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Investing in your IT security career in tough times

Jeff Combs | Nov. 5, 2008
Advice for those Information Security professionals who are concerned about the future of their jobs

Third, work on strengthening your relationships with your management as well as other stakeholders or clients you support. Communication is key to accomplishing this. Developing an active and open rapport with others will help you better understand the big picture of what's going on around you. It will also help you keep your cool and make informed decisions about your options while rumors at the water cooler are flying.

And finally, be ready to embrace change beyond your control. From a career perspective this means having your "personal marketing documents", AKA resumes, references and professional certifications up to date. It also means communicating your interests and intentions to everyone you know who might be able to help you. This includes re-connecting with your recruiter, any mentors, past co-workers or clients with whom you've had positive experiences with in the past. It also means taking the time to catch up on the industry at large through reading trade journals, attending networking events and increasing your participation with industry organizations. Get the word out to your associations, organizations, friends and family that you are on the job market.

Lately, not a day goes by that someone doesn't ask me what the future holds for our industry in these tough economic times. The truth is, nobody can tell. It's a fact that in the short term, supply will likely outstrip demand especially for the most senior roles in our industry. The best and only way to adapt to change of this nature is to be prepared-mentally, materially and socially. We should know that we're in for a marathon and not a sprint. Yet despite the challenges ahead I'm confident that our industry will continue to grow and thrive. We just need to put less stock in the markets and more stock in ourselves.

Jeff Combs is Practice Lead, Security and IT Risk Recruiting at Alta Associates.


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