For many IT professionals their job is just what they do day in and day out. An understanding of the big picture is hardly ever thought of. Very few will take the time to understand where their department fits into the bottom line. For example, “can my department be replaced or totally discarded?”, “how many co-workers are doing exactly what I do?”, “is the company expanding using my skill set or are they phasing it out?” Management is constantly looking at ROI. Your value is dependent solely on what you bring to the table. No one will be paid seventy dollars to bring in fifty.
Today’s economic horizon looks pretty gloomy. Millions of Americans are carded to become victims of workforce shrinkage, cutbacks, downsizing or simply termination. Personnel in the IT field can be hit particularly hard, especially those who are not up to date with the technology they support. However, does this mean doom to everyone? No! It does mean that the complete professional ups his/her game. In times like these there is somebody reviewing expenditure and making decisions on where to cut. This where your input is compared to your output. Are you an asset or a liability?
This therefore begs the question, “what can the employee do?”
The very first step I recommend is to research where your company is going. What are the plans for the future? One will be amazed at the amount of information that can be found on the company website. If your company has a Twitter account, read them. Even better if the CEO tweets. Follow your company’s social media program, if there is one. Doing reconnaissance on your employer is invaluable.
The second step is look at your company’s job postings. These reveal what the company is looking for, and what immediate or long term needs they have. Getting certified to fit the need of your company is a nobrainer since you are already in. Earn a professional designation:
*CCSK, Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge by Cloud Security Alliance
*CPCRM, Certified Professional in Cloud Risk Management, conferred and accredited by Academy of Professional Alliance
*CISSP, Certified Information Systems Security Professional by ISC2 Org.
The trend of curtailed spending means the employer needs professionals who save money, more than those who spend. IT Governance is one of the most hidden areas in IT. Aligning information technology more closely with an organization, and governing investments is a major concern of the Board and executive management.
*CAP, Certified Authorization Professional by ISC2
*CAWC, Certified Authority on Workers’ Compensation
*CISA, Certified Information Systems Auditor by ISACA
One needs to adjust their attitude to address the recession fears. The economic turbulence can be used to rise above the storm. The answer, Fly Over it! Rarely does an entire company go dead at once. There will always be departments that are successful. These you need to seek out. Exciting opportunities can arise when you least expect them, just be vigilant. Keep your resume updated and current. Advertise your importance and be sure to get credit for your work. Regardless of your inner fears, if any, display enthusiasm. Seek out or volunteer for projects.
You are encouraged to look at the following:
*CEH… Certified Ethical Hacking by EC-Council
*CASP… CompTIA Advanced Security Professional
*GSEC… SANS GIAC Security Essentials
Professionals who have acquired the CISSP designation can boost this certification by pursuing any of three CISSP concentrations offered by ISC2.
* Architecture (CISSP-ISSAP)
* Engineering (CISSP-ISSEP)
* Management (CISSP-ISSMP)
One can never go wrong with any CISCO cert and the CCNA/CCNP/CCIE continue to be in much demand. However, before signing in to any program do your groundwork.
* be realistic and filter amazing promises.
* evaluate the relevance to your job
* can I carry the workload based on my present commitments?
* is this program hands-on, online or classroom based?
* read past student reviews
* can I do a five day bootcamp or do I need a less hectic pace?
* relax, we rarely make right decisions when pressured.
* if possible have a one on one with your instructor. It’s better to start working on a relationship before sitting in the class.
* if it sounds too good, chances are, it’s not.
The future may appear dark, but for some it can be bright. Good luck and God bless.