Monthly Archives: November 2021

Tech professional? Cybersecurity specialist? Multiple offers? Our top tips to make the right career decision in a bullish market.

With spend in Australian cybersecurity expected to surpass a whopping $5.1b in 2021, the natural flow-on effect from an increase in enterprise requirements in the sector is a need for more staff.

Since launching Synchro Partners earlier this year, there’s no doubt that it’s the most ‘job-heavy’ market we’ve seen in several years. It may seem like halcyon days for recruiters, but with virtually every business across the country on the hunt for a full range of skillsets as they build their ‘dream team’ of cybersecurity experts, it’s a lucrative opportunity for candidates.

With a hard stop on overseas talent due to covid related border closures over the past eighteen months, we have seen a major skills shortage across the technology sector. Naturally, due to the laws of supply and demand, salaries and contractor rates have increased substantially over the period. On average, we have seen an increase in remuneration expectations of over 7%, and in certain streams (IDAM/PAM, Cloud Security and Penetration Testing) a pay demand upturn of up to 25%. This in turn has created a true candidates’ market, with a plethora of career opportunities for jobseekers and those currently employed in the cybersecurity field.

Whilst this bullish job market is certainly advantageous to Tech professionals, it can be a double-edged sword – exposure to multiple opportunities at any given time increases your risk of making the wrong career move.

How do you make the right decision?

Article image: How do you make the right

Every day, Synchro Partners help candidates between role transitions. what we’ve learnt through our experience is that having a well-defined vision of your career goals will help you make the right move. We’re sharing our top tips on how to evaluate each role when presented with multiple offers from different organisations, to ensure you make the right career decision.

What is the ‘ROI’ for you, if you join this organisation?

As much as they are investing into you, you also are investing in them. What is more important than dollars is consistent development and sustainable growth in what you are worth. As a cybersecurity professional, evolving your skills is the only way to keep up with the pace of the market. What new skills will you pick up? What certifications will they support you in pursuing? What kind of programs will you be working on? These are all crucial factors for your ROI and the future for your career.

What’s the organisational culture really like?

It is easy for an employer to say they have an amazing culture. But do they really? What’s the work culture like? It’s high-performing, but is it collaborative? Is there a culture of innovation specifically in the cybersecurity space? A good mix of both work culture and social culture should be identified for you to enjoy your role and to be successful too. Dig deep and ask questions such as: Could you give me an example of a time when the team have shown real comradery? What social activities do you organise? If they struggle to give you a warm and authentic answer, you should have reservations.

What do you look for in a leader? Will you align with your direct manager?

How do you envision each leader treating you and will they help you to be happy as well as succeed within the business? The cybersecurity market is a tight-knit community in Australia. What’s their track record? What’s been their contribution(s) to the community? When it comes to the hiring manager, what does their industry profile look like? Having the ‘right’ leader is pivotal to your success; having the ‘wrong’ leader could be your Achilles heel, and even stop you from reaching your goals. Simon Sinek says, “The courage of leadership is giving others the chance to succeed, even though you bear responsibility for getting things done.”

Be Discerning

Cybersecurity professionals are discerning individuals in their day-to-day roles, so why not take a discerning approach to jobhunting (a full-time job in itself). Having ‘a good feeling about this one’ is your intuition telling you that this is the most logical option. Use your instincts as your compass, backed up by facts for your reassurance.

Finally, money is a by-product of where you are currently at; what you can become is where you will see true job satisfaction (and financial gain). Join a company that will provide a vehicle to accelerate you as a better professional, rather than simply utilise your current skills.

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Posted in Synchro Partners, The world @work

What’s next for the teachers who took the brunt of lockdowns?

The Covid-19 years have focussed attention in schools on the value of teaching professionals working together collaboratively towards the best possible student learning outcomes. For school leaders, the attention has been on building the social capital needed in schools, beyond mere human capital.

Teachers have been isolated so much during lockdowns, missing the professional dialogue and banter that occurs both formally and informally, despite every attempt to meet that issue through online professional learning.

As schools finalise their planning towards next year, hoping that the year offers a new normal, they will be looking to build the capacity of their staffing teams: attracting and developing the best possible professionals that will align and further the vision and values of the school.  Schools are also working through how to maximise the social capital that comes from staff working collaboratively towards agreed and co-developed goals.

Through it all, our leading schools are looking to ensure teacher wellbeing, as well as student wellbeing, is a focus of attention – one that will enable a strong learning culture, inspired by a collaborative and well-supported teaching team.

The recruitment of school leaders, non-teaching school professionals and teachers (permanent, replacement and casual) is a process where great assistance can be provided by specialist recruitment firms, especially where what’s on offer includes a wealth of specialist experience of the educational needs of schools by past school leaders themselves. The new COVID norms will also necessitate specific requirements of applicants and schools (stipulated in recent regulations) and, once again, such assistance from partner firms could be of great benefit to schools.

At this time, many teachers and leaders are also looking at options open to them, whether that be promotion possibilities or simply finding the best possible school culture that aligns to the values they hold as professionals.

School leaders, in what ways are you building the social capital within your schools for the benefit of your students, enabling a collaborative culture of learning? What assistance are you seeking in this process?

Teachers, how are you equipping yourself, with others, to ensure students’ overall needs in this new climate are being met?

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Posted in Education, The world @work

Step by step: returning to the office with confidence.

That thought bubble ‘returning to the office’ pops up, and a thousand worrisome considerations rush through my mind.  Questions such as: Will I be safe travelling on public transport? Am I not only risking my own health, but the health of my colleagues, just by turning up in person? Is our ‘COVID-19 Safe Plan’ as well considered as its title suggests? And on those thoughts loop in my overwrought mind…

These questions are not unique to me, my co-workers or our contingent workforce. They are also front of mind for many Melbournians who are being gently coaxed or otherwise cajoled to return to their physical office spaces. Some employers are well prepared, having had staff off-site for close to two years, while others are still scrambling to work out the best way to ease employees back into offices. Whether traditional offices will even be required, now that remote and hybrid working is well established thanks to multiple lockdowns, is also a valid question.

Step 1: It’s psychological

The return-to-work dilemma may seem, at the outset, a genuine physiological concern. However, I’m willing to stand up and say the issue isn’t partly physiological; it’s in fact completely psychological.

A logical person would say: I trusted science enough to receive my full vaccination, countless peer reviewed studies show the positive effectives of vaccinations, their protection can almost certainly keep most generally healthy adults out of ICU or from experiencing severe symptoms.

Therefore, it is logical that returning to an environment where the risk of contracting COVID-19 may be only slightly higher than in your own home is not enough to harbour serious fears.

Step 2: Start with baby steps

Looking at the psychology of how we form habits, we corporate types need to recreate the daily habits and routines that we were accustomed to prior to the pandemic. Hence the ‘baby steps’ approach that some businesses have adopted.

Start with one day, a week, then two, then three and so on. On the days that you are not in the office, try to follow the same habits anyway; those morning routine keeps our minds prepared to physically go into the office and accept that process – remember when they told us that at the start of the pandemic?  It’s also great to schedule work with colleagues and arrange days where you can be in the office at the same time to support each other as you readapt to the ‘old normal’.

Step 3: It’s a matter of consistency – every day will become easier.

Many of us have experienced anxiety for the first time as a result of the pandemic. Being amongst others again can be overwhelming after months of relative solitude. For some, the very idea of stepping foot on a crowded train may deter you from even attempting to step outside your front door. If that sounds like you, you’re not alone. Most organisations have Employee Assistance or other support programs (EAP) which can help you find your own path back to normality. Beyondblue has a number of useful articles and provides live one-on-one counselling to help support your mental health journey back into the office (links to resources below).

I believe it is healthy for us all to return to our workplaces at our own pace. Life is full of risks and COVID-19 is another in the long list we live with every day. I’m looking forward to a bit of banter with my colleagues when we all return to the office. I’m excited about meeting clients in person, visiting the organisations we work with on-site and interviewing candidates face-to-face, instead of via Zoom. 

What are you most looking forward to when restrictions ease in your city?

RESOURCES

Beyond Blue
Strategies for transitioning back into the workplace after coronavirus

Think Mental Health
Returning to your workplace

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Posted in Interchange Bench, The world @work