Thursday, June 12, 2008

Reinvigorating the Network

Even after reading Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty by Harvey Mackay; Brag!: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It! by Peggy Klaus, nothing less than experience can prepare the professional for the necessity of good old fashion networking. This is especially true if security is a new career field, or you are continuing your career in a new company or location.

A career in security is rewarding and challenging. The work is important and people genuinely appreciate our service. The security profession requires a high degree of interaction as our paths cross in training or through contractual execution. However, we are somewhat guarded discussing our business with new or otherwise unknown persons. Security professionals require time to develop trusting working relationships. It’s the nature of the business. Try conducting business over the phone with someone you don’t know. Chances are you had to be cautious and it took a few more interactions before finally recognized names and working relationships.

So, how do we accelerate this networking curve? That’s right, through fostering relationships on the job and professional organizations such as NCMS or ASIS. Security professionals have a lot of experience that is definitely worth sharing. You may also consider joining committees, volunteering in the community, or sharing your expertise in a few key areas. There are skills that you have and others who are willing to learn.

Some of us are the only ones in the security department. Others are part of a huge security organization. In either case, chances are that you rely on teamwork within your industry, the community and the government. To help become more influential in the good fight of “selling security”, it is necessary to involve all the players. Those in the security industry should network with each other, business leaders, police, firefighters, public safety, local and national government agencies and any other members of the community. The best way to protect our industry and our national resources is to use our force multipliers.

It doesn't take much to network; just willingness to both help and to learn. What you contribute is invaluable and you are never too old to learn from others.

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