Career Link: Career management, Step 1

How to properly assess yourself to prepare for your career in the security industry

If you are weak in one of these attributes or areas, it doesn't mean you will do badly. Recognizing where your strengths and weaknesses are gives you an advantage. If you understand that your preferred style may be a little different than what's needed in a certain leadership role, then you know 1) that you may need to look for a different role or organization, or 2) that you need to work on strengthening that attribute. If you develop your career management plan and complete this step before you're even in the market for a new job, you'll have lots of time for self improvement.

Another benefit to doing this type of self assessment in advance is that it really prepares you for the upcoming job search process. Potential employers are likely to ask about your style and preferences and ask for examples, so you're laying the groundwork to think about these things and to develop sincere and well-thought-out responses. And because you'll be better in touch with your own preferences, as you're talking with potential employers you're going to more easily pick on up whether you truly want the job they're offering you.

It's important to look at your skills and preferences and match those to the kinds of job you're looking for. An honest self assessment will help you decide what company you want to work for, whether the position and the organization's expectations are a great fit (past the paycheck), and will prepare you to interview there when the time comes.

Jerry BrennaAbout the author: Jerry Brennan is co-author of the book Security Careers, and content expert faculty for the Security Executive Council. He is also founder of Security Management Resources, the leading global executive search firm specializing exclusively in corporate security. The new edition of Security Careers includes more than 70 security job descriptions and career paths; up-to-date compensation trends for each position; tips on how to get the best compensation for yourself and your staff; comprehensive lists of certifications, member organizations and job resources; and resume tips and samples.