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7 ways to stay happy in a miserable profession

Bill Brenner | Dec. 16, 2009
OK, maybe its not fair to call IT security miserable, but the lack of praise and abundance of blame certainly creates plenty of cynics and grouches. Security Incites Mike Rothman offers seven keys to fight the good fight and still be happy.

4. Communicate the good and the bad
Since there are things beyond your control, it doesn't hurt to lower expectations or, as Rothman suggests, "manage expectations." To that end, he recommends using what he calls the rule of three: 1. Tell people what you are going to do, 2. do it, and 3. tell them what you did. "Poke yourself in the eye, then give yourself a hand," Rothman says.

5. Roll with the punches
This tip is especially hard to heed if you are addicted to trying to control what you can't control. Remember that whatever the atmosphere, it's not about you and, well, someone always has to pay. Try not to take it personally.

6. Cover thy behind
Rothman's tips for doing this are to protect your flanks politically by documenting everything and being niceuntil it's time not to be nice.

7. Know thyself
Simply put, Rothman says, work is what you do, not who you are. Asked who he is, Rothman offers a list in this order: husband, father, friend, pain in the behind, security guy, analyst and bad marketer. If you realise after soul searching that you're not doing what you love, it's time to be honest with yourself and take a leap of faith, he says, adding, "Change is good."


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