January 18, 2023
by Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing
Shaun Walsh joins today, offering a cybersecurity marketer’s handbook worth of advice in navigating job transitions in the industry. Shaun, a veteran in the cyber industry, is the Vice President of Global Marketing at SimSpace. We’ve all been there—and in today’s world within the cybersecurity industry, layoffs have come to be expected. In this episode, Gianna and Maria get fantastic and practical advice from Shaun, asking him about preparation for layoffs, how to transition between jobs, interviewing red flags, and more. Listen in to get the laydown on layoffs.
[00:00] Start of episode
[05:51] Skill sets in anticipating layoffs
[11:30] Red flags indicating a possible layoff
[14:59] Layoff preparation
[18:24] How to handle layoff questions in interviews
[22:34] Red flags in joining a company
What are some skills we can equip ourselves with to quickly land another job?
Gianna picks Shaun’s brain on the best way to handle the limbo of layoff. What can we do in the meantime to get back into another job? Shaun says, first, to cope. He says it’s important to take the time to process what just happened and recognize that everyone overthinks and has their insecurities. Then? Shaun says to spend little time coping and to start thinking. He lays out some vital key self-questions and to analyze where to go next. In these moments of transition, Shaun also mentions that it’s perfectly okay to switch up the path a little bit.
“Sit down and say, ‘Okay, what do I want next? I've coped. Now define. Where do I want to go? What do I want to do next? What skill sets do I need to develop?" And then how do you build that?’”
How do you figure out what you want to do next if you have no idea?
Here, Shaun says that the most important thing to do is to start with one big question: why do you work? From there, Shaun says, people can quickly get through that coping mechanism and get a clearer picture of what they should be doing next. Starting with “why” allows someone figure out how they can achieve that goal which can set them in the right direction. Understanding “why” might lead to some heavy introspection and some grief but it gives one a sense of purpose Shaun says, which can set up the next necessary, tactical steps to take.
“We've all run marketing launch plans. We all know how to dissect something, but you got to know where you're going. And that would be the next piece of advice I'd give people.”
What are some red flags indicating that a layoff is coming?
In having the right tools to prepare for a layoff and the right mindset to transition to another job, how do you know when a layoff is actually coming? Shaun lays out three distinct markers of a potential layoff and where to look for them. First, if a company is public, listening to quarterly calls can give some indication of how the company is doing and if a layoff can be expected. Second, Shaun explains how watching section 16 officers can also indicate this. Third, Shaun says to talk to your SE’s. They’re the “truth tellers” of the business, he says.
“Go make friends with the SE's because the SE's will tell you whether they're busy, whether the deals are happening, whether deal reg is coming in, whether or not they're doing enough demos or POCs. Every place I've ever been in, the SE's are really the clue to the future.”
When the signs are in the air, how do you prepare for a layoff?
Shaun lays out three different answers to the question. He says that even before anything could seemingly go wrong that it’s important to get experience in many different areas to create a portfolio that’s marketable for various jobs. He says that when you start to see those red flags to also activate your network early, dedicating time every day to identifying new possibilities in the job market. Shaun also says it’s a good idea to rehearse interview questions and do research on some prospective employers. He emphasizes how it’s vital to not get bogged down in the process, either—and to be sure to take some time for yourself.
“Once you've done the base work, you've done your follow-up, you’ve followed the right protocols. Enjoy that time off. Don't let it get away from you—because it's a rare gift in and of itself. It's maybe not a gift you wanted. But it's one you should take advantage of.”
Spend some time with Shaun on Twitter.
Follow Shaun on LinkedIn.
Reach out to Shaun at firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the SimSpace website.
Follow Gianna on LinkedIn.
Catch up with Maria on LinkedIn.
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