3 New Year’s Resolutions for Budding Privacy Professionals: What you can do to land your dream job in 2022
If you’re looking to make 2022 the year you land your dream job as a privacy professional, you’re in the right place. We’ve gathered data from job advertisements, IAPP webinars, and our own personal experience to develop 3 new year’s resolutions for privacy professionals looking to break into or advance their privacy practice:
New Year’s Resolution 1: Learn To Flex Your Strengths.
Employers and corporate leaders generally are beginning to recognise the immense power of diversity. Diversity in experience prompts diversity in thinking, which drives innovation and creativity. In turn, this tends to result in better products or services, better staff and worker conditions, and increased profits.
What this means for anyone transitioning between careers or just getting started down a career path is that you learning to flex your unique strengths offers incredible valuable to employers. In 2022, you should outline what your unique strengths are as a person and as part of the workforce and then work out how to use them to your benefit.
- Do you care deeply for people? Great, privacy professionals who care for people generate value by providing data subject-centric perspectives, which can help businesses turn privacy into a competitive advantage.
- Are you curious? Learn to channel that curiosity into investigations and you may find that you’re better than the average security professional at unearthing the source of a network or data breach.
- Do you love to talk to others? Excellent, harness those communication skills and learn to speak about privacy in a way that makes sense to all stakeholders, including consumers who know very little about privacy.
New Year’s Resolution 2: Resolve to Network More.
Thanks to social media and other digital tools, networking during a global pandemic can be a relatively stress-free experience. Given that you can now network from the comfort of your couch, commute or anywhere (really), resolving to network more in 2022 makes sense.
Networking increases your visibility, while also helping you stay on top of trends and promoting innovation and collaboration. It also provides increased access to opportunities. Within a strong network, you’ll have increased access to mentors as well as peers and hiring decision makers who may share job opportunities.
Feel free to think outside the box when increasing your network, but here are some common tactics:
- Follow privacy professionals on social media sites, such as Twitter or LinkedIn.
- Share your own thoughts via blog posts, articles, or social media posts. You can create your own posts with your observations or share relevant content (including content from those privacy professionals you follow) alongside your own thoughts on the topic.
- Comment on posts in forums, or create your own discussion groups.
We wrote more comprehensively on developing a strong network of privacy professionals in our privacy career roadmap blog post, which you can read here.
New Year’s Resolution 3: Get Certified.
We attended a recent IAPP LinkedIn Live on the topic of “Breaking into Privacy: Tips for transitioning into privacy from other roles.” Of the four privacy professionals who presented the webinar, two had law degrees, one had an unrelated degree, and one had never attended university. All of them had attained relevant privacy certifications.
Their experience aligns with the findings from our most recent Australian Privacy Jobs Report – September 2021. In it, we highlighted that 55% of all positions advertised in Q3 in privacy required the candidate to be degree qualified, with 44% of those requiring law degrees. The rest were flexible, with Business, IT and related degrees being considered. We also found that an increasing number of roles sought candidates with privacy certifications.
There are several lessons (and resolutions) budding privacy professionals can draw from the webinar and job report:
- If you choose to go to law school, prioritise law schools that have a good privacy program with leading privacy professors. In Australia, you might consider the University of Queensland, Bond University, the University of Sydney, the University of Technology Sydney, the University of Melbourne, and Monash University, amongst others.
- Organisations see the value of privacy professionals with multidisciplinary backgrounds. Attaining a privacy certification demonstrates a passion for and understanding of privacy, which is essential to success in the privacy industry. You should begin to start studying for a privacy certification and/or attend a training course, if you haven’t already.
- Thinking outside the box in terms of your career path is welcomed in the privacy industry – and may be your best way in. There are very few jobs advertised for entry-level privacy positions, particularly outside of consulting law firms. So, think outside the box to get the experience you need to get your foot in the door.
Privacy Certification Training with Privacy 108
To set yourself up to break into privacy in 2022, we highly recommend the IAPP Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) certification. This certification gives you a broad understanding of the fundamentals of developing and maintaining a privacy program. Our next CIPM course is running (online) between 14-17 March 2022: IAPP Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM).
Other certifications to consider are:
- IAPP Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT) – if you are coming from a more technical background. 2nd – 5th May 2022: IAPP Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT): Online Training
- IAPP Certified Information Privacy Professional – Europe (CIPP/E) – if your role will involve understanding and complying with the GDPR. 4th – 6th April 2022: IAPP Certified Information Privacy Professional – Europe (CIPP/E): Online Training
Privacy 108’s certification and informational training courses provided are overseen by lead instructor Dr Jodie Siganto, one of Australia’s foremost privacy experts. She has significant legal experience, but you don’t have to. The courses are designed for lawyers and non-lawyers alike.