There is a shortage of cyber security professionals across multiple industries. This is partly due to the lack of supported pathways into the profession. However, we also know that people are quitting, or at least thinking about it. Even for those staying within the profession, frequent job moves are causing a staff turnover rate of 20%.
ThreatConnect found that 32% of IT Managers, and 25% of IT Directors, are considering quitting their jobs. This is backed up by the stats on low retention rates, with over half (52%) of organisations reporting they struggle to retain qualified people.
The million pound question is… why do people quit? We’re delving a little deeper into the reasons why cyber security professionals, your colleagues, are leaving their jobs.
Finding Greener Grass
In the 2022 ISACA Report, 59% of survey respondents felt that being recruited by other companies was why cyber security professionals leave their jobs. In fact, this was the top reason cited in the report. So, your colleagues are being tempted by the promise of greener grass on the other side. This is very apt at present, with a lot of change happening in the world of work. Lifestyle changes were also reported as a top 3 reason for quitting in the ThreatConnect report. With a return to the office on the cards and salaries increasing, it’s not surprising that employees are leaving organisations, probably due to higher salaries and better flexible work options being offered elsewhere.
Let’s take a look at financial incentives a little closer. Multiple reports (e.g. ISACA and Threat Connect) have found that one of the top reasons why cyber security professionals leave their jobs is for a better remuneration package. This isn’t surprising, as salary is an important factor when moving jobs across multiple industries. With the increased workload that cyber security professionals are widely experiencing, there may be an expectation of a relative increase in salary. Who would blame you for this? If a job role evolves and your responsibilities expand, which is what is happening in the cyber security space, anyone would expect a rise in pay to reflect this. Being tempted away to a similar role with a higher monetary reward is inevitable, if it’s the right role for you.
Lack of progression and career opportunities are causing security employees to leave their jobs. It’s also cited as one of the top 3 causes of work stress in the cyber security workforce. If this keeps you up at night, you’re not alone. It’s understandable that if you have career goals, but your organisation doesn’t give you the opportunity to pursue these, or develop your skills, you would look for somewhere that did. This ties into so many other areas of your life, increasing job satisfaction and overall mood, and from a financial standpoint.
55% of cyber security professionals feel their stress levels have increased recently. This is why stress ranks as one of the top reasons cyber security professionals are quitting. Causes of stress at work can be attributed to many factors, including the stress of the job, lack of progression, the effects of COVID-19, suffering a cyber attack, and job insecurity. Heavy workloads, long hours, tight deadlines, and a rise in security incidents have also been reported as responsible for the rise in stress levels. It’s arguable that this is a common issue for cyber security professionals across multiple industries, so leaving for another cyber security role might see you move from one stressful environment to another. However, many organisations are now investing more in cyber security talent, and restructuring how the company deals with strategy and communication in this department. It might be that a move away from organisations who aren’t recognising the importance and impact of cyber security could greatly reduce stress levels at work.
These are consistently the top reasons why you might leave a role. However, others have been listed, including (but not limited to) lack of management support, poor work culture/environment, limited remote work possibilities, inflexible work policies, desire to work in a new industry, performance issues and retirement.
If you’re considering making a move now, or in the future, contact one of our Cyber Security Recruitment Specialists. Moving to an organisation where you can avoid running into the same problems that caused you to leave your last job is paramount, so working with a Recruiter is the way to go. They’ll find out your pain points and the type of organisation that would be a good fit for you. By building a trusting relationship, they can ensure you won’t need to worry about quitting your next role any time soon.