Five Reasons Why All Cyber Pros Should Interview Regularly (Even If They Love Their Jobs)
Written by our very own Mark Aiello, as a member of Forbes Councils, and recently seen on Forbes.com.
You are happy in your current job and not looking to make a move. Did you know Cybersecurity Ventures estimated there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity job openings by 2021 (via CSO) and that ISC(2) estimated there was a gap of nearly 500,000 workers in North America as of 2018? Of course you do. If you haven’t interviewed in at least two years, please take my advice, and make it a regular element of your career knowledge progression plan. Here’s why.
It helps you determine your worth.
This seems obvious, right? During my time at a cybersecurity staffing firm, I’ve learned that your worth is largely determined by the market, not by your company. The best way to know your worth is to find out what companies will pay you. And one of the best ways to find this out is to interview. In my experience, there is a good chance that you’re underpaid if you have been at your current job for at least two years. And worth is not just about compensation. What is your possible career progression? Are you comfortable that your company is recognized as a leader in cybersecurity?
It forces you to keep your resume current.
I speak with people regularly who have not updated their resume in years. A LinkedIn profile is not a resume. Most companies will require you to present a resume when you’re interviewing. This will force you to document your accomplishments and new skills you’ve learned. It is easy to update every six months and almost impossible to update accurately every six years. This exercise will pay off in the long run and is a bit of insurance in the event that your company is sold. It also enables you to compare your skills and knowledge against others’ — and it’s a way to learn if your skills are current or stuck in the past.
It keeps your interviewing skills sharp.
When was the last time you interviewed? Do you still have the old mojo working for you? You probably don’t know the answer because you haven’t interviewed in a while. Get out there and interview. It helps to keep your interviewing skills sharp. Think of it as practice. How do people dress for an interview? What is this video interview thing I’m hearing about? A lot has probably changed since your last interview. No longer do you have to take a day off to interview in every case. Find a quiet place, pop in your AirPods and take the call.
It helps you learn what other companies are doing.
If you’re in security, you’re probably a naturally curious person. Aren’t you interested in learning about what other companies are doing to secure their networks and data? You can sometimes learn more in a two-hour interview than a one-week conference. It’s a great opportunity for you to ask questions and learn what you don’t know. You can then take that information back to your current company and hopefully increase your worth. The experience of one minute of doing something can be worth hours of reading about it.
It keeps your options open in case your company is sold.
So, you don’t think it could happen to you? Did you know that according to the U.S. Census Bureau (via the Small Business Association), in 2010 there were 27.9 million small businesses and 18,500 businesses with 500 or more employees in the U.S.? Did you know that, according to the 2018 BizBuySell Insight Report, 10,312 small businesses were reported sold in 2018? So, did you change your mind? Consider interviewing as your personal job insurance policy in the event of an unanticipated change. Don’t be caught without a career plan. Take the interview and help expand your personal network.
Take my advice, and say yes to the next company that contacts you about a job opening. If you are happy in your current role, let the company know — but add that it doesn’t hurt to talk. It’s a great way to find out if you’re on the right path toward your career goals. It’s also good for your self-confidence to know that you are wanted.
About Mark Aiello
With 30 years of IT and Cybersecurity consultant and staffing experience, Mark Aiello is V.P. of Cybersecurity Operations at Signature Consultants. Aiello is an innovative strategist and marketer with a tireless passion for the cybersecurity industry and helping companies stay safe by providing expert consultants and employees. Signature Consultants is the 15th largest IT Staffing Firm in the U.S.
About Signature Consultants, LLC
Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Signature Consultants was established in 1997 with a singular focus: to provide clients and consultants with superior staffing solutions. For the ninth consecutive year, Signature was voted as one of the “Best Staffing Firms to Work For” and is named the 15th Largest IT Staffing Firm in the United States (source: Staffing Industry Analysts). With 27 locations throughout North America, Signature annually deploys thousands of consultants to support, run, and manage their clients’ technology needs. Signature offers IT staffing, consulting, managed solutions, and direct placement services. For more information on the company, please visit www.sigconsult.com.