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How To Level Up Your Data Privacy Career
Episode 335th July 2022 • Privacy Pros Podcast • The King of Data Protection - Jamal Ahmed
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Renowned Privacy Leader with over 15 years of experience reveals the secrets to a successful career pivot!

Hi, my name is Jamal Ahmed and I'd like to invite you to listen to this special episode of the #1 ranked Data Privacy podcast.

In this episode you'll discover:

  • The best way to instantly stand out in the Data Privacy Industry
  • What it takes to be a Data Protection Officer
  • The Privacy Officer Blueprint to thrive as a privacy officer anywhere in the world!

and so much more!

Samara is a results-oriented strategic privacy leader, lawyer and consultant who leverages operational privacy leadership experience into practical strategies for program and project success.

Samara is the founder and managing partner of INQ Consulting and partner at INQ Law. Under one umbrella, they have the deep experience and broad expertise to help companies stay ahead of emerging data challenges.

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Follow Jamal on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kmjahmed/

Connect with Samara on LinkedIn: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/samara-starkman

Learn more about The Privacy Officer Blueprint: https://www.inq.consulting/privacyofficerblueprint

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Transcripts

Intro:

Are you ready to know what you don't know about Privacy Pros? Then you're in the right place.

Intro:

Welcome to the Privacy Pros Academy podcast by Kazient Privacy Experts. The podcast to launch progress and explore sell your career as a privacy pro.

Intro:

Hear about the latest news and developments in the world of privacy.

Intro:

Discover fascinating insights from leading global privacy.

Intro:

Professionals, and hear real stories and top tips from the people who've been where you want to get to.

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We're an official IAPP training partner.

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We've trained people in over 137 countries and counting.

Intro:

So whether you're thinking about starting a career in data privacy or you are an experienced professional, this is the podcast for you.

Jamilla:

Hi, everyone, and welcome to the Privacy Pros Academy podcast. My name is Jamilla, and I'm a data privacy analyst at Kazient Privacy Experts. I'm primarily responsible for conducting research on current and upcoming legislation, as well as any key developments and decisions by supervisory authorities. With me today is my co-host is Jamal Ahmed, fellow of Information Privacy and CEO, Academy privacy experts. He is an established and comprehensively qualified privacy professional with a demonstrable track record solving enterprise-wide data privacy and data security challenges for SMEs through complex global organizations. To date, he has provided privacy and GDPR compliance solutions to organizations across six continents and in over 30 jurisdictions and to safeguard the personal data of over a billion data subjects worldwide. Hi, Jamal.

Jamal:

Hi, Jamilla. How's it going?

Jamilla:

I'm good, thank you. How are you?

Jamal:

You can probably hear how happy I am today because we've got a special guest today who is just as passionate about helping people become the best they can when it comes to being a worldwide privacy professional. So tell us more about our guest.

Samara:

Yes.

Jamilla:

So with us today is Samara Starkman, who is a results oriented strategic privacy leader, lawyer, and consultant who leverages operational privacy leadership experience into practical strategies for program and project success. Samara is the founder and managing partner of INQ Consulting and a partner at INQ Law. Under one umbrella, they have the deep experience and broad expertise to help companies stay ahead of emerging data challenges. Welcome, Samara. Thank you so much.

Samara:

It's nice to be here. Thanks for having me.

Jamal:

Great to have you.

Jamilla:

And as we always do on the Privacy Pros podcast, we start off with an icebreaker question. What is your New Year's resolution?

Samara:

. So I have some big goals in:

Jamal:

I love that goal. I'm a bit like you. I don't make resolutions, but I have areas that I choose to focus on. And this year I've chosen to focus on health. Well, for most of last year, I made some poor choices in terms of putting convenience over nutritional value with eating, choosing how I spend my time rather than focusing on my health. So this year for me is a big push on health. What about you, Jamilla?

Jamilla:

Oh, you're going to be happy about this one, Jamal. It's to give up energy drinks.

Jamal:

All right, awesome.

Jamilla:

Because I am not a coffee or tea drinker. So if I'm feeling tired, I will reach for a Red Bull. And Jamal's always telling me off for that.

Samara:

I don't think I could live without affeine. I don't know. That's a big one.

Jamilla:

Well, I'm taking it in. Baby steps. I've stopped the energy drinks, but I'm still allowing myself like a Pepsi Max if I feel sluggish and I'll go down from there, I think.

Jamal:

Isn't there any natural fruit that gives us these boosts as well. I'm sure there must be.

Jamilla:

I'm sure there must be.

Samara:

It’s not the caffeine, it's the sugar.

Jamal:

I think if you're listening, and you are somebody who knows about all of these nutritional drinks, what can we drink that's going to give us the same boost as coffee? Naturally. Let us know.

Jamilla:

And also to finish my PhD. But you know, the fizzy drinks one is more in my mind at the moment.

Jamal:

All the best of your goals, and I know you're going to do great.

Jamilla:

I hope so. Right, let's go on to the privacy questions. So first up, Samara, what attracted you to a career in privacy?

Samara:

Like a lot of people, back when I started, I sort of fell into it, and I was hired to run the privacy department of multimillion dollar healthcare agency here in Ontario. And I didn't really know about privacy, actually, so I was really excited about the challenge of learning about it and making privacy business friendly. So that was really why I was brought in as my knowledge of integrating compliance and law into business processes. So I was attracted from there to really the variety of projects and people I get to help in integrating compliance and responsible innovation into everything that they do. So once I started learning about it, I just fell in love with the work and the app profession and the content, and it's sort of history from there.

Jamal:

One thing you mentioned that Samara was making privacy business friendly. It's not often that we come across people who get that concept. It is very refreshing when you do come across it. I think this is probably one of the reasons why we get along so well. Why is it important to make privacy business friendly?

Samara:

I think too often people are afraid of privacy or they use it as sort of that I can't do this because of privacy. But when you actually know what the law is and what best practices are, there's actually a lot that can be done. You could do everything you want to do. Essentially, it's just a matter of figuring out a fine way to do it. And so sometimes, and what I've often talked to business people about is, this isn't necessarily going to be the way that you decided to get there, but let's talk about your goals and make sure that we find a way for you to achieve them in a way that is compliant. So what we're often looking at is people being afraid to do anything with data. And that hinders the ability to innovate, it hinders the ability to help people in healthcare or other fields. And so I really find it important to get out there the message that privacy should not be a barrier to any of those things, and nobody goes into privacy to hinder innovation.

Jamal:

Absolutely. I love that approach. And I think that's one of the reasons that we've actually been able to win some of the awards is taking that pragmatic approach. And too many often we come across businesses who have previously spoken to somebody else or they've been told internally, you can't do this. But that's not the approach. As a privacy professional, your job isn’t to say what they can't do. Your job is to say, how can we do this respectfully? How can we find a way of doing this compliantly? Protecting the reputation of the business, but building and cultivating that trust, inspiring that confidence and using data. And now there's competitions for like, privacy enhancing technology and stuff. So who we, who are any of us are standing in the way of that? Our job is to find the most pragmatic approach and help the business move forward.

Samara:

Yeah, I completely agree. And I think you used a really important word there, which is trust. I think all of it is about building trust. And ten years ago, I was beating the drum of this is good for your business, customers will want this. And with time that has come along and I think we're seeing more of that in businesses are being more aware that this is something that consumers want, patients want. And it really is about trust. It is about trust in your business and trust in your products and services.

Jamilla:

Do you think there's any mistrust that goes on between maybe businesses and privacy? Maybe because of lack of understanding, maybe they're a bit frightened from things like the ICO and regulatory bodies.

Samara:

In Europe you certainly have a lot more teeth behind some of the penalties than we do here in Canada, which is trying to change. So there may be some fear of penalties, litigation, class actions and that sort of thing might drive some of the hesitancy around the use of data. I think a lot of it is just not knowing and kind of thinking I can't use this for privacy purposes, when in fact it is very permissible in a lot of different ways to use data. Do you find that as well in your practice?

Jamal:

nd if we're going back around:

Samara:

Absolutely. And I think that is for both of our firms, one of the differentiators, and we are lawyers, a lot of INQ, not all of us, but many of us are lawyers, but we've also been on that other side. So having work in house as a privacy consultant and leader of a privacy program, we do understand what that looks like on the ground. And I think that is such an important piece of information that you just provided is the operational side is really important to understand. It isn't just about what is that black letter of the law, it is about what are you doing and what are you doing to demonstrate due diligence. And some of this is not even legal, right? I mean, some of this is just its best practice. It's good for your business because you're being transparent. And as we said earlier, it engenders trust with your customers or your patients. It goes back to also the idea of where does privacy sit in your organization? It can sit in legal or in IT or under a CIO or be on its own. And so there's a different organization certainly approach it in a different way.

Jamal:

Absolutely.

Jamilla:

Samara, you mentioned maybe in Europe we've got a bit more kind of force behind privacy. So what's the privacy landscape in Canada? Is it more similar to what's going on in the US or more similar to Europe?

Samara:

So it's a little bit of in between. In Canada, we have an overarching private sector privacy law. People pronounce differently PIPEDA. If there are laws in provinces that have been deemed substantially similar, then those laws will apply. Otherwise, it is overarching PIPEDA law that applies to the private sector. There are laws for the federal government and then there are provincial privacy laws as well. And in some provinces there are health data specific laws as well. It's a bit of a patchwork, but at the same time it's jurisdictional and sectoral, whereas in the States you've got a little bit more of the sectoral and the jurisdictional, and there's just so many more laws. But ultimately in Canada, everything has to come back to being substantially similar to that overarching federal law. So it has kind of the ten fair information privacy principles that are the governing principles of every law in Canada. So it's a little bit different in that sense. So whatever province you're in, is the law that's applicable to you or your business. And if you're operating across Canada, there are different laws that could apply depending on what your business is and a number of different factors. So it's a little bit of an in between the US and Europe, which is very common for Canada to be that in between.

Jamilla:

It sounds a lot more simple than what's going on in the states, at least to a bit of a layman like myself.

Samara:

It is. For here there's a lot of businesses that do try to operate Pan Canadian, particularly in the healthcare space. And it is a challenge because there are different laws that need to be complied with. However, it is not as complex as it is in the state. So you're absolutely right.

Jamilla:

Well, something that could make privacy laws a bit more straightforward, your course, the privacy officer blueprint. Can you tell us a bit more about it?

Samara:

Thank you for mentioning it. So the privacy officer blueprint is not about the laws. And I think what I've realized over the past ten years is that there's a lot of information out there about the law. You can take a number of different courses and you can take Jamal's course or different privacy laws throughout the world. But what I haven't been able to find and what I was looking for ten years ago when I started in privacy was what my job is. And throughout the world, privacy officers tend to have the same or very similar role in their organization. The law may change, but what you're doing as a privacy officer and what your role is, is the same, it's pretty similar. So what I've done is put together a course that teaches you the how, not so much the what. So this is why Jamal and I come together so nicely in complimenting one another's courses, because you need to learn both. You have to understand what you need to comply with, but you also need to know how do you evaluate compliance for your organization? How do you know what your role is even in your organization? How is your organization evaluating risk as it pertains to privacy? What this course does is really teach you that how along with others. And it is a hands-on practical approach rather than just a lecture from me about what you have to do.

Jamal:

Yeah, I remember speaking to you, I think it was last year we spoke about this, and you were telling me about all of the plans you have and what's led you to create this course in such a comprehensive way. And the thing that I loved about it so much and I said, you have to come and share this with people on the podcast. So every one of our listeners has the opportunity to think about whether this is right for them is because, just like our Privacy Pros accelerator program, which we limit to only three people three times a year, your one is actually accessible to a few more people than that, and people can come on and say, I think you go over it over a number of weeks. So it's not just come and someone's going to read slides to you. It's Samara and her team will work with you week by week and week by week you build on that pragmatic that practical experience. You have a community of other people that are going through this process with you, and you all develop together, and you develop a really strong bond with those people, and they're there to help each other out. And all of these people will have different backgrounds, different experiences, different industries. And when you share best practice across those ideas, you're going to come up with some really great ideas on how to solve those challenges pragmatically. Samara who is this course right for? What kind of people should come on?

Samara:

This course is really for anybody who is unsure about what their role is. If you're in privacy, you want to get into privacy, but you want to be able to demonstrate that you have some understanding of what that role is and what you need to do. This is for you, right? Are you looking for just to level up, understand? Am I doing it right? Are there other things I could be doing within my privacy program right now? But what I've also found is that there are so many people right now who want to get into privacy. It is a booming field, and for those of us who have privacy companies, we want to hire people who know something about privacy as well. And so this course is a little bit selfish in some ways, because I really want it also to be able to get people out there who we can hire and who you can hire, and get people out there and ready for the workforce. So combining not only that understanding of what is what is the law, but once I get in to a privacy job, I can hit the ground running because I know what my role is. Thank you for talking about that community aspect of this course. You're absolutely right. The way that we structured it, it's a four week course. There's an optional lecture once a week, really the background content, which will also be posted so people can always refer to it, and will have access to that. Once a week. We also get together as a cohort, and we go through real life examples. So there'll be assignments that you take away and try in your everyday life if you don't already have that. We have scenarios that you can work on, and then we come back and talk and learn from one another through interacting and through real life experience around what has happened as we've tried to solve those problems and create the deliverables. So we're going to actually work very hands on and support one another through that interaction and create a community that we can lean on each other. And often what I found is through these cohorts and communities that you go on to support one another later on, you have the sounding board of people who understand what you're going through. We'll have a Slack community as well, and every Friday we have office hours, so people can just come in, ask questions, come for a coffee and chat, whatever it is. And so there's quite a bit of access, and then there'll be tools and templates that everyone will walk away with, able to use going forward in their privacy programs.

Jamal:

Wow, that sounds amazing.

Samara:

Thank you. I'm really excited about it. I think this has been ten years in the making, and really, it's the course I wish I had. I wish I actually had courses like yours, to be honest, outside of the IAPP. I mean, I know yours is an IAPP certification preparation course, is that right?

Jamal:

So we have two types of programs. So we've got the IAPP mentoring program. So you can come and do the CIPPE, CIPM, and CIPT official training and certification with us, but we also have the Privacy Pros Accelerator program, which is like my signature program. And just like you, it's what I wish I had when I first started my career as a privacy professional. And we basically have five pillars that we take people through. So the first thing we focus on is the mindset. It's very important that people start off with the right mindset, so we can build some strong foundations. Now, oftentimes I find people who have been a bit demoralized have been told no, and they've developed a bit of a fixed mindset where they believe that they either have talent or they don't. They're either intelligent or they're not. Rather than if they make the effort, they can be and have everything they set their mind to. So we really strip everything down, get away from any negative decisions, any self-limiting beliefs, and we spill them back up with the growth mindset, the mindset of a positive and empowered professional. Once you've got the mindset, the next thing we build on is the subject matter expertise. This is where we actually focus in depth on what the General Data protection Regulations actually say, what it means, and what that means in practice once they've gone through the subject matter expertise, the third principle is credibility, right? So the first principle deals with the actual attitude. The second principle, the subject matter expertise, that deals with the actual confidence and the clarity and the competence. And the third one deals with clarity. So that's where we put them through one of the IAPP certification programs. It is seen as the gold standard, especially in Europe, and therefore, anyone who's serious about doing well as a privacy professional needs to attain that professional certification. So we put them through the official IAPP, CIPPE mentoring and help them get in that certification. The fourth step is a little bit similar to what you cover in your four weeks is all of the how to do the stuff, right? How do you do a data protection impact assessment, how do you do data mapping? How do you put together a record of processing activities? How do you respond to all of these subject access requests? And how do you create a privacy notice in a way that is actually clear and concise and that anybody who reads it would understand without going through ten pages of legal text? And then finally, the final pillar is how do we bring all of that together and help you to really push forward your personal branding? How do we make sure that you are magnetically attracting opportunities to you through your CV, through your LinkedIn, through your activities, through the way you communicate, through the way you network? And so we really give them the full, comprehensive package. And people who have been through this program, they've changed their lives. So we've got people who have come they were previously driving Ubers without any professional experience. They've come through the program, changed their lives. Some people have doubled their salaries. Others have had 30% shift in income. But the most important thing everyone gets through going through the program is they feel that passion, that zeal for privacy. They feel confident within themselves, and they're ready to conquer the world. And when they do transform or they do change roles, and all of them actually end up changing roles. They actually see they've got a lot more responsibility, they have a lot more freedom in their lives. So ultimately they're not only just wealthier, but they're also much more happier and they have so much more freedom to do the things that matter most to them.

Samara:

That's wonderful great comprehensive package. And there's some overlap, but I think that's such a nice compliment as far as we won't go into depth as much into DPIA, but those are other courses that we sort of offer on their own. So through DPIAs or PIAs here, Privacy Impact Assessments, what does that look like and what do you need to do through another course? This is the privacy management program. So looking at even a step back into that broader view of what is it that I need to do to look at the entire program, audit it on an ongoing basis, and make sure that it's successful. So it's actually incredibly complimentary and it's wonderful to hear the success stories that you've shared as well.

Jamal:

Yeah, and I'm just grateful to be privileged enough to have a small part in those people's lives as they transform their journeys. And I think just coming back to how these courses complement each other, some people might be thinking, hey, you're both talking about courses, I'd love to sign up both of them. Which one is right for me? So look, if you want to know and work in the actual privacy and the nittygritty, and you want that subject matter expertise, the legalities of it, then you should consider one of our IAPP certifications. Or if you have twelve weeks and you really want to be an elite world class professional, and if you have the space, join the accelerator program. But if you're someone who is thinking, hey, I want to actually be on the privacy program, I want to understand how all of it comes together, all of the different elements of it, then that's why you should really consider Samara's program. And both of them actually come together to give you that full comprehensive package. And that's why we're both here to speak to you about the different programs that we have. So you are aware of the opportunities that are available to you so you can be the best privacy professional you can be and ultimately have a thriving career, one that you truly deserve.

Samara:

Absolutely. In Canada and the US. The IAPP is also that gold standard certification that people are looking at, and certainly the European CIPPE, regardless of where you are, is an incredibly valuable certification.

Jamal:

Absolutely.

Jamilla:

I think all of our listeners will be signing up to both courses. You've both made them, sold them really well.

Jamal:

Unfortunately, it's by application only, so we have to make sure they are the right fit for us.

Jamilla:

Very true.

Jamal:

They have to make sure that they're the right fit for the program.

Jamilla:

Very true. We will put links to the courses in our description. Samara, tell us a bit about starting your own consultancy and how was that process?

Samara:

e it's just starting again in:

Jamilla:

Jamal, can you relate to what Samara was saying about starting her consultancy?

Jamal:

Starting at a consultancy was about being able to provide top quality service to small and medium sized enterprises. One of the challenges I found was a lot of these businesses were asking lots of questions to myself and my colleagues, but they couldn't access the top level of service without going to the big four or without going to a good law firm, and it just wasn't financially viable for them. So I wanted to make sure that people get access to world class premium advice and solutions at a price that they can afford, with the comprehensive understanding of what it takes to run multinational companies. And for me, it was about making sure that we are coming back to all of these smaller medium enterprises that actually are the heartbeat of society. Because without these businesses, I don't think we would have the conveniences, we would have the great trades people, we would have the healthcare, we would have most of the stuff that I need to do is done by a small and medium sized business to live most of my life. Yes, we have Google and Gmail to write our emails and stuff, but when I'm going outside, when I need somebody to come and help me, when I need to go shopping to the local shop, its these kinds of businesses that need the help. And I wanted to make sure that they have an opportunity to get that level of service because they care about their reputation just as much as the big companies, if not more. They care about their customers probably more than some of the larger companies because they have direct relationships. And for me, it was about facilitating businesses that want to safeguard their reputation wise, inspiring confidence and building that trust so they can maximize their income and also maximize the impact they have on society as well.

Samara:

Absolutely, and we take the exact same approach. So for us, we found here that there are big law firms and there are big consulting firms that are providing similar service. But if you really want to be able to have that premium quality service as you talked about without necessarily paying those prices, we really are that choice. And small and medium sized businesses need to be able to access the same quality as the large businesses. And that really is I agree that it is the heartbeat of everything that makes the world run. We're a small and medium sized business, so we can fully understand what that looks like. We're a small business, I guess, that is growing into medium and hopefully large. What you're talking about is also completely aligned with the way that we operate at INQ. Both in law and in consulting. We also just find that data is all we do. That is our main focus and it is all we think about is privacy and cybersecurity. And so being able to have that lens all the time is going to give you a different level than a generalist. Let's say that focus is a huge differentiator as well.

Jamal:

Yeah, absolutely. And I think that's probably why we get on so well isn’t it Samara?

Samara:

Absolutely. Yeah, it's very, very similar in terms of the way that we have grown our businesses and the focus that we take and the care that we take with our clients absolutely aligned.

Jamilla:

Samara, what do you look for when you're hiring in privacy? I think a lot of our listeners are maybe looking to get jobs in the field, maybe it's their first job. So what do you look for when you're hiring?

Samara:

What we look for is combination of things. I'm looking for somebody who is passionate about the area, so I want to know that they are inquisitive, that they're excited about innovating, responsibly. Right. This isn't about learning. We are an organization that is about being entrepreneurial. It's about being inquisitive and interested. And I keep saying inquisitive because even our name, INQ is from inquisitive. That is one of our core values. So yes, some experience can be helpful. It really depends on the level. But what I'm looking for is somebody who is going to show that they have the capacity to learn and the interest to learn and excitement for the industry and the area. You really can't teach those things. So I can train somebody on the content. What I can't train them on is their passion. So that's really what we look for when we hire. Jamal, do you have anything to add that you would look for?

Jamal:

The recipe for hiring is three things. Number one is we look for attitude, right? And I think attitude is more important than some of the other stuff that people can be trained on because you can't give someone the right attitude. But the attitude is amazing. And I actually wrote a post yesterday about one of my colleagues on the team and she reached out to me on LinkedIn for a role that she didn't have any experience for. When I interviewed her, what I found was that she actually had the right attitude. She was willing to succeed, and she took on board the feedback very well because I very bluntly told her, Jamilla will tell you how blunt I am. I bluntly told her how she doesn't actually qualify for the role and she took that feedback on board and she came back with a lot of resilience and she showed me that she was determined to succeed. And I was like, you know what, I love the attitude. And from hiring so many people and working with people and having to let people go, one of the things I realized is, that is the attitude that you look for in somebody who is going to be very strong on the team. Now, six months later, she's actually managing the team we hired her for. She's running that department now and I'm spending more time and more investing in more of her training so that she can become a better professional and really help us to serve our clients better as well. So attitude is the most important thing for me. The second thing I look for is competence, right? So how competent can they actually do the job that they've signed up to do? And the third thing I look for is cultural fit. So how are they going to get along with the rest of the team? Some people are bridging out what they do, but if they can't get along, if they don't have the people skills, if they don't have the communication skills, then they're not going to get on and it's not going to gel well. Well, they're not going to enjoy it. The rest of the team might be impacted detrimentally. So therefore, we need to make sure there's a cultural fit. And one of the things I teach people on my accelerated program is coming back to what you said Samara is employers recruiters, hiring managers they are looking for somebody who is passionate about this industry, who is passionate about what they're going to do. But you don't know this person. You don't know their friends; you don't know what they do in their free time. How do you perceive who is passionate and who isn't? So what most people will do is go and look at their LinkedIn profile. Go and look through the LinkedIn activity. And when they come through those activities, if they see that you're engaging in privacy discussion, if they see you're posting your opinions, if they see you're posting your thoughts, if they see you've attended certain events and you're speaking on privacy, they're going to be convinced that you are someone who is passionate about it. And if he wasn't passionate about it, why would you come on LinkedIn and post it? Right. 90% of people on LinkedIn are silent consumers. They just look, 10% of those people will actually like something, write a comment, and only 1% of people on LinkedIn will actually create content. And when you start creating content in the field that you're passionate about, whether it's privacy or anything else, you are saying to recruiters, you are saying to hiring managers, I am somebody who is serious about my profession. I'm somebody who is passionate about this, and you need to have a think about why you can't afford not to have me on your team.

Samara:

That's absolutely right. I completely agree. I think some of the things that we look for when we're talking about passion and attitude is certainly a part of that. But as you mentioned, that resilience and willingness to learn is a huge part of it as well when we're looking at hiring. So LinkedIn is definitely one place that we would look to see, is this person genuine in their passion or is it just for this interview that we're talking about it? Have they taken courses? Are they attending seminars? Have they done an IT certification? What have they done to demonstrate a passion? And certainly LinkedIn is of those areas that we would consider as a source of evidence.

Jamal:

Yeah, absolutely. And I think this is one of the reasons why we're both so passionate about our delivering courses is because we want to support and help people who are interested in supporting themselves, people who know they're worth investing in. Sometimes I get people that say, hey, I would love to do your course, but my employer is not willing to pay for it. So I say, okay, why do you want to do the course? And they'll be like, oh, because I want to get more pay. I want to get more responsibility. I want to develop my career. So I say to them, well, if your employee is not willing to support you, why are you not willing to invest in yourself? Why should somebody else invest in your training, invest in your professional development? If you yourself don't think that you're a bet worth taking unless and until you decide to show some commitment and investment to yourself. I don't see why anyone else should commit to training you.

Samara:

Right. And I guess that's the mindset piece right that you also teach in your course. So, absolutely you have to be willing to invest in your future in order to demonstrate to anyone else that it is the future you want. Right. It isn't just a matter of asking for it and you're going to get it. So I completely agree. I think that's a really good point. Yeah.

Jamal:

And it's that commitment showing that, yes, I'm committed, I'm committing in myself. So if I'm committed to growing and investing and learning, then if you want to have me on your team and you support me with that, imagine how much of a great return on investment you're going to get and how much value I can bring to your organization and all of your clients as well. And that's really what I'm looking for when I'm growing my team. I wanted to mention something there, and I'm not sure how this is for you guys in Canada, but here in the UK, I come across at least three times a day, I get messages from people who have done academic training in law. So they would have gone to university, done some kind of a law degree, then done a postgraduate, maybe an LLM in law, and they end up stuck because they can't actually get the career or hit the career goals that they dreamt of. And it's not their fault they've been told all this time, go to university, invest in all these qualifications, when you come out, Harvey's going to be waiting for you to hire him for your firm. Right. And it doesn't actually happen. And what they find is that often doing the same kind of entry level roles as anyone else who's just graduated, sometimes people who don't even have these professionals academic qualifications, and they're really frustrating and stuck and they can't see a way out. And for those people who have actually started to think about it, they found that privacy, getting a professional certification and privacy is the way forward and it's actually helping them to really leapfrog everybody else and really have a thriving career. Not only are they able to get the meaningful role they're looking for, they're getting the challenge thereafter. These people love challenge. They didn't do a postgraduate degree because they want to be bored. Right. So they love challenge. So they're getting challenged from privacy because of how fascinating it is and how it's always evolving. They've got the financial reward that they've been waiting for and the one they deserve all this time and they're actually doing something that is meaningful and rewarding.

Samara:

Yeah. I get those messages as well from lawyers and non-lawyers alike. How do I move forward in my privacy career? How do I start a privacy career, and certainly, as we just talked about, with demonstrating your passion, demonstrating your interest, having those certifications, taking a course like mine that will show people I can hit the ground running, those are absolutely the things that are going to take you from that entry level position up ahead. It's always about looking for what is going to set me apart from the others and how do I show employers that I am, in fact, not only interested, but I'm learning and growing and that I'm a continuous learner. Because really, things are always evolving in privacy. We are always evolving laws and regulations, and we have to stay on top of that. So if you're not willing to learn and be a continuous learner, then privacy is probably not for you. It is a constantly changing and evolving area. So that is definitely something that I will advise, so you can differentiate and be willing to be humble, admit what you don't know and admit that what you're interested in learning.

Jamilla:

Great tips and good tips for any kind of sector to keep learning. Our final question, we always get our guests to ask Jamal a question, and it could be anything professional, personal, anything you'd like to ask him.

Samara:

So, Jamal, we talked about a little bit about why you started your own consulting business, but what drove you to get into privacy itself and in the first place?

Jamal:

That's a great question, and I talk more about this in the first season on episode one and episode three of the podcast. But privacy for me, gave me an opportunity to really make a difference. And going back to why privacy is important, one of the things I'm really passionate about is standing up for people's rights. And privacy, especially in Europe, we've seen as a basic human right. And I could see how big tech and how a lot of organizations were actually not behaving the way they should be and violating people's trust with the information they were collecting, especially in the early days. And I saw that I could actually come and make a difference because one of the things I found I was really good at was explaining things to businesses in a way where it makes sense for them. Previously, when people were talking to compliance or the different business areas were talking to people from this kind of legal compliance risk area, it was always like, man, those guys stay away from them. Just give them one worded answer, only answer if they ask you a question. And they thought that we was always here to kind of get them in trouble or tell them what they can't do. But then they saw me come in with this really refreshing attitude and say, hey, what are your goals? What do you guys want to do? Okay, let me see how I can help you with that. And they went, okay, he's talking about how he's going to help us. He's actually got some great ideas, and it was just like, you know what? If I can help organizations, enterprises, imagine how much more I could help small and medium sized businesses. And one of the things that we're doing at the Privacy pros academy is building a community of ambitious professionals who will empower businesses with honest privacy practices so every woman, every man, and every child can really enjoy their right and freedom over the personal information. And that's what this is all about. And one of the things I decided as a consultant is, you know what? I'm going to change the world. I'm going to make sure that I protect every single person's privacy. And very quickly, I realized that I'm only going to make a tiny dent in the ocean. But if I can train people to be like me, if I can replicate people to have the same values, the same beliefs, and focus on the same thing, then together we can actually make a massive difference on this earth. And that's exactly what the privacy pros community and the privacy pros academy is about, helping me to build that community of professionals who will go out together, we will make a positive difference for the world.

Samara:

I love that. I have a follow up question. Can I ask a follow up?

Jamal:

Sure.

Samara:

We talked about privacy, and I have my ideas of what privacy is. But what does privacy mean to you when you are trying to help in organizations or small, medium sized businesses?

Jamal:

What it means on a very basic level is for me to be free to do what I want to do, go where I want to go, visit where I want to visit, whether that's a shopping centre, whether that's a website, whether that's an app, whether that's something else. It's for me to have the freedom to do all of the things I want to do in my life without fear that somebody is watching me, without fear that somebody is recording what I'm doing. I will be using it to influence my choices, without fear that I'm getting dragged down a rabbit hole and polarizing my views, without fear that my emotions and my thoughts are being manipulated. So for me, it's about the basic freedom of being able to live your life free without external interference, external surveillance, and external influence.

Samara:

I agree. But what about if we kind of flip it and say rather than it being about living without fear, it's living with choice. So we get to determine to what extent and what level we are comfortable with all of those things happening. And so that's sort of how I see privacy is. The choice of privacy is really about having the information I need and others need to make the choice and have that self-determination and to have the agency to make those decisions for yourself and let it not be kind of a given that this doesn't exist.

Jamal:

I completely resonate with what you're saying. And I think what you're saying is the kind of the next step from maturing from fear to them saying, okay, now I have choice. And I think you're absolutely right there.

Jamilla:

And listeners can comment about what privacy

Jamilla:

Means to them on LinkedIn.

Jamal:

Post about it on LinkedIn.

Jamilla:

Yes.

Samara:

There you go.

Jamal:

If you tag me, and if you tag Samara, we promise to get involved in the conversation as well.

Samara:

Absolutely. There we go.

Jamilla:

Thank you so much for joining us on the podcast today, Samara.

Samara:

Thank you for having me. This was so much fun and such an interesting conversation. I'm looking forward to continuing to support both Jamal and his course and hopefully see some of your students in my course as well.

Jamal:

Absolutely look forward to it.

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