Job Satisfaction in Security

July 24, 2009

Lee and I had a great chat with Kelly from Dark Reading yesterday about the results of the survey that we released at last year’s Defcon talk. Kelly put up a great story about one of the results, called One In Two Security Pros Unhappy In Their Jobs. From the article:

Kushner and Murray say they were surprised by security’s high number of unhappy campers — 52 percent of the around 900 security pros who participated in the survey are less than satisfied with their current jobs. Only 27 percent said they are are satisfied, and about 21 percent said they are more than content, according to the survey. “People in security are generally passionate about what they do,” Murray says. “You’d think in a progressive industry that [it wouldn't be the case] that one out of two are not happy…that shocked me.”

Shocked doesn’t begin to cut how I felt about this result:

Satisfaction with Information Security Job

These numbers show that an overwhelming majority of the people who are reading this blog are less than totally jazzed and excited about what they’re doing on a daily basis. In fact, only 6.2% of you are “extremely satisfied” (and removing the entrepreneurs from the survey, that number drops a full point to 5.2%).

The first question I ask people when I’m coaching them or working with them on their career is simple: “what do you want to do?“. Because I really believe that if you’re going to spend more than 1/3 of your hours every week doing something, I can’t believe that you’d want to be one of the more than 50% who are less than satisfied.

Not to mention that I’ve always been a believer in the idea of “do what you love and the money will follow”. The survey definitely backs that up – of the 6.2% who are “extremely satisfied” with their position, a whopping 56% of them have an annual salary greater than $120K. Only 26% of those in the survey as a whole are making that much. (Note: the cynical of you may suggest that they’re satisfied because they’re so well compensated, but studies have repeatedly found that money isn’t a good long-term predictor of job satisfaction).

Posted by mmurray | Filed Under Compensation, Security Industry 

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