Working in Cyber Security: “Your unique mind is the greatest asset you have”
What is it like to work in cyber security? We ask some of the members of the team in Symantec. Today, we hear from Linda Brennan, Director, Global NPI Operations.
How long have you been in this role?
I have been with Symantec for 20 years this year. I am a director since 2016.
How did you come to work in the field of cyber security?
This was a new sector of growth in Ireland 20 years ago and I wanted to be involved in a progressive sector to ensure my talents stayed relevant to the market and, also, to challenge myself to learn new skills.
What advice would you give to someone who wants a job like yours?
Find a company that fits with your own values and, once you have done that, ensure you identify how your skills will add value to that organization and tell them your story. There are so many ways you can do this today — you do not have to stick to the traditional CV or job application process.
Is the course you studied at university relevant to the job you have now?
Yes. I studied Industrial Engineering and I have an MSc. I am also a certified Lean Sigma Black Belt and currently I am studying for my Master Black Belt.
“See problems as challenges and try to learn from them”
What do you think are three qualities someone who wants to work in a role like yours needs to have?
1. No need to be right all the time: Focus on finding the right solution rather than wanting to prove you are right all the time.
2. Ability to go beyond your own conditioning: Go beyond a fixed mind set and open up to new ways of thinking.
3. Always look for opportunity within the problem: See problems as challenges and try to learn from them.
A fourth one is not to take life too seriously: You only have one short go at it, so enjoy what you do. You will never wish you had worked harder or longer when you look back on your life.
Any other tips, advice or anecdotes you would like to add?
Remember to be gentle on yourself and give yourself time to think, your unique mind is the greatest asset you have.
To quote Mary Oliver: “Today I’m flying low and I’m not saying a word. I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep. The world goes on as it must, the bees in the garden rumbling a little, the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten. And so forth. But I’m taking the day off. Quiet as a feather. I hardly move though really I’m traveling a terrific distance. Stillness. One of the doors into the temple.”
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