Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Are You Making Career Moves or Job Changes?

In my roles as a security recruiter and a security leadership coach, I run into all kinds of different scenarios while working between companies that have jobs to fill and candidates who desire to step into new roles.  Sometimes, I interact with security job candidates who have done a great job when it comes to accumulating the right education, certifications, experiences, etc. to make themselves attractive to prospective employers.

Other times, security job candidates send me resumes that show job changes every 12-18 months and then try to convince me that they’re ready to settle down.  As much as I might like to help a person settle down, it is the employer who will hire you who has to be convinced that you’re ready to settle down and that you’re not a flight risk somewhere between 12 and 18 months.

Security Career Coaching

I passionately enjoy working with my coaching clients to help them reach a point of clarity with regards to their career direction and then to help them map out a course of action to get from Point A to Point B.  Last week, I launched to address issues security professionals have when they’re actively involved in a career move.

 Very soon I’ll be launching as a service to help my coaching clients move from Point A to Point B in their security career with a purpose and plan in mind.  
Security Career Coaching service is built on a methodology and will start with a powerful assessment to show me and my coaching clients how they are built.  In other words, we’ll start by looking at an individual’s natural hard wiring and then compare how a person is wired to what they’re professionally doing today.
We’ll move down a path that eventually ends with the creation of a security career road map that is aligned not with what a person “can” do but what they “should” be doing.  When a person goes to work, whatever kind of work that is, and they’re investing more of their time doing what they “should” do versus settling for what they “can” do, personal job satisfaction should rise, personal productivity should rise and one’s personal stock value should rise.

Job Changes vs Career Moves

I’m well aware that not everybody has the convenience of always making carefully planned career moves and sometimes a person has to make a tactical move that we’ll call a job change in order to put food on the table.  Remember, I have a table to put food on as well so I do get it.

When opportunity knocks, will you be ready?  

Being ready involves more than just having a well written resume.  Being ready means that at some point you’ve sat down and created some form of a security career road map.  No, you won’t know exactly where doors will open as your career progresses and what companies you’ll actually work for but if you begin with the end in mind, you should be able to create a map or at the very least a framework that can be filled in as your career actually does progress.

Where Is Your Career Headed?

If you want to one day be the CISO of a global Oil & Gas company, you aren't likely to get there by building your career in security architecture in the banking industry.  If you’re the CISO in a $500M company, you can’t expect to jump from that position to being the CISO of a $10B company in one move.   

Can you eventually make your way from the top security job in a $500M company to the top security job in a $10B company?  Sure you can but you can’t do it by making job changes and you likely don't get there by not having a plan.  You’ll need to make carefully planned career moves any time you have the luxury of making this type of decision on your own terms in order to create the background a $10B company in a particular industry will appreciate one day.

I understand that not everybody is wired to be a CISO.  If your aspiration is not to be a CISO and you’re a cyber security professional, that’s perfectly okay.  Perhaps your aspiration should be to position yourself to be the best security architect in your community. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially that that’s what you “should” be doing versus what you simply “can” do.

May I assist you in building your security career road map?'s Security Recruiter Blog