Growing thick skin in InfoSec – to avoid burnouts and be more effective

Ignore obnoxious people you’ll meet along the way

One thing that will inevitably happen, is you working with people. Some of them will be always unsatisfied, ungrateful, rude or just deeply troubled and no matter how you approach them they’ll always be bitter.

Although the collaboration with that type of people may be draining, don’t give up on security of entire organization just because you run into anti-social jerks who don’t care about anything except of their ego.
Please note that I’ll be talking here about people who’re deeply malice rather than people with temporary weaker mental state. Life sometimes happens to us and I have no intent of speaking badly about people who’re going thru rough time in their personal lives.

While we’d all prefer to work only with nice and friendly people, we need to deal with various types of personalities or sometimes with great personalities having a bad day.
I feel you, I know that it really hurts when you’re trying your best and someone is doing everything in their power to put you down.
What I’ve learn thru my career is that more often than not you can clarify the situation by improving your communication, but for some people it’s not worth the effort. If you believe someone is terribly arrogant person on purpose, just talk to his manager and don’t waste your energy, health and reputation on endless disputes with the evil.

More you interact with such people, higher chances are that your behavior will be influenced by it. If you fill vast majority of your time time on interactions with messed up people, you may because as bitter as they are. It’s nohow worthy to sacrifice tens of good people for a person who doesn’t care and doesn’t want your help. Spend your time wisely and invest your energy in coworkers who appreciate you, your work and want you to help them.

Facing someone and having a discussion may help to clear the ground, but if you’ve tried all the nice ways, don’t let it grow and eat you up — seriously talk to the manager, HR, whoever is out there capable of solving the situation.
Sometimes it takes leaving the company to find a peace, but it is worth it.

Not a single job and not a single person on this planet is entitled to your physical, mental and physical health.
Don’t let anyone influence you negatively and seek escape when things are really bad.
Don’t let bad people get into your way and stop you from doing the things that matter.

“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with” rule really does apply to all aspects of life.

Professional and personal social interactions should not be much different

If we remove the artificial barriers we’ve put on ourselves when crossing the doors of corporate office, then we can see that nothing is really that much different. It’s all about people.

You should do you and live your life the way you feel like it, but I want to emphasize on the social thing one again. You’re working with people so you must try to be or at least act social. If you were as good and nice person to coworkers as you are for you personal friends, life would be so much easier. You must add politics because it’s still a workplace, but when you at it from 3rd party perspective, you’ll notice that there isn’t really that much more walk on eggshells involved, than it is in personal life. We’re acting to some extent in real life as well, we put a mask of a diplimate when needed and we follow the social rules even if we don’t feel like it.
When we know we must convey a bad message to someone we deeply care about we’ll put our needs and ego away and put that person on a pedestal. We will do certain things and act in a noncasual way in order to make experience of the other person as comforting as possible. So while at work you’ll not always have a good intent because we realize how dumb and unpleasant some artificial codes are, you must realize that if you’ve been doing well in your personal life then you have all the skills necessary to play your act in the workplace.

If you run into organisation that requires you to do plenty of politics and takes the humanity out of you, then is it really worth it to stay there? As a security professionals we have so much work available in the market that it’s unreasonable to stick with a place that makes you miserable and negatively changes you as a person.
Yet, so many of us do it.

Don’t shy away from showing-off your success

If you’re like me, then you prefer to do most of the work in silence and move forward without wasting time on show-offs, attention seeking and the whole marketing about your work. Some of us are really tired of seeing social medias flooded with people who not only obsess with marketing their stuff, but very often they have nothing of value to offer, yet they show it off so aggreesively that it sets a negative tone to the whole concept of a selfpromotion.

I know that not wanting to praise my own work it’s not coming from arrogance or narcism — altho some people may claim that, and for some it will be true — but so that I can get more shit done. It’s not about feeling that I don’t need to comment on my work because it’s so great that it’s making a marketing for itself.
It’s about focusing on things that matter, because every second put into self-promotion is a second taken away from doing the work that could bring value to the world.

The deal is that sometimes show-offs and public demonstration of your work help in building credibility and trust of coworkers. Some execs like rockstars and people who so demoing your work once in a while can put you in a great position for success in your organisation.

But it’s not always that shallow and really doesn’t mean you’re doing it to buy in into someone’s evil agenda. If you clearly express how much you were able to achieve and how does it positively affect the business, people will be more eager to offer you support in the future.
If you’ve proven yourself to be successful then you apparently know what you’re doing so you deserve the trust. I’ve fell too many times in a trap of doing things in too much silence without getting a word to other people in organisations, who didn’t really know what I was doing even tho those were great things.

Communicate, communicate, and when you think you’re already verbose enough — communicate a little more.

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