Soft Skills

This seems to be a buzz word nowadays.  I was listening to a podcast earlier today done by (http://www.brakeingsecurity.com/ | https://twitter.com/brakesec) about breaking into the security field and mentioned several times was soft skills.  If you get along with people, it makes sense that they would want to hire you right?  It encompasses your ability to communicate effectively with the people around you.  You need to be able to be professionally friendly with them, you need to be able to speak about issues at work, or personal issues to some extent with your supervisor if you need time off.  Finally, you have to have the ability to treat customers with respect whether or not they deserve it.  A professional appearance varies, and you can choose where you apply to work (some a collared shirt and jeans is acceptable, others fancy pants or skirt and a buttoned down shirt and or blouse).  You don’t have to be the perfect social butterfly, but feeling comfortable to open up a little to co-workers can go a long way towards building a better working relationship.

Being able to write is a part of communication.  A security researcher has to explicitly explain all the details of what they found, how they found it, where they found it, etc.  A security analyst has to do much of the same, except they might have to know how to translate tech to the common user.  A security consultant has to be able to sell themselves, their company, and their products.  Working on a help desk you have to be able to talk over the phone or in chat boxes effectively to users who may not understand what they are talking about.  Listening is an important skill that I struggle with sometimes as well.

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