Career Advice Tuesday – “The Ol’ Bait and Switch”

July 31, 2012

Dear Infosecleaders:

For the past two months I have been in the middle of an interview process, for what I believe to be a pretty senior role.   The role was a promotion from my current duties, and it was to provide me with a larger team of people, a bigger scope of responsibilities, and a larger compensation package.

During the interview process, I confirmed that the scope of the role was larger with both the hiring manager, and the hiring manager’s manager.  This was confirmed both on the phone and via e-mail.   I also had detailed discussions with the human resources person at the onset of the interview process about my compensation requirements and what it would take for me to give up my current role (where I am quite happy).  I received assurances that this would not be an issue.

Well, I finished the interview process and the offer was incredibly disappointing.  First of all, the role on the offer was for a lower level (similar to my current job) and the compensation was for 20K salary less than I requested.  

The hiring manager told me that I should “trust them”, and they just had to smooth things over with the incumbents before they made the announcement.  They also blamed the whole compensation thing on the HR team, stating that “they’d see what they could do”, but could not go much higher than the initial offer

Do you have any advice for me?  Should I trust them?  I feel so deflated as this was a job that I saw as the next step in my career  and I feel that I have been “bait and switched” and taken for a fool.

Sincerely,

“Cadillac Man”

 

Dear “Cadillac Man”:

Beware, if you take this job, you are going to get a “Clunker”

There is absolutely no excuse for two hiring manager’s to tell you something in writing about a position, and then not be able to back it up in writing and in an offer.  The concept of “Trust Me” should be applied to minor details of a job offer – like a work at home policy, or extra vacation – but for something as important as the core reason that you were interested in the job, NO WAY!

Secondly, think about the organization that you are heading to.  The hiring manager blamed the HR person.  Whether that is true or not, this is very telling of their personal style and the corporate culture you will be heading into .

At this level of a search, if you were a key hire and being recruited for a “Senior” role then compensation should be something that should be able to be worked out if both sides are reasonable.   Without having the details, maybe a request for 20K more than they offered was a bit aggressive – but I would figure that they would have taken a much different approach.

Also, at this level, if they really want you and you really wanted the job, this process of compromise would be easy.

The translation of their offer  is as follows:  

We liked you a great deal.  We feel that you would be good for the role/level where you are currently performing at (at your other company).  We do not mind paying you a little more to do that role at our company.  It is possible that you will have the ability for a larger role, but it will not be on DAY ONE!   You are welcome to try out for that role once you are an employee and prove yourself in our organization.

However, they have elected to be dishonest with you and try to sway you otherwise.  I can assure you that if you accepted the offer to work for this company, that this would not be the last of the unwelcome surprises.

Hope this helps,

Lee Kushner

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

Career Advice Tuesday – “On Second Thought”

July 24, 2012

Dear Infosecleaders

Currently I am an Chief Information Security Officer at a medium size company.  About a month ago, I engaged in an interview process to be a CISO at a much larger company, and I was offered the position.   The role was quite appealing, but after some deliberation with my family, we decided that the location was not going to be right for us, so I called the hiring manager (CIO) and told them that I would have to decline.

He understood, but he was obviously disappointed and a little frustrated.

Well, time has passed and I just can’t seem to get the opportunity out of my head.   I really think that it was a very good career move, the money was good, the relocation package was solid, and my husband has become more receptive to the idea, finding certain elements of the location that would appeal to him both personally and professionally.

My question to you would be how could I reengage them?  Is it possible?  Have a ruined my chances?

Sincerely,

“On Second Thought”

 

Dear “Second Thought”:

The answer to your question is – “No, you have not ruined your chances” and “Yes, it is possible to reengage them, and due to the reasons that you provided, and the way you have handled it (as stated), it may be welcomed.

How you reengage them is important, so here are some steps to follow:

1)   Inform your source of introduction.  If you worked with a recruiter, you need to let them know, as they may have some more knowledge on the current status of the search.  They also may be able to get a better feel for how the company really felt about your original decline of their offer.

2)   Call the hiring manager directly.   I am a big believer in going to the source.  The fact that you called the hiring manager to decline the offer, should work to your advantage this way – as it created a communication channel.   When you call them, make sure that you explain to them that the reason for changing your mind is that your family is now receptive to the move, and that was the only reason you declined the role in the first place.   Explain to them why they have come around, and you can include something like : “My husband knew that I wanted this job, and it has all that I have talked about since I declined.  He is fully supportive.”

3)   Do not renegotiate anything:  You lost this privilege when you declined the offer, so do not even attempt to  do so, as this will take away all good feeling.  (Conversely, if they contacted you to reengage, you may have some leverage – but in this case you don’t.)

4)   Give them a quick start date.  Let them know that you could be out there in three weeks or less.  This will show them you are serious, and ready to go.

Sometimes many of the best career decisions have been the result of an elongated decision making processes.  Give yourself some credit for rethinking your original decision.

Let me know how it turns out.   Hope this helps.

Lee Kushner

 

Posted by lee | Filed Under Advice, Behavior, Career Advice Tuesday, Interviewing, Planning, Position Selection, Recruiting | 1 Comment 

Infosecleaders at Black Hat and B-Sides – Come By and Say “Hello!”

July 23, 2012

As always, I am very excited to be heading out to Las Vegas for the Black Hat Briefings and Security B-Sides.  Although, having been to every Black Briefings (as either an attendee, a presenter, or just hanging out) it does make me feel older, however catching up with people whom I have worked with throughout their careers, on their way to achieving their professional goals,  is truly a great personal pleasure.

Black Hat and B-Sides also provides a great opportunity to meet new people, which is one of the best things about my profession.  While there aren’t any presentations on my agenda, I am going to be at Caesar’s from Monday – Friday, and will most likely be at B-Sides on Wednesday morning.

If anyone in the Infosecleaders community would like to say “Hello” or talk about their career or ask a questions, either send me an e-mail (lee@infosecleaders.com or lee@ljkushner.com ) or send me a DM on Twitter (@ljkush) and I will try my best to get together and spend some time.

If you have my mobile, feel free to call – just remember not that early!

Lee Kushner

 

PS.  Career Advice Tuesday will Return this week.  I will post three new CAT’s this week, to make up for the one’s I recently skipped while enjoying some time away with my family.

Posted by lee | Filed Under Behavior, Networking, Security Industry | 1 Comment 

Career Advice Tuesday – “Is CISSP Training a Good Use of My Money”

July 10, 2012

Dear Infosecleaders:

I am about to transition from Military to the Civilian work force. I am a IT Support and Security Professional. I am currently working to gain the CISSP through the SANS Security S+ course. My question is will this class help with gaining the knowledge I “really need” to pass the CISSP and will this help with the progressing in the civilian work force? This course is expensive but it come highly recommended from some of the professionals that I work with. Need some guidance.

Sincerely,

Retiring Soldier

 

Dear Soldier:

First of all, let me say a big THANK YOU for your service to our country.

As a disclaimer – I am not familiar with the particular topics covered in the SANS Security S+ course – so my answer to your question will be a more general one.

The first thing that I want to say is that I question the concept that you actually “really need” to pass the CISSP to work as an information security professional in the civilian work force.   Most of the customers that we support, are more interested in the candidate’s talent – as opposed to their certifications.

I believe that the question that you should be asking yourself is, “Which training class will enable me to develop my skills and make a smoother transition to work in a commercial environment?” 

One of the best ways to determine this will be to first understand the foundation of your current skills and the strengths that you can be leverage.  Generally speaking, these skills will be more “technical “ in nature – centering on either networking, operating systems, software development, etc.  Once you are comfortable with this assessment, you may want to look at a training class that can help supplement these skills – possibly something in the area of incident response, security event management, penetration testing, etc.

In developing these skills and skill combinations, you should be able to place yourself in a professional information security environment that will provide you with some exposure to the “domains of knowledge” encompassed by the “CISSP Certification”.  In the context of the job, engaging your peers, the purchase of some relatively cheap study guides, and some initiative you should be able to pass the CISSP (at a substantially lower price point)– if you decide at that this is a worthwhile career investment as you aspire toward your ultimate career destination.

Hope this helps,

Lee Kushner

 

Posted by lee | Filed Under Advice, Career Advice Tuesday, Career Investments, Planning, Security Industry, Skills | 2 Comments