It has been five years since I published my first Diary at the SANS Internet Storm Center on the topic of getting more involved in your local community. Now that January is almost over and those new year resolutions you made last month may or may not still be in place, I want to give you a few ideas that can ease your guilt and also serve as a catalyst to help your local community as well.
I serve on the board of a local non-profit organization that has many opportunities to volunteer. I decided to help by offering my technology and information security knowledge to them. I found that this benefits me because it allows me to assess their technology and security needs and provide them with relevant advice. I found the organization benefits by being exposed to ideas and best practices that they might otherwise not be able to afford. I discovered that the act of adding an appointment on my calendar helps me to plan this work. It also helps me to look forward to my time by intentionally collecting questions and ideas in advance of our next meeting.
Why does this matter? I am confident that you will not only feel good about yourself but also stretch yourself by being just a little more comfortable at being uncomfortable. The beneficiary of your expertise will also benefit by learning from what you already know and considering what it would look like to level up their information security posture. You can become more engaged in their local security community by being intentional about scheduling time to serve them. Developing this habit will ensure you are not only a consumer but a contributor as well.
What one thing can you add to your calendar right now that will help both you and another organization?