the field—without compromising on the quality of education."

So, this e-book might be a good place to start. What's most helpful about this quick read is that it's honest, frank, and pragmatic. In the first chapter, Tracy Z. Maleeff, owner Sherpa Intelligence, talks about where to begin and the frustration of being told to go the route of certifications, particularly the CISSP.

[ ALSO ON CSO: Which certifications matter most for those new to security ]

"There’s nothing wrong with getting a CISSP; in fact, many jobs require it," writes Maleeff, "It’s just not helpful to be given that particular piece of advice when you don’t have years of experience or a solid knowledge base yet. It’s kind of like telling a 10 year old to just go get a driver’s license if they want to get to school."

Yes, certifications have great value and will help to advance your career, but you need to first have a job to gain experience. Once you have some years of service under your belt, then consider the certifications that are right for the trajectory of your career.

Maleeff goes on to offer a 13-point plan for kickstarting your InfoSec career, much of which she learned from industry leader, Micah Hoffman. By volunteering and making your interest in cybersecurity known to people in IT, you might open doors to opportunities that may have otherwise passed you by.

Whether you're looking for advice on how to start a career in IT, (which Dean Webb, computer and network security specialist, points out is not always about programming) or you are stressed about an interview and need help preparing, the book offers lots of actionable advice from experts and newbies alike. 

They even have tips on resume building and working with recruiters. All of those who contributed to this collection have been in the same place other newbies are right now. Some of them were so recently in your shoes, that they still refer to themselves as newbies. 

Sharing their experiences, these InfoSec folks hope to grow the InfoSec community so that you can get connected with people in the InfoSec industry. The idea is that you have to put yourself out there. If you're single and looking for a partner, you aren't going to find a date by sitting in your house watching TV or creeping on Facebook.

You have to put yourself out there. You have to let everyone know that you are on the hunt. It's the same with a job. A position isn't going to fall in your lap simply because you want it to, but if you really want it, there are lots of people out there who are ready and willing to help.

Read, then go find your people!

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