Monday, October 3, 2011

Experience, commitment and practice are the best qualities to prepare the professional for the necessity of good old fashion networking. Networking is especially necessary in high trust and vulnerability industries like security where peers, colleagues and co-workers closely guard information.

A career in security is rewarding and challenging. The work is important, cleared contractor employers count on FSO skills to maintain classified contracts and national security depends on proper protection of classified information. The security professional requires a high degree of interaction as paths cross in training, collaboration or through contractual execution. Security professionals are traditionally somewhat guarded discussing business with new or otherwise unknown persons. Security professionals require time to develop trusting working relationships and getting to know important connections in a timely manner is important.

So, how do we accelerate this networking curve?

1. Foster relationships on the job. Get to know other employees and business unit managers in your organization. Develop trusting relationships that allow exchange of information. Other employees can help broadcast the security vision as you assist them with their individual and program needs.

2. Become active in professional organizations such as NCMS or ASIS. Security professionals have a lot of experience that is definitely worth sharing. There may be other FSOs having similar challenges and may be able to give fresh insight. You may find yourself helping others as well.

3. Become known by writing articles or teaching classes. Publishing in professional journals or teaching a “how to” seminar will get you recognized as an expert and trusted person.

4. Look for opportunities to network with each 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.

5. Consider joining committees, volunteering in the community, or sharing your expertise outside of your organization or career. For example, you could demonstrate how a non-profit organization can protect sensitive data.

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.

Jeffrey W. Bennett, ISP is the owner of Red Bike Publishing Red Bike Publishing . Jeff is an accomplished writer of non-fiction books, novels and periodicals. He also owns Red bike Publishing. Published books include: "Get Rich in a Niche-Insider's Guide to Self Publishing in a Specialized Industry" and "Commitment-A Novel". Jeff is an expert in security and has written many security books including: "Insider's Guide to Security Clearances" and "DoD Security Clearances and Contracts Guidebook", "ISP Certification-The Industrial Security Professional Exam Manual", and NISPOM/FSO Training" See Red Bike Publishing for print copies of: Army Leadership The Ranger Handbook The Army Physical Readiness Manual Drill and Ceremonies The ITAR The NISPOM

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