SDL Episode111

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Recorded on May 21, 2019, 2019 at G-Unit Studios in Rhode Island!


  • Russell Beauchemin
    Cybersecurity & Network Security Program Advisor and Director of Instructional Support & Learning Innovation at Roger Williams University.
  • Doug White
    Cybersecurity professor, President of Secure Technology, and Security Weekly network host.
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    Interview: Pamela Fournier, Roger Williams University

    Pamela Fournier is the Security Researcher at Roger Williams University
    I joined the Center for Career & Professional Development team in 2004. During this time, I received my bachelor degree from RWU with a concentration in Psychology and minor in Business Management. I completed internships in both the social service and education fields, volunteered with various non-profits and continuously utilized networking to enhance my career development. As a result, I discovered a passion for helping students and completed my Master of Education in Counseling degree at Providence College. Since then, I have continued to pursue professional development opportunities, becoming certified as a Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF)

    - So, I thought we would just have a discussion about our top 10 mistakes we think people make starting their careers. Now, I have interviewed for a lot of jobs and interviewed a LOT of people for jobs, including some people who were literally chained to the table. Pam, why don't you tell us a little about your background?

    - Russ, how many jobs have you had?

    • True Confession time, I have never been fired. I quit in a rage a couple of times and got "politically shifted" once or twice but I never got fired. Your career is important so get it off to a good start.

    - All right let's get right into it:

    • Mistake #10:Ignoring Corporate Culture. This is not dressing/behaving properly. [Millenial ad]

    • Mistake #9: Not researching. Learn the situation, who are the players, know their names. Make sure you know the faces of everyone you can especially people who are going to hurt you if you make a remark to them in the elevator because you thought they were someone else.

    • Mistake #8: Not Negotiating Salary. C'mon. Haggle for everything. That's one of the things Americans really missed out on. [Famous Monty Python Scene in the Life of Brian]

    • Mistake #7: Failing to ask questions. You don't know everything and no one expects that you do.

    • Mistake #6: Asking too many questions. I didn't hire you so I have to show you how to do everything one step at a time.

    • Mistake #5: Failure to say no. I am not saying to underperform but if you can't say no when someone asks you to do something, pretty soon you will have so much stuff to do that you will start to fail. You shouldn't have to work 110 hours a week doing other people's jobs for them (and they will be happy to let you). That doesn't mean you shouldn't work hard. Be that person that gets it done but don't let people take advantage of you either.

    • Mistake #4: Being above something, like a task. Look, if they ask you to sweep up, get out the damn broom. Don't be a snob. If you are the new person, I don't care how smart you are or think you are, be humble and observe.

    • Mistake #3: Letting your guard down. Look, at some point, they are going to take you out. Don't let idiots pressure you into drinking too much, whatever. You may have to go along with some kind of venture that you aren't really into (and I am NOT talking about harassment or abuse) but you have to stay in control. Don't drink (or at least drink really slowly). Remember, there are always tattle tales. Always. People think they will score points with the manager by talking about your bad behavior.

    • Mistake #2: Don't bring your personal life into work. I realize you can't stop your crazy ex from showing up at the office screaming and throwing coffee on the bosses painting done by their spouse but try, really, try.

    • Mistake #1: Taking Criticism Personally. [Talk about forensics class] Some people aren't the most tactful and not everyone is as sensitive to the human condition as others. Some people have almost no empathy for humans. Don't get bullied but you can't let a negative review end your career because you are now sulking in the break room all the time. We've all had that feeling and we have all had that negative feedback that was very hard to take. But you need to use it, improve it, and make it work. Don't turn into the complainer.

    Pam's tips:

    • Use career centers early and often
    • Network as much as possible
    • Tailor application material to the job
    • Find a mentor

    Doug's Additional Tips:

    • Make sure all your work is spotless (spellcheck, proofread, make sure it is good)
    • Know your management team, really
    • Network, network, network and remember that networking can be negative if you are terrible at it