Looking back, the paths forged during our careers were often trodden with difficulty. We have struggled to find our footing in a new age of cyber criminals and have learned valuable lessons through experiences. Whilst this paved the way towards the top rung of a fast-paced career ladder, it also instilled in us a profound sense of purpose: to ensure that the paths of future generations will be meaningful and easier to navigate.
As cyber leaders, we have a responsibility to not just lead, but to guide. We must challenge the narratives we faced and use our experiences to mentor, nurture, and hone the skills of the next generation. They should benefit from our journey, making informed choices rather than learning everything on the job. Reflecting on my own career in cybersecurity, where I began leading teams from the outset, I realise the importance of not overlooking the foundational steps.
Tips for cyber leaders
Mentorship and training: When offering mentoring sessions, it’s crucial to instil a deep understanding of both concepts and their consequences. It’s about returning to the basics; the way we were taught growing up. Every decision has its repercussions, and the next generation needs the tools and guidance to differentiate between the good and the bad.
Resilience and problem-solving: The world of cybersecurity is not just challenging; it’s strenuous. It’s essential to provide the next generation with the support they need to manage stress and approach tasks with confidence. They should know how to address problems, what areas to focus on for career advancement, and which skills are essential. These are lessons we’ve learned and must pass on, hoping that the next generation will be several steps ahead of the cybercriminal.
Collaboration and networking: The cyber landscape is vast, and no one can navigate it alone. We must emphasise the importance of collaboration, networking and continuous learning. By banding together, we have the opportunity to ensure that the next generation of cybersecurity leaders is well-equipped, knowledgeable and resilient.
In this ever-evolving field, let’s commit to offering our time, expertise and insights to mentor the young minds keen to add value in this field.