Success in the cybersecurity industry depends in great part on people skills. What we commonly call ‘soft skills’ are those aptitudes and traits that are difficult to measure and quantify. In fact, according to LinkedIn’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report, skills like communication, creativity, and collaboration are virtually impossible to automate, making the candidate who possesses these skills all the more valuable.
Soft skills are hard to measure but not necessarily hard to acquire. They can be practiced and flexed just like other more scholarly or technical endeavors. And they may be even more important in years to come as automation becomes more widespread.
But what are the most important people skills for someone considering a career in cybersecurity? What helps a young person thrive in this competitive, super-hot industry? We asked some folks here at Fishtech who regularly meet with students and here’s what they said.
You absolutely must be able to speak with customers and colleagues, to explain situations, and potential remedies and next steps. Good communication skills are huge, especially in crisis situations. Both verbal and written skills are important because after the dust settles, you’ll be updating a customer log with the critical details. Bottom line: you need to be able to solve a technical issue and explain it to a customer.
Do you self-identify as a problem solver? If you’re always looking for better way to do things, you’re a continual learner. Set goals for yourself, your career, and your work to level up and stand out.
Show us what you really love. Document your projects — be that what you’re doing in school, at home, on a volunteer basis, wherever. Blog about your projects; believe it or not, these passion projects may be more important than your resume. Start a portfolio to show your passion and your growth.
Many technical people are, let’s face it, used to being the smartest person in the room. A little humility goes a long way when working with your teammates and clients. A raging attitude really stinks, especially when you’re coding or working hard and fast on a breach. Respect other’s opinions as well as the quantifiable facts and work to be a valued member of the squad.
Invest in hard work — and yourself. Put in the time and enjoy the work. You can compensate for almost all of your weaknesses with hard work and dedication.
Feed your curiosity. Whatever you’re interested in, look it up. If you’re passionate about it, find the resources to learn more.
Every single person has something to offer — an ability and skill that others don’t have. Make good use of self- confidence. Believe in yourself and make sure others know it. Confidence is contagious.