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VOLUNTEERING

IMPACTS
YOUR CYBER
SECURITY CAREER

We live in a fast-paced world and everyone many substantial benefits such as learning
has a busy life. Demanding schedules of new skills, building an industry network,
work, and family can make it hard to meet and even finding a new job.
day-to-day obligations yet alone spend
time as a volunteer. However research Recently CyberSecJobs.com, assisted by a
indicates that volunteering can offer network of security conferences globally
tremendous benefits, including finding a including Security BSides, HackInParis and
sense of purpose. HackWestCon, conducted a global survey
among industry professionals who spend
Yet with all of these busy lives, you will find time volunteering at cyber security
that many, if not most conferences and conferences and other activities in the
programs in the cyber security community cyber security community. The purpose of
are completely volunteer run. In the cyber this survey was to find out more about
security community, you don’t need to community volunteering efforts, employer
commit an extraordinary amount of time in support for volunteering and how
order to reap the benefits. Spending just a volunteering contributes to the
few hours a month has been shown to offer development of professional skills.
OVER 55%
OF RESPONDENTS HAVE BEEN
OVER
VOLUNTEERING FOR MORE THAN 4 55%
YEARS AND MORE THAN 50% GIVE
AT LEAST 8 HOURS OF THEIR TIME
PER MONTH.

Volunteer activities outside of work and include securing sponsorships, managing


family commitments demand more from volunteers, public speaking and conflict
professionals, as these are nonpaid management.
activities that are done purely to provide
programs and events that add value to the
community.
33.7% WORK WITH AT LEAST
This level of volunteer commitment is a
clear statement that volunteers find value in TWO DIFFERENT
their efforts. When someone is looking to
volunteer, it’s important to think about what ORGANIZATIONS AND 30.7%
will give you the most satisfaction, what
mission you want to support and who will WORK WITH FOUR OR MORE.
you be working with. Look for opportunities
that match your interests, but also maybe
look to support the skills you would like to
develop. From local Meetups to national
conferences, there are a wide variety of
Initially, many professionals tend to stay organizations that would benefit from your
within one category of volunteer work such participation and offer the experience you
as security, registration or website design desire. Many volunteers start with a local
but there are many other areas to build activity, develop skills and progress to
confidence and skills that will assist in larger opportunities. Don’t pigeon-hole
career development. These opportunities yourself; explore all the possibilities.
THE MAJORITY OF VOLUNTEERS, AT 41.6%,
VOLUNTEER THE DAY OF AN EVENT HELPING
WITH SPEAKERS AND LOGISTICS.

It is difficult to put in the time day in and day If you can’t volunteer other than the ‘day of’,
out beyond work and family activities, so there are many skills that you can develop
many volunteers commit to volunteering just including speaker liaison, registration,
the ‘day of’. These volunteers provide a security and network operations. Even with
much-needed burst of energy and ‘day of’ volunteering you can still develop
enthusiasm to volunteers who have been skills and progress in your volunteer
working all year long to make an event or development. Research the opportunities
program happen. and jump in where you are most comfortable.

Volunteering in the community has become


a must have benefit for employees in the
information security and cyber security
communities.
62%
82% Savvy employers know that their employees
can build great skills through their volunteer
work. They also know that having their
employees volunteering in the community
reflects well on the employer. This is part of
OVER 82% ARE EMPLOYED AND building their Employer Brand and helps with
retention and recruitment.
OVER 80% OF THOSE HAVE AN
EMPLOYER WHO KNOWS THEY Check with your current or future employers
to see if your organization will support your
SPEND TIME VOLUNTEERING volunteer time away from the office.
AND SUPPORTS THEIR Employers, if you are looking for a way to
retain your employees or recruit great talent,
EFFORTS. THE MOST you may want to re-examine your support of
volunteer activities and organizations.
PREVALENT EMPLOYER
SUPPORT, AT 62.3%, IS IN THE
FORM OF PAID TIME OFF.
THE MOST RESPONDENTS SAY SKILLS THAT
THEY TAKE AWAY FROM
VOLUNTEERING INCLUDE

REPORTED TEAMWORK, ORGANIZING,


PLANNING AND COMMUNICATION
SKILLS. WITHOUT SPECIFIC TASKS,

SKILLS IT IS DIFFICULT TO BUILD KEY


NONTECHNICAL SKILLS.

81% | TEAMWORK 79% | ORGANIZING

74% | PLANNING 75% | COMMUNICATION

While most professionals are looking to build their technical skills, there is an abundance of
nontechnical skills employees and employers are looking for. Through volunteering,
professionals are learning valuable skills sometimes without even knowing it.

The “got to get the job done” mentality with all volunteering efforts requires individuals to learn
new skills so that everyone benefits. And these are skills valuable in your career search. Be sure
to outline your volunteer work and responsibilities on your resume and social media profiles, and
include in your interviews key opportunities where you learned a new valuable skill that makes
you perfect for that next job.
2%

55.4%
98%

44.6%

WHILE SLIGHTLY OVER 50% FIND


VOLUNTEERING STRESSFUL, A
WHOPPING 98% SAY THEY FIND
VOLUNTEERING FULFILLING.

As we all deal with stress in our lives, volunteering provides both stress and fulfillment. The
camaraderie, the enthusiasm and feeling of an accomplishment help make volunteering fulfilling.
Many times, we do not find this fulfillment in our work and it is a nice break to find this
satisfaction elsewhere.

The friendships and networks that are built through volunteering help bridge many of the
impacts of isolation that may be experienced in the information security community. Any project
will come with a bit of stress but can you say that the stress you encounter professionally is
always fulfilling? Be sure to look at volunteering to complement your professional life to add
diversity into your normal routine.
95% BELIEVE THAT
VOLUNTEERING IMPROVES
NETWORKING AND SOCIAL
SKILLS

6%
94%
WHILE 94% FEEL THAT THEIR
VOLUNTEER WORK HAS A
POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE
INDUSTRY.

Without even knowing it, volunteering provides numerous professional and personal
skills that job seekers hope to develop. Many of the personal stories include
professionals who considered themselves introverts but were able to finally come out
on their own with gained confidence.

Having a variety of opportunities to interact and learn new duties provides numerous
skill-building moments. Everyone wants to make a difference. Volunteering gives you
the opportunity to meet that goal. And while you may not be looking for a job at the
moment, the time will come when an expanded industry network will benefit your
career growth.
AS YOU CAN SEE FROM THESE RESULTS,
VOLUNTEERING IN THE COMMUNITY HAS AN IMPACT
ON YOUR CAREER AND CAN PROVIDE OVERALL
PERSONAL FULFILLMENT.

The professional fulfillment If you are an employer who To help jump start your
is threefold: would like to retain and volunteer work, here are a
recruit talent in the cyber few organizations that
1. You can take pride in security community, could use your time and
contributing to the industry consider these tips for your offer a rewarding
that has shaped your employees: experience:
professional life. Your
efforts help many others • Encourage volunteering • BSides is a
grow in new ways and you by providing paid time off community-driven
will build relationships that for community activities. framework for building
last a lifetime. events for and by
• Find out which activities or information security
2. You benefit from events your employees community members.
contributing to projects attend or support and then
that fuel your career look into sponsoring these • Wreaths Across America 
trajectory by developing activities. has a mission to
qualities that include remember, honor and
leadership, persistence, • Provide support for your teach.
time management, employees who want to
delegation, project submit proposals and • The Diana Initiative is a
management, and problem speak at conferences. computer security
solving. conference aimed at
supporting women in cyber
3. The network that you build security.
through volunteering can
support you in your career 44% • HackWest is the newest
search and development. hacker/infosec convention
based in the West.

56%

NEARLY 60% STAY WITH THEIR CURRENT


EMPLOYER BECAUSE OF VOLUNTEERING SUPPORT