My Journey Into (ICT) Cybersecurity, Chapter 1

womencssociety
Posted April 19, 2019 from Canada
Desktop computer circa 1995
A typical workstation from the day, 1995.

A cold dreary day in December of 1995, I was working at a school board office as a janitor.  A board director who often worked late apparently took notice of how clean I kept the facility.  One evening he said to me, "You pay close attention to detail".  I replied, "Oh, thank you.  Why do you say that?". 

He went on to tell me about a new program he was teaching as a Novell Certified Network Engineer and he felt I'd be a good candidate for the training. He told me how the industry needs more network engineers because the Internet and networks were growing but there weren't enough skilled people to fill the available jobs.  He said, you'd have to take an aptitude test and if I passed he'd pass along my application.  Within two days, I had passed the test and my application was accepted.  Serenpidity has stepped in and my world expanded into a universe of ICT and network security.  

That decision wasn't easy!  It meant I had a few weeks to pack a house and move hundreds of miles away from my immediate family with a young daughter and husband who didn't work or support me.  But I was determined, I was going regardless.  I knew in my heart if I stayed, I'd end up stuck with limited economic opportunities and become depressed working my three jobs to makes ends meet. 

Within a year I had completed all the training modules and received certification.  Never before or ever again have I experienced a full-on baptism by fire like training.  You'd have to take the training to understand what it was like back then.  There were ten of us in the class and we were eating, breathing and dreaming networks.  When it was over I had landed a job working with the RCMP and I was thrilled!  My future was set and I was on my way!

However, fate, life whatever you want to call it, stepped in and changed the trajectory I had envisioned.  All wasn't lost but little did I know how hard and difficult my road to cybersecurity would be.

This story was submitted in response to Girls in ICT Day.

Comments 5

Log in or register to post comments
Corine Milano
Apr 19
Apr 19

Wow - this is a fantastic story! How awesome that this man recognized your strengths and potential - and even more amazing that you jumped at the opportunity to take the aptitude test, and then took such a huge leap to pave the way for your career. I am eagerly awaiting part 2 to learn what happened next.

womencssociety
Apr 19
Apr 19

Hi Corine,

I'm happy to hear you enjoyed reading my story. It wasn't easy as you read Chapter 2 to understand some of the challenges I faced. But I made it and that's the most important thing.

Never give up on your dreams! More importantly, never let anyone keep you down! Others will try but it's up to the human spirit to never give up!

Jill Langhus
Apr 20
Apr 20

Hi Lisa,

Thanks again for sharing your inspiring story. Good luck with your story submission:-)

womencssociety
Apr 20
Apr 20

Thanks so much Jill! :)

Jill Langhus
Apr 21
Apr 21

You're very welcome, dear:-)