Jerry Brennan is CEO of the Security Management Resources Group of Companies (www.smrgroup.com), the leading global executive search practice focused exclusively on corporate and information security positions.
Barring winning a major lottery or inheritance, during a 40+ year working life in the security profession, security leaders will likely make a dozen or more job changes. While some of these may be significant responsibility shifts within a single organization, in today’s environment it is likely that a person will be changing organizations and even the type and/or responsibilities of various roles. One of those changes may include self-employment. Here’s what you need to know to ponder the transition.
As what has been a unique and difficult year for many finally comes to a close, I find I have been engaging in a significant number of conversations regarding what the future holds for security careers in these challenging market conditions.
The close of 2020 is fast approaching, and many security professionals have experienced a wide swing in career highs and lows during this challenging year. Many shifts were obviously pandemic-related. Organizations were either forced to consider business realignment or utilized the upheaval to move in a direction that may have been already under consideration. Regardless of the circumstance, the result was a reduction in opportunities in the security profession for some, and career advancement for others.
In past articles, I have written about behaviors and style characteristics that tend not to be valued by organizations and that have proven often to be the underpinnings of why some security leaders fail in their roles. The counterbalance to that are leadership attributes and behaviors that are essential for success.
During your security career, it is highly likely at some point that you will come across someone in a leadership role whose personality and style characteristics create an environment that is toxic and stressful. If you are in the unfortunate position of working for that individual while you are seeking new career opportunities, it may be time to reflect on any early warning indicators you may have missed.
Security professionals who are considering the potential direction for their private sector career often overlook certain functional areas. While considered part of a security leader’s portfolio, many of these less obvious choices offer a broad diversity of challenges. One of these areas found in almost every industry sector is investigations.
When I speak with candidates who are either leaving government roles or actively looking for a new role, I am often asked what programs or courses related to cybersecurity they could take to improve their marketability.
Global lockdowns, travel restrictions, expansion of remote working arrangements and numerous cancellations of professional programs and events we are now experiencing will have a profound impact on the opportunity to develop your security career through networking.
The current circumstances we find ourselves in can offer you an opportunity to develop a strategy designed to position yourself for a security career realignment. This planning will enable you to aggressively seek other career options.