Always be learning

Well, I guess I’ll put my thoughts on page once again. This time, I’ll do a little rant on my fears and goals regarding my profession and on what is waiting for me in 2024.

Goal #1: Learn more

My primary fear is not learning enough. Not knowing enough. Becoming obsolete. Last few months have been difficult in terms of learning, but I found that when it comes to my work, I can either learn or teach/perform. Sure, I can learn while I have to prepare for a project, but lately, those situations have been few and far between. As mentioned, I have been stuck in a single project, but it’s like exhaling for a long period of time. At some point, the breath gives out and I have to inhale, i.e. relax and prepare for a next bout.

Goal #2: Rest between bouts

I found out I’m the same way in martial arts, caring little for resting in the middle of combat. I just pommel until I can’t even keep my arms up, and afterwards it goes just about as well as you’d expect. I get the shit kicked out of me. In 2024, I should learn to take a break, exhale, even during a project, even if for a few hours.

Goal #3: Try new hobbies outside of my comfort zone

If you’ve been following my Mastodon account, you may notice I started baking. In the next year, I’d like to work on my kalokagathos and step out of my comfort zone. Just today, I have tried looking at ways to sketch, from a reasonably simple explanation and simple lessons I can work on. The only hurdle now seems to ingest this information and put in the work. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but with my tendency to hop from subject to subject, I may focus on a hobby for a while, then hop over to something else. As with pentesting at my stage, it’s “jack of all trades, master of none.”

Security focus in 2024

I am looking forward to next year, since I will be moving to a new company. They have rather big shoes to fill in terms of good friends and helpful colleagues, but I hope to learn all I can in the coming months and years. Social engineering has helped me a lot in finding this employment, staying cool under pressure was not much of an issue (as far as I can tell myself), but there were several points where my friends’ tips helped me greatly (Thanks, Jenny, for that short chat a few years ago!)

But to become better, I need to shadow people. I will have to put aside my feeling of “I don’t want to bother that person” and just ask when something is not clear, however dumb it may seem to me. It’s a new job, a new way of working, after all, so questions and learning the lay of the land is important. I will make this an adventure game rather than a new chore. What I was told would be my bread and butter seems like a great way to spend my time.

Sometime next week, I will have to write a letter to say bye to my soon-to-be former colleagues. It will be a hard message to write, but I hope it will say all I wanted to say. I may write several, actually, one for each of my closest colleagues and friends, and one for the entire company. Both will include easter eggs and hidden jokes, of course, but I can’t show my cards all at once (who knows, perhaps some of my colleagues are reading this, in which case, fuck you, wait for your e-mail!)

In closing

2024 will be a difficult year for me. There will be so much to learn, so much to unlearn, and quite a few changes to look forward to. It will be a challenge, but I want to be the very best, and that means constantly getting better at my humble trade.

I have no clue what the next blogpost should be like, but I can assure you it will be the same style as everything else. Shitty, long-winded, and basically not useful to anyone, not even me. You think I read my own blog? Not yet. In ten, twenty years, I may look back and see how dumb I was, but probably not.