My Goals for 2019
2019 was a crazy, successful year. I accomplished some of my goals, like completing my Master’s degree. I completely missed the mark on some other goals, like my technical learning and writing goals. Some of those goals I got really stuck on because I wasn’t really motivated to do them. I had to rethink my goals.
At the end of 2018, I dealt with a lot of personal issues. I was stuck in a funk and couldn’t get out of it. I thought I was just being inefficient. I studied a lot of productivity materials including organization, goal setting, etc. and came up with what is below. I thought I had it all figured out, and set my plan into motion.
Hitting A Wall
I was able to follow my plan as best I could. I started doing some more Hack the Box. Plans were made to purchase items for my home lab. My final class started in April, and it started to throw my plan under the bus. I spoke with a career counselor who asked me about my career goals. Up to that point, I had stopped really thinking about it. Looking back now, I had already started to feel unmotivated again.
The Right Coaching Can Make a Difference
During my conversation with the career coach, I figured it out. I didn’t really want to get MORE technical, I wanted to get into management. This revelation kind of blew my mind because I don’t think I’d ever considered it before. So, I worked to change my goals around a little bit. I wanted to get a team lead job and start my career in cybersecurity management. I set a new goal of becoming a CISO.
Let’s Look Back And See How I Did
It is important to come back to your goals often. This will serve as a reminder of what you set out to achieve. You also need to set new short term goals as you accomplish them. Let’s go over my goals for 2019 and see what changed.
- Plan and build new home lab – June
- Study and Use Python to write t/s scripts (like my current set of PS scripts) – June
- Study and pass two tests for CCNA Cyber Ops – October
In this category, I wanted to set out to learn more about networking. I signed up for a CCNA Cyber Ops program that I had to back out of. I did learn more scripting early in the year and wrote some more scripts for my work as a Security Consultant. I ended up purchasing monitors for my home lab. As my main goal shifted towards being a CISO, I focused less on technical studies. My new job required me to earn a SAFe Practitioner certification, which I’ll be expanding on in the future.
Complete Master’s degree
- Final class starts – April
- Complete work each week on-time – April through June
- Turn in the final paper early – June
- Apply for graduation – June
I did complete my final class to earn my Master’s degree. I studied endpoint protection software companies like Symantec, McAfee, Webroot, and Carbon Black, to name a few. My final paper compared Signature and Heuristic definitions with Intrusion Prevention Systems, Firewalls, and Application block/allow technology. I learned a lot and completed all of these goals.
Write 12 large articles – Once per month
- Research topics of interest to write about each month – January
- Develop a system for writing – January
- Complete the post about short and long term goals – January 1st
- Reorganize hacking journal – May
- Finish 5 articles for Cybersecurity Roles Series – December
For my website, I pretty much failed. I never did complete a system for developing content. I only posted half of the articles I originally intended and one guest post. Once school started, I completely stopped writing here. I’ve got so many ideas, so much more to give. In 2020, I will not fail again. Here are the posts that did get done:
- 3 Helpful Tips for Short and Long Term Goals – A very helpful and popular post about what goals are and how to set them
- The 5 Cybersecurity Roles You Need To Know About – My most popular post. It breaks down cybersecurity jobs in to easier-to-understand roles.
- 2 Helpful Tips to Being More Organized – My first article dealing with how to be more productive.
- 3 Stories Of Imposter Syndrome And How To Overcome It – A personal piece aimed at shedding light on an issue that many people suffer from within the field.
- 11 Easy Cyber Security Skills You (Probably) Already Have – This post focuses on how you already have the skills required even though you haven’t had a job title with security in it.
- 25 Of The Best Cyber Security Podcasts – This is a compilation of my favorite and/or highly rated podcasts, in alphabetical order. This list will continue to grow as I listen to more.
- What Is It Like To Be a Penetration Tester? – This is a guest post from Dave Collins outlining some points about his work on the job.
Organize time; Be more efficient
- Try Asana – February
- Try Trello – March
- Choose one and build-out schedule – April
Getting organized sounds simple, but it really isn’t I purchased the products to help me out, and it worked. I learned so much about how to schedule time blocks, how to prioritize, and how to be more efficient. My first quarter was great and I did settle in on Trello as my favorite platform. Once school started, it all went out the window. I struggle with everything, and I’m just going back to set myself up for success in 2020.
You Have to Know What You Want First
Like many people in the world, I didn’t know what I wanted. I was in a great job but I wasn’t happy. I thought more technical learning would help but it was the wrong answer. I first had to figure out what it was that I wanted before I could set goals. In my experience, when you try to do everything on your own, all at once, it doesn’t end well.
I Figured It Out, Now What?
As you can see, some goals I got rid of, and others I accomplished. I had to set new ones on the fly as well. My job required me to get certifications, and train in new skills. I will get more into this in a future post as well but suffice to say it wasn’t easy. As my schedule shifted, I couldn’t keep up with my time management practices. By the end of 2019, my habits had gone away and I was back to being inefficient again.
Review of 2019 Goals, Complete.
The end of 2019 is insight, and I did ok. I started the year with a plan based on assumptions, and have fixed that problem. Now that I know where I want to be, I can head into 2020 with a much better plan. I will be posting again soon with my 2020 goals, and a fun story about my new job.