Friday, February 24, 2017

Career Aspirations…What Are Yours?

I’ve been involved in information security recruiting since the mid-1990s. My first information security search included my need to find someone who could harden Windows NT and also UNIX.

That was 21-22 years ago.  A lot has changed and I've been fortunate to have filled many positions from the Engineer / Analyst level to the CSO / CISO level since I got started as a security recruiter.

If you are in information security or cyber security and you have aspirations to lead, here’s a real-time current list of some of the traits, skills and/or characteristics that employers are looking for when they hire between the Manager level and the CISO level.

  • Leadership
  • Strategic
  • Visionary
  • Ability to build trusting relationships
  • Trusted Advisor
  • People Management
  • Program Management
  • Project Management
  • Excellent Verbal Communication Skills
  • Excellent Written Communication Skills
  • Excellent Presentation Skills
  • Ability to translate complex cyber topics to non-technical audiences
  • Collaboration
  • Persuasion
  • Influencing
  • Negotiating
  • Strong Problem Solving
  • Excellent Analytical Skills

This is a literal list.  

What I mean is that I have guessed at nothing that is on this list.  This list is only a fraction of the expectations companies are creating for what they believe they need in a successful Cyber Security Leader.

Notice that I did not list any technical skills.  If I were to add technical skills to this list, this article would be three pages long.  My point in sharing these skills, traits and/or characteristics is to show how many soft skills and how much natural giftedness employers want, need and expect in Cyber Security leaders.

Most of the topics listed above were not taught in a Computer Science or Electrical Engineering degree program. 

Some of the topics listed above can’t even be taught.  You either have them or you don’t. 

Before setting your sights on future leadership opportunities, may I suggest that you stop and figure out whether you have the prerequisite abilities required to lead in cyber security?

If you have the prerequisite abilities, next you need to fine-tune them and learn how to leverage them.'s Security Recruiter Blog