On August 15, 2008 I arrived in Southern California to start in a new chapter in my life. Shortly after arriving in California I was hired by a professional services company to provide IT Audit & Consulting services. I started that job on October 1, 2008. Just short of 6 years later, in the middle of last week, I handed in my resignation from the company. I’m not one to resign without a fall-back option. So, in conjunction with handing in my resignation, I also accepted an offer to become an Information Security & Compliance Manager with a technology company in Santa Monica.
There were various reasons I started looking for a new job, both personal and professional.
There was a thought process that went into seeking and working for a professional services firm the past six years. It was an aspect to my career that was missing after working as an internal technology auditor the prior 7 years and the government for 3 years prior. The same thought process went into this job search. What aspect of my professional career was missing?
In order to take another step in my career I had to expand my capabilities and experience, leading up to obtaining additional certifications, either the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) or other designations by ISACA. In order to do this I had to move on from being a technology auditor, which is all I’d done for my 15 year career, and work within a technology or security department.
It took me a while to realize, but I now know I wasn’t totally prepared for the long commutes, excessive travel, and long hours that came with providing professional services. There was no routine to my daily life. There was a lack of exercise, unhealthy eating habits, weight gain, and an overall laziness in my everyday life. The snowball gained momentum down the mountain making it hard to get back to “normal.” Every time I seemed to start a new routine of exercising and/or eating healthy, something got in the way. That something could have been as little as a friends birthday party or another business trip. It didn’t matter, my will was not in it for the long haul.
The Job Search
There was no sending out resumes willy nilly. It was a mostly targeted search. I applied to positions in various metropolitan areas, including NY, Denver, Los Angeles, and even Raleigh, North Carolina. Moving was definitely an option, whether it was a short or long move. Anywhere I had some history, family, or friends. At this point of my life, as I’m just a few years from 40, starting over in a new location alone wasn’t necessarily an option. Taking that another step, I was looking for positions that could take advantage of my technology audit/consulting background, but weren’t necessarily audit positions. Something that would get me that experience within a technology or security department. I mostly used LinkedIn, Indeed.com, and direct emails to IT managed service providers that might have a need for my skill set.
Searching for a new job is an aganizing endeavor. The vast majority of resume’s never resulted in a response from the hiring company. In some cases, an initial meeting by phone was held with an internal recruiter only to never hear from the recruiter again. There were a few times I stopped looking or lost focus. Just last month, the company I’m about to begin a new chapter with passed on me for a position that was too technical for my skill set. However, I didn’t give up. I contacted the internal recruiter a few weeks later to request they keep me in mind if they eventually want to fill a position that better fit my experience. It was an innocuous email, one that I didn’t expect to receive a response. To my surprise I heard from the recruiter just a few hours later, had an onsite interview with 4 different personnel the following week, and a phone interview with the Chief Technology Office (CTO) the next week. A few days later I received a job offer, which I later accepted and subsequently resigned from my current position.
This new position meets just about all the professional and personal reasons I started searching for a new job. The position is within the Information Security department. In a year or two I’ll have the necessary experience to take (and hopefully pass) the CISM (or equivalent) exam. The company is located just 5 miles from my home and, although there will be a lot of work to do on a day-to-day basis, there will be very limited travel. I could even bike to work if I wanted. Ok, I’m probably getting a little ahead of myself with the last part.
This new chapter will commence on September 2, 2014.