Is privacy worth the loss of opportunity?

As information security professionals we have to admit that our industry is a hot commodity right now. Everyone knows someone who is or was recently looking for a new job, or who is at least weighing their options. Living in this hyper-connected world, we know people all across the globe who work in our field. What we don’t always know is who is actually looking versus who is looking behind the scenes.

Privacy is a huge issue to most of us in the infosec community. We are always discussing it, preaching it, or trying to protect it. Where this hits home though is when you’re contemplating making a career move. You want the industry to know that you’re considering your choices, but you don’t want “the wrong people” to know (read: your current employer). There are many reasons to review the job market. A main one would be that you want to know what you’re worth. You want to know that you’re being paid fairly for the job you’re doing. A sensible employer knows this, and shouldn’t fault you for it. If you’re doing it on company time, that’s a different story, but posting discussions on job boards and discussing with friends in the industry is just talk.

The issue of privacy comes into play when you’re using social media. If you use Twitter or Facebook, and any of your coworkers or employers follow you, they may see this as you trying to find a new job. You may be looking for a new job, or you may just be gathering market data for your next review. This is where you may strike a balance between “Do I put myself out there, or leave less to explain at work?” While this is a personal decision that many of us make, I would consider one question if you are looking to make a move: Is the privacy you covet worth losing the opportunity you may find?

You could do the networking thing. You could find out that a friend of a friend of a next-door neighbor had heard of a job…but if you post your resume, network, and let everyone know that you’re curious, I believe you’ll have more opportunity to find that information or even that great job than if you try the whisper net. True, you may get the question at work of “So…I heard about your post…”, but if you don’t, you could lose out on a bigger raise or a job where you’re excited to go to work every day. Something to think about in this hot market we call Information Security careers.

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