The Australian Computer Society published an article last week claiming that ‘4 in 10 workers ready to quit jobs’ in a phenomenon known as The Great Resignation.

In this post, FifthDomain will help you to unpack the trend, consider the impacts for your Security Operations Centre (SOC) and cyber workforce management strategy, and discuss how you might even turn this situation to your advantage.

What is The Great Resignation and what is causing it?

The Great Resignation is an ongoing trend of higher-than-average rates of resignations, notably in the USA and Europe. It is expected to play out on Australian shores with New South Wales and Victoria leaving lockdowns behind in the coming weeks (after all, it’s also happening in New Zealand).

A number of factors have combined to get us here. The data suggests that the resignations are accelerating. There are high rates of worker dissatisfaction among Millennials and Generation Z. People are feeling professionally stuck; 43% feel progression has stalled or slowed. Employees have had a taste of working from home, and more than 40% of them would rather quit than wrangle ‘return to the office’ policies. Maybe it’s purely existential; being thrust into working-from-home arrangements to avoid a once-in-a-century pandemic challenged the centrality of work to identity and people’s blueprints for their life shifted accordingly.

The Great Resignation is happening, but it is not evenly distributed.

Will The Great Resignation apply to cyber security?

Resignations are highest in IT and for mid-career employees (ages 30-45). Cyber security engineers in the USA are, on average, 41.9 years oldmany of these analysts and engineers overlap with the at-risk group.

Resignations in technology have increased this year (4.5%, compared to decreases in manufacturing and finance). The Harvard Business Review suggests these rates were higher in fields that experienced extreme increases in demand related to the pandemic. If that is true, consider the 600% increase in cybercrime in 2021 attributable to Covid-19, and how that translates to the experience of the operators in your SOC.

Finally, the war for cyber talent still rages: finding qualified employees remains the greatest challenge for technology leaders. That usually translates into opportunities for higher pay, benefits, and faster advancement, all sources of confidence to press your negotiating position.

When you consider the general causes of The Great Resignation, and the specific factors for the cyber security industry, we believe that The Great Resignation will have a pronounced impact in the job market, with consequences for your SOC.

What does this mean for your SOC? What can you do about it?

The advice from Jack Altman, CEO of HR software company Lattice, is to create growth plans with individual staff, track progress against that plan regularly, and celebrate those wins.

To be more specific to cyber security: we suggest developing tailored learning pathways to keep your cyber operators engaged, challenged, and prepared for the evolving threat landscape. Acknowledging your operators skillsets, and having an active plan to address their gaps (and celebrating when they do so), should quash those feelings of professionally stalling.

Your personal investment in your operator’s professional development and skills may earn you greater retention, which is far cheaper than hiring new operators. Word gets around – The Great Resignation will see cyber operators seeking out the best teams. Why shouldn’t it be yours?

Enjoyed this free article?

Provide your email to receive more insights on cyber workforce management.