Security's Everyman

Security's Everyman

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Time to think

I've taken the last week off from blogging and spent it focusing on my job hunt and career. I've spoken with several recruiters and friends. I've been on interviews and spent time online researching companies. Then on Friday we got a call from my wife's sister that she was ready to give birth so we went to Ohio for the weekend and saw our new nephew. We just got back in late last night and I'm ready to start the week off with more interviews and calls to potential employers.

I didn't pay much attention to the news in the security space last week so I don't have much to say about anything along those lines. What I do want to talk about is the importance of being prepared for something unexpected. As security professionals we often spend our days doing our best to mitigate risk, preventing breaches from occurring and being prepared in case they do occur. Many times it can take all of our time just to do this and when we get home the last thing we want to do is spend time on our career focus. So our resumes go untended and don't get updated with our latest accomplishments and achievements. We don't spend time developing other aspects of our career such as learning a technology that we don't use in our day to day work, learning a different aspect of security such as Risk Management, system assessment, policy creation, etc... Things that help make us a little more well rounded.

I say this because I have done some of this and some I haven't done. My resume was up to date and that was a big time saver since I had people requesting it right away. I have tried to learn new things but obviously I can't learn it all. As I've been looking at positions and talking to recruiters and hiring managers I realize just how much I don't know. It puts into perspective just how big the security space is.

In this day where lay offs are common place and companies are outsourcing jobs more and more it is wise to be prepared. To know what you want to do today and in a few years. Do you want to move in a different direction down the road? If so you had better start preparing now. If you don't you will not be ready when you are ready to make a move.

One of the things that I'm doing to prepare for the future is working with Michael Santarcangello. He has a program called "Career Compass" that helps you to focus on what you want out of a career and where your strengths are. Hopefully I will have a new job before I've completed this but I know that it will be beneficial for the future. Even though I know where I want to go this will help me to focus more and take the right steps.

So my advice for the day is "be prepared". Take some time to update your resume and think about your future. Then start taking steps to make you future a reality.


Security Catalyst (Michael) said...

Andy - thanks for the mention of the Setting Your Career Compass program. I'll be opening a limited beta of the program in the coming days - and then we'll launch.

It's my attempt to help professionals position themselves for career succes, but it also makes an excellent way to be prepared.

I'll do what I can to help a friend!!*

LonerVamp said...

This is one of those things I've come to terms with in my burgeoning career so far. I used to feel like I was cheating on an employer by keeping my resume up to date or keeping an eye on opportunities, the landscape of my area, compensation, and maybe even an interview now and then to keep the skills up. Likewise, just networking out in the area in groups and making some contacts that may pan out into better opportunities down the road.

Thankfully I don't see it that way anymore, and rather like to think of this as a valid part of my career, albeit part that I don't do at work (kinda like geek play time at home or education). I also think as short as life is, it will pay to keep my eyes open for that job that will feel as good as that feeling of finding the right slot for that jigsaw puzzle piece. :)

Excellent advice, man! I fully agree!

Andy, ITGuy said...

Don't forget that when the unexpected happens it's good to have everything in place so you can get up and running as fast as possible. If you have several years of updating to do on your resume it takes a while to remember who, what, when, where, why and how.

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