5 Steps for Managing Your IT Audit & Security Career In Strange Times

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information technology career

No one figured that this would be the year of uncertainty when we were making those ‘Mission 2020’ statements. For individuals, professionals, businesses, and humanity at large – these are trying times. Now, the question is, amid crisis how should we be thinking about our career management?

Constant surveys and key findings are pointing to what the future might hold for tech professionals. Interestingly, observing all such findings, one can infer that IT Audit, cyber, and information security jobs are more stable than other domains.

For now, this may be good news; however, how long can the center hold the things from falling apart is still a mystery.

Experts also found that challenges are not limited to job losses, insecurity, pay cuts, or furloughs, it goes beyond that. We, as a generation, are facing trouble in managing and balancing work and family, managing stress, and continuously staying connected with co-workers and remote teams in this era of ‘new normal’.

Tech community and IT professionals, considered as the most innovative people, are trying new and innovative ways to cope up with these blues and implementing new strategies for building connections and getting work done every day.

Career planning for 2020 and beyond, is still a daunting challenge. However, it need not be stressful, with some strategic and well-laid career planning methods in place.

Offered below are five impeccable and actionable steps that each IT Audit & Security professional can take to safeguard their career progress and prepare for the post-pandemic changes:

1First and foremost, Update Your Profile for the Era

Simply updating your profile with the latest job role and responsibilities is not enough in these times. Frankly, loading up your resume with self-descriptive adjectives such as  ‘accomplished security professional’ and ‘exceptional leader’ is passé.

No one is believing in these terms anymore. The most crucial contents that we can add to our profile in these times are our contributions in figures and facts, the value that we bring to the table, and the problems we can handle or solve beyond our regular KRAs. It’s also important that we describing them in a clear, factual manner. Demonstrate your skills, recent contributions, and major projects concisely to draw more attention.

Being an IT Audit and security professional, clearly mentioning your CISA certification or related credentials are highly appreciated among the fraternity.

2Second, Keep a Record of Your Recent Projects

Nothing can be more helpful than maintaining an updated record of your yesteryear work projects. Create a journal [spreadsheet or document] for each year recording your projects. Identify who, what, when, how, tools implemented, duration, challenges and learning, and foremost the value it added to your journey.

Start from the present year and group them one-by-one chronologically. This will give you a clear picture of your growth and better perspective when you would be required to present yourself somewhere, for example, at performance reviews or future employment or simply for communication purposes with bosses and seniors.

3Third, Make an Enticing Professional Community Profile

It is wise to update and create an intriguing profile on that popular professional community platform. Let the hiring managers headhunt you for the top-notch positions in your domain. Update your most valued projects.

It is also important that you mention your newly gained CISA certification credential on your profile as an IT Audit and Security expert. Ask your past seniors to drop by and give you a good recommendation.

Remember these recommendations are immensely helpful and reflect your credibility. Remember, that along with hiring managers, your past and present colleagues, bosses, and clients also get to look for your skills there.

It helps in your brand building and personal marketing as well. It is the best practice to work on your profile display. Make a periodic audit and review it accordingly.

4Fourth, Stay Connected, Keep Your Network Updated

In this era of online social networking, people may not drop by often and get to meet you or vice versa, but you can always stay connected with your best career references.

Keep a track of your networking activities, take time out to chat with your past colleagues, and drop a line to greet and video call your former boss. It is important to let them know about your new achievements and industry takeaways and share an interesting article with a note of your insight on it. Make them refresh their knowledge on your latest endeavors by sharing information on your latest certifications achieved.

Remember – ‘Inspiration is Contagious’. Constant strive for betterment might as well motivate others to take career progression seriously, even in these trying times, and focus on the future beyond this pandemic.

5Fifth, Evaluate, Learn, and Gain those pending Certifications and Training

Professionals, especially in top management, experts, and leadership roles are preferably offered to those who have certifications that are globally recognized to validate top-level expertise. So, earning those industry-recognized certifications in IS Audit and Security domain, such as CISA certification, is significant to demonstrate your knowledge and your willingness to do whatever it takes to reach your goals. Beside, CISA certification guides your next move in your career.

Most importantly, even the certification bodies, like ISACA, has made changes in their exam pattern as part of today’s ‘new normal’. Now, the aspirants can take the ‘Online Remote Proctored Exam’.

This clearly indicates how committed ISACA and aspired professionals are towards career progress in the face of the pandemic. Even certification bodies address the need for uninterrupted access to their resources even when we all are restricted at our homes and making exams available with an online remote proctored option.

To enable aspirants to continue their learning and upskilling process, many training providers aligned their objectives and started promoting the CISA Online training via Instructor-led mode for equipping learners with knowledge and skills to pass the CISA Exam.

By applying these strategic ways in your career progress path, you will be ready for what comes next. Besides, being ready for future roles, you will gain more clarity on your current credentials, making job search and internal growth more effective.

As leaders of tomorrow, you will have done your job well!

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Author: Mehar Ahluwalia

Mehar Ahluwalia is the Founder & Director of Mercury Solutions Limited, a leading IT Training & Certification company. He is a passionate entrepreneur and an expert advisor in technology training, working towards his goals with enthusiasm for 20 years now. He has been the torchbearer in the EdTech industry, single-handedly performing a pivotal role in bringing the latest technology training to IT professionals & corporates using new methods of learning.

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