Career Advice Tuesday – “Out of Control”

October 18, 2011

Dear Infosecleaders:

Recently I have be a part of a corporate downsizing at my company, and I am in need of information security employment.  I was formerly a Director of Information Security Compliance, and was earning over 125K. 
Once I was “let go”, I began to panic.  I went home that night and over the weekend and put my resume up on all of the job boards, changed my linked in profile, and began applying to anything that I thought resembled a good opportunity.

On Monday, I was inundated with phone calls and e-mails (some auto responses) from recruiters and companies about my background.  I was initially encouraged.  However, after returning the first set of calls, I realized that these people did not understand what I did, the role that I was searching for, or had any concern about my career or future – just submitting
my resume.  

I feel that I have lost control, and I do not have much chance of “Winning”


Charlie Sheen


Dear Charlie –

We recognize that you that being told that your talents are no longer needed can be a devastating blow to your ego, your check book, and your sanity.  However, it is important that if you are placed in this situation you take some time to reflect, and
think about a job search in terms of quality as opposed to quantity.

Lets face it, you can only hold one job at a time – so itis important that it is the correct one for you , and provides you with a
framework for success and satisfaction.  Applying to everything and anything often causes a distraction, and makes you lose your focus.    You will spend a lot of time speaking with both recruiters and companies who would like to place you in opportunities that
are not suitable for you.   In fact, the more senior you are, and the more money you earn, this becomes more evident.

In addition to this, once you have applied to a corporate website, you will tie the hands of any experienced recruiter who has a
relationship with the company that you are interested in.  Almost all of the time, if you have submitted a resume via a web positing to a company directly, this will hinder or eliminate an external recruiter’s ability to represent you for a role.   Quite often an external recruiter can help you streamline your recruitment process through the use of developed relationships and trust.

Unfortunately for you, the cat is out of the bag, and you may have a hard time in gaining back control.
The first thing that I would do would be to take your resume off –line,  you are an Information Security Leader – you need to act like one.    The next thing that I would do would be to make some phone calls who people who know your talent and are part of your professional network, and let them know of your status.  Ask them if they either have open positions, know of companies who are looking, and if they can offer any introductions that you may find useful.  At the same time, begin looking at job postings that you believe will meet your criteria –responsibility, location, compensation, quality of life (travel) – and once you have identified ones that fit, see if you can get a real introduction to the hiring manager.   You can do this by utilizing your network, social media, or even good old fashion social engineering.

I can tell you from my past experience, that a haphazard approach many times leads to temporary solutions and mismanaged time.  While taking a strategic approach to solving this problem will more likely lead to a better long term fit in your next role.

Hope this helps,

Lee and Mike

Posted by lee | Filed Under Advice, Behavior, Career Advice Tuesday, Interviewing, Position Selection, Recruiting 


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