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CISSP Words of Wisdom From a CIO

Good Morning/Good Afternoon/Good Evening to my CISSP colleagues. Since I am off work today I wanted to share some thoughts reference to preparing for the CISSP certification exam. It has been exceptionally busy at work this last week as I worked 11 days straight.

My study time was minimal due to the demands of being a Chief Information Officer. I am doing incredibly well in my job, better than I ever expected. My faith plays a big role when I am faced with challenges. It is important to note that as we study for a certification, pursuing a degree, or fulfilling the demands in our profession we must be in balance. In other words, you should not sacrifice your family time while being focused on your studies. The challenge is to be in “balance”.

Multitasking is what makes us excellent. Too much of one thing is not good for our health and can destroy personal and professional relationships. Here at home, I have two daughters, ages 9 and 11. I can’t tell you how many times when I am telecommuting, studying my profession, or reading -when my kids come up to me and give me a “hug” –as they want my undivided attention.

The attitude I always take is I stop what I am doing and pay attention to them.

This is also true with my wife. After I spend time with the family, I then go back to my CISSP studies. The good news story is when I am in balance with work, family, and studying for professional certifications I discovered that my mind is more clear and retain more information when I read CISSP publications and taking practice exams. The same was true prior to passing the CompTIA Security + exam last July. The same was true prior to getting my Master of Science in IT last April.

Stay in balance-spend time with your family-do your ” due diligence” at work-be humble and have fun. The CISSP certification is not a race-I would rather be in balance-learn it at my own pace and to IC2 standards and not compare myself with others who achieved it in 4 months, for example. We should not be comparing ourselves with others. We should not be stressing or dreading studying either-have fun studying! Enjoy it!-set a realistic goal based on your other obligations as well.

That is why I am giving myself at least a year of studying before taking the exam. I know many of you worry, “What if I don’t pass?” My answer ” What if you do pass?” Listen, I know many who have failed ” multiple times” the Bar Exam before they became attorneys. I know people who failed the Security + exam more than once.

It’s funny those who failed the bar exam or Security + certification seemed to

be in a rush and out of balance because they were comparing themselves with others or were very prideful. The key is to always be in balance because when you do study in balance your mind is clear-and you are more alert.

Lastly, take care of yourself–eat right-get plenty of exercise and rest. I find when I work out, eat right, and get plenty of rest I am more productive in all things in life. You are all champions! Hug your loved ones–be extraordinary at work, with your spouse, your parents, friends, and all those you associate with everyday.

Remember don’t let your CISSP studies manage you. Conversely, you have the tenacity to manage your path to certification-not the other way around- Be balanced-keep your eye on the playing field–you will make it to your finish line-the key is patience while we are in balance with a ” can do” attitude

–Glenn Axelrod


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