There was a presentation by Donald Donzal, CISSP, at the SANS "WhatWorks in Pen Testing Summit" on the subject of "Remodeling your career for little to no money down.". (If you are getting confused with all the links, this is the one to click.)
Donald is giving a number of very useful hints that would be valid for all careers, such as "do what you love", "quitting a job is easy, making the decision is difficult". So the underlying theme is what you would expect from most articles about self improvement.
That being said, it's still encouraging to hear someone broadcast the message that there is a gradual, natural and learnable way for becoming a professional. As Donald says, it's not just the skills that count, it's the enthusiasm. Everything else will follow in due time.
PS. Sound quality of the first five minutes is not fun, and average at best after that (my ears are still bleeding). Also you have to look at the slides separately. Despite its technical challenges it's still a worthwhile presentation.