Cyber Security Bowl

I’m a Cyber Director (approx. 13-14 yrs exp) making $250K + $40-50K bonus. Exhausted of consulting & don’t feel like pushing for Partner. Thoughts on industry opportuniti & some pros and cons.

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Great question! I’d start with an inventory of what’s exhausting you about consulting lest you leap from frying pan to fire: logistics of the job (travel, constant disruption, etc), politics of your team, or just a re-orientation of what matters to you, for example from personal attainment to community contribution. I’d also inventory what still excites you in consulting, whether it’s mentorship, autonomy, and/or something entirely different. Having held both industry and consulting roles, I don’t buy into the notion that there is some “fast track” in consulting that doesn’t appear in industry, or that there is some laid-back industry role that carries no frustrations common to consulting. Instead there are roles fit for different people at different stages of their personal growth trajectory. Cyber is full of exciting opportunities in industry roles, your pay is not so high in consulting that you can’t find many great head-of-function or intro-CISO in F500-type environments at the same or better comp, but be very honest with yourself about what gets you out of bed. Have a read on this and see if it helps clarify anything for you: https://www.evantarver.com/types-of-motivation/ And if you’re looking to test the waters, I can recommend a chat to LJ Kushner and the folks at Russell Reynolds for proper exec placement.

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I want to echo that last point. In cyber, the recruiters aren't going anywhere. I took over a year off to do something radically different and didnt have any trouble getting back in the game. Don't let traditional pathing control you - you have less to lose than you might think.

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Couldn’t agree more with P1’s response. As someone who left consulting and came back, nearly all the things I was exhausted by before I left, quickly became things I missed once I was gone. Sometimes the alternative isn’t always better, but it’s natural for our self justifying minds to think it will be. If you really get to the root of what your exhausted with, you can identify and make sure you don’t make a move only to be in the same situation. Example, I was frustrated with a matrixed model and I just wanted an environment where someone would make a decision. That quickly became frustrating when my “great idea” was shot down by the person I reported to because he didn’t “get it”. In a matrix model you can take ideas to someone you know will get it and has the passion, if you get shot down, your free to take it to many different people. At the end of the day, I would encourage you to have a conversation with a partner, one that you trust. If you don’t think it would go over well with your current RL, ask your peers what partners they know you can have the conversation with. The majority of us (at PwC and I also believe other big firms) want you to be successful and happy, it’s actually the reason we are here and why we do what we do. If you do want to go into industry or somewhere else, your partners can help you find opportunities that may not be available through recruiters or job postings. I have several clients that consistently tell me, if I have someone from our team that wants to leave consulting, they want to know and they will create a position. You’ve worked hard over your career at the firm and you deserve to use all the power and relationships the firm has to find you the best opportunity to make you happy. Good luck!

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I’d say to buy an established business, run it, make it better, grow it, and keep it or sell it. Just pick any industry of interest even if it’s not in your field of expertise as business is business.

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Absolutely thinking about it.. not buying something but starting from scratch.. let’s see!

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