Comparison is the thief of joy
My son shared a great perspective with me today that I wish I had at his age. He shared the Theodore Roosevelt quote, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” If only I had lived by that quote when I started in the field. I’d often hear from my peers and wonder why I wasn’t as far ahead in my career as they were, making me push harder for more money, a higher title, etc. This distracted me from creating a strategic career plan for many years.
I’ve seen a lot of great posts from people who have said there is no right way to get into security, regardless of what some might say. I agree with that, as some of the most talented security professionals I’ve worked with didn’t have what some would consider a traditional pathway. I suggest doing what you enjoy, and your passion will show through. Don’t let others define your path, and don’t compare yourself to others in the field. We all have our journey, and your journey is right for you.
Personal Story – I was chasing everything I thought was important versus what was important. Luckily for me, about ten years into my civilian career (after I got out of the Marine Corps), a manager of mine asked me what I wanted to do to make me content with my career. I replied that I wanted to be a VP. The manager asked me a profound question that made me evaluate my goals. He said, “Paul, what would make you happy if you were to get the VP title?” I replied with a promotion to SVP, and he repeated the question. At that point, I realized that that title wasn’t necessary because I would always chase the higher title and not be satisfied. I re-evaluated what was essential, which totally changed my career path trajectory.
PS – I’m a super proud dad of two remarkable men, so I think everything they do is incredible.