Expertise as Social Capital: 4 Unexpected Ways that Expert Access Will Put You Ahead of the Game 

by Abigail Raley / March 19th, 2024

When I started working at KirkpatrickPrice, I was only a month out of my MFA program. I had been studying poetry for two years, and I was brand new to the cybersecurity auditing world. In fact, I still am. I have questions every day about how to best support our clients, and with the threat landscape constantly evolving, it seems that there are always new problems to solve. 

KirkpatrickPrice’s founder Joseph Kirkpatrick is an exuberant and hands-on participant. Joseph has CPA, CISSP, CISA, CGEIT, CRISC, and QSA certifications, and I had full access to his expertise within my first month on the job. On my first in-office day, he sat me down in front of a whiteboard, handed me a palmful of peppermints, cracked open his A&W, and—with more excitement than I thought humanly possible—started guiding me through the audit process.  

In my time here, I’ve learned how important expertise access is, and KirkpatrickPrice is brimming with expert perspective. My time with Joseph was completely invaluable, and I gained the unique perspective of a company undergoing an audit for the first time. It’s overwhelming and scary; having someone guide you along the way is comforting. We all know that we have lots to learn from the certified professionals that we work with, but we don’t often consider how those connections may benefit us in our personal and professional lives. Even if you’re not as new as I am to the audit process, connections with experienced professionals have a lot to offer.  

According to a study by Erin and Benjamin Cornwell “Individuals who access relevant information through [contacts]… are thought to be more likely to identify and acquire jobs than those who search through formal mechanisms.” While this study focuses on job acquisition, there are plenty of benefits to expertise access. Often, when we think of how professional connections can benefit us, we consider what that may mean in the present moment, but when we look to the future, we find that these connections completely alter the trajectory of our careers, supplying us with the tools we need to succeed.   

In my first meeting with Joseph, for example, I was primarily interested in what that conversation could afford me in my job at KP moving forward. Joseph’s depth of knowledge and passion for the auditing process has connected me to a whole new network of knowledge and experts that will help me along the way. By connecting with experts through my time at KirkpatrickPrice, I have gained a host of resources that all of us at KirkpatrickPrice are excited to share.  

But what are some other ways that expertise and expert partnerships can help you continue bolstering your business beyond your audit engagement? Here are some ways that social capital can help you out.  

1. Partnership  

We’ll start with the most obvious “pro” first. We know that professional connections and access to expertise can lead to further connections. That is, we all know the importance of networking, but there’s also value in partnership itself. By building relationships with experts, you can better divide workloads, engage with new content, and widen the scope of your skill set. The right partner will be just as invested in your project as you are. A good partner will also have skin in the game, and connecting with a company, expert, or organization like this will allow you to achieve more at a higher caliber in your day-to-day life. You’ll always have someone to turn to with security and compliance questions, and, when new technology comes out, you have an honest and trusted partner to guide you. Over time, this help adds up. It puts you ahead of your competitors and keeps you ahead for years to come.  

2. Save Time On Research  

When you’re completing an audit, or engaging in any sort of new project, you’re likely conducting a lot of research. For those of us new to the compliance journey, a lot of googling is usually involved. The fact is, you’re spending a lot of your valuable time on research when you could be getting back to your organization. Having access to an expert saves you time. You could spend all your time looking online for the right solution to your complex issue, but with access to expert opinion, all you need is a single conversation. You’re significantly reducing your level of effort by having expert connections.  

3. Leverage Your Knowledge  

If you partner with an expert, you’ll have a whole new host of knowledge that you’ve gained from your connection. Through your time with your expert, you’ll have a bank of information ready to use at any time. With resources like security awareness training, you’ll understand the value of security knowledge. You can use this newfound wisdom to complete your tasks independently in the future, and you can pass this information on to the rest of your organization, strengthening your entire team. Again, your level of effort is reduced by completing tasks with both efficiency and accuracy. You also raise your professional value as a connection to others. You can utilize these skills to assist you in networking and prove to prospective clients that you’re well studied and know your stuff. This comes in handy especially when demonstrating your dedication to becoming a secure organization.  

4. Physical Resources  

Sure, it’s great to have an expert in person and on hand. That’s why KirkpatrickPrice provides expert access anytime. But what do you do when you don’t have ready access in the moment? What do you do when you have a question after expert services have concluded? A good expert will offer you physical resources that you can carry into your professional future. At KirkpatrickPrice, we know the importance of lasting knowledge you can carry into the future; that’s why we provide thousands of videos, blogs, whitepapers, and more for organizations to use at any time. You can share these resources with other partners or just continue to reference them for yourself! Through experts, you can access new caches of information that will set you ahead of your competitors and keep you in the know, even if you don’t have access to your expert anymore.  

KirkpatrickPrice: We’ve Got What You Need 

After my first time meeting Joseph Kirkpatrick, I realized how much there was to learn from those around me, and it’s the culture of helpfulness, kindness, and partnership that I love about working here. Joseph teaches those principles as our founder, of course, but the experts that surround me in our auditors, writers, client success managers, and penetration testers have taught me even more.  

When you partner with KirkpatrickPrice, you will work with a group of people who are in it with you all the way, who love helping people and keeping them safe from breaches. Not only will you have constant access to these experts, but you will also have a platform built with users in mind, because its creators have been in your shoes and have compassion for what you need.  

If you’ve got any questions for our experts, please reach out and connect with an expert today! We’d love to be the partners to help you with your compliance journey and sustain you in the years to come.  

About the Author

Abigail Raley

Abigail Raley has two degrees in creative writing. She enjoys writing poetry almost as much as she loves cybersecurity compliance. Abigail has earned her Certificate in Cybersecurity (CC) from (ISC)2 and has worked for Kirkpatrick Price since June 2023. She looks forward to creating more engaging and helpful content that will guide compliance newcomers and veterans, both, through the ever-changing threat landscape.