This is the final installment in 2019’s Cybersecurity Jobs Outlook Series. We’ve spent the year looking at the 2019 job outlook for employers, employees, and the hurdles to finding good talent, as well as ways to build careers while shrinking the skills gap. In the last few months, we’ve looked at how AI will impact your career, how employers can attract the best talent, and once they have them how to retain them. This month, we’ll go over the steps to a personal career assessment, six indicators it’s time to leave a job, and three reasons to wait.
No matter where you are in your cybersecurity career, pausing to evaluate skills, performance, and goals is a good plan. The outlook on cyber jobs is promising with its 0% unemployment rate and reach across every aspect of business. And with more than half of companies saying “they are at ‘moderate or extreme’ risk” due to talent shortages, changing jobs is temptingly easy. Taking the time to do a career assessment will help show when the time is right to make that change and when another option might be better.
Personal Career Review
A personal career review requires asking tough questions and taking the time to answer them honestly. This is the time to sit down with questions that have been floating around your head about your career and professional development. Here are a few sets of questions to get started.
Begin with answering these questions:
- How do you feel about your current role? And your company?
- What are things you like/dislike about your current job?
- List the best and worst things about working at your current company.
- Rate your boss. What are some of their best and worst qualities?
- What are your responsibilities at work? On a scale of easy, semi challenging, or hard, where do they fall?
- Are you happy with your current salary and/or benefits? What would you change?
- What other things would you like to do at work?
Now, use these 4 questions to gain greater clarity and insight:
- Does this role use my portfolio of strengths?
- Does it align with my areas of interest?
- Does the culture of the organization match my personality?
- Does this role enable the lifestyle I want?
Finally, evaluate the moments at work that you felt stressed, overwhelmed, or somehow ‘bad’. And ask “What do all these moments have in common?”
With these answers in hand, you’ll be able to evaluate better whether staying or going is the next step.
It’s Always Time to Go When…
Regardless of the answers above, if any of the following are true, it is probably time to look for a change.
- You don’t believe in the company like you used to
- Your skills don’t match up to your personal interests
- Your contributions aren’t acknowledged
- You’ve out grown your current role
- You aren’t learning anymore
- Advancement doesn’t seem likely and if possible
- Your boss or environment is toxic
Reasons to Wait
If none of the above statements are true, but you’re still not sure you want to stay, remember that leaving one company for another is not always the answer. “Every time you start over, you have to develop new relationships, acclimate to the culture, build new teams, and tackle the learning curve. It takes time.”
If money, boredom, or being overworked and stressed are the reasons you’re looking for a change, consider another option.
- Money — Changing jobs for more money isn’t always required. Your boss is probably more interested in retaining you than finding and training someone new. Discuss a raise or other forms of compensation that would help you reach your goals.
- Boredom — First, figure out why you’re bored. Do you need more responsibilities, a new position or additional training? Talk with a manager and see how your role might expand to bring you greater satisfaction and enjoyment at work. A promotion or new skill might be a better option than changing jobs.
- Overworked and Stressed — To some degree, this is part of working in cybersecurity, but since you work somewhere with a good workplace culture, share your concerns with a supervisor and see what changes can be made to prioritize your workload or provide better skills training for challenging tasks.
If you don’t have time for a formal personal career audit, ask yourself two simple questions: Am I growing and developing professionally? And, Do I feel engaged at work? If not, work with someone to find ways to reconnect you to your career. Doing so will help prevent burnout — but more importantly will help improve your climb up the career ladder.
Stronger is concerned about the growing skills gap in cybersecurity. We know the best way to keep everyone secure is through well trained and engaged employees. If you have any questions about your training needs or how to help upskill employees, Stronger is here for you.