Turn Down an Interview

 

When you apply for a job, it may be days, weeks, or even months before you hear back about an opportunity. During that time, you might land a new position, have a change in your personal circumstances, or simply become less interested in a particular role. Then, if you get an invitation to interview for the job, you find yourself in a tough spot.

 

While some would argue that you should attend every interview, even if it’s solely for the practice, that isn’t always a practical choice. Plus, it means potentially wasting the hiring manager’s time, and that might not be something you want to do if you don’t want to burn bridges at that company.

 

Luckily, it is possible to turn down a tech job interview invitation without harming your reputation with the hiring manager. If you aren’t sure how to manage the situation, here is the most amicable way to decline the opportunity.

 

Express Your Appreciation

Being asked to interview is something to be grateful for, even if you no longer want to pursue the job. By expressing your appreciation to the hiring manager, you are more likely to make a positive impression, even if you are declining the opportunity.

 

Let the hiring manager that you are thankful that they reached out before you say anything else, as your gratitude will help soften the next part of your response.

 

 

Clearly Decline

If you are turning down a tech job interview, you don’t want to be ambiguous. Instead, you need to clearly state that you are declining the opportunity.

 

For example, saying, “I am unable to attend” might suggest to the hiring manager that the date or time doesn’t work, but that you are still interested in interviewing. This can lead to an awkward and unnecessary back and forth that could have been avoided had you been clear from the beginning. Instead, let them know that you “need to decline the opportunity,” removing any question about your intention or interest in attending.

 

Whether you provide a reason is up to you. However, if you do choose to let the hiring manager know what you are declining, make sure to keep it both vague and brief. Additionally, by honest if you opt to provide a reason, as a fib could come back to haunt you later.

 

End on a Positive

After declining the interview, it’s wise to end on a high note. Before you close, consider saying something positive about the company. You can also add that you are confident they will find a great candidate for the role.

 

You don’t have to be overly specific, but adding some positive can increase your odds of being remembered fondly should you decide to apply to a role in the company in the future.

 

By using the tips above, you can gracefully decline a tech job interview. If you are interested in learning more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us with your questions today and see how our expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Incompetent Boss

 

At some point, nearly everyone experiences stress related to their boss. However, when your manager is genuinely incompetent, dealing with the situation can be incredibly taxing.

 

While severe ineptitude is generally rare in the workplace, it does occur. Usually, it is the result of an individual receiving a promotion for the wrong reasons or being tasked to oversee positions when they aren’t overly familiar with the person’s specialty.

 

Luckily, it is possible to thrive at work, even if you have an incompetent boss, though it does require getting into the proper mindset. Here’s how to get started.

 

  1. Be Empathetic

What may initially appear to be incompetence may, in fact, be something quite different. If your boss is overtasked or under significant pressure, their missteps may be the result of those stresses and not a lack of understanding.

 

By assuming an empathetic mindset, you may be better equipped to discover the nature of the issue. This could lead to a revelation that they aren’t actually incompetent or at least make it easier to understand that bosses, like all people, are human and can make mistakes.

 

  1. Get Advice

Sometimes, your frustration can cloud your judgment, making it hard to find a reasonable approach to the situation. If this occurs, requesting advice from a trusted colleague or mentor may help you gain perspective and find workable solutions, giving you the tools necessary to cope with an incompetent boss.

 

 

  1. Identify Solutions

When you discuss an issue with your boss or have a request, don’t just approach them with the problem. Instead, also provide them with potential solutions that can help them fulfill your needs. For example, if you need their help, require their input, or need permission to go forward in a particular direction, make that clear. Then, if your boss can’t fulfill that need, present an alternative that allows you to get what you need.

 

This approach allows you to help your boss solve the problem, making the entire situation easier on everyone.

 

  1. Practice Self-Care

Prolonged periods of stress can be harmful to your health, so practicing self-care is a necessity while you navigate the situation. For example, resist the urge to victimize yourself or spend a significant amount of time complaining to others, an approach that typically doesn’t yield positive results.

 

Instead, focus on the positives of your job and use those points to stay motivated and happy, limiting the psychological impact of working for an incompetent boss.

 

  1. Move On

In some cases, looking for a new job may be the best solution if your manager is genuinely incompetent. It gives you the ability to find a boss and environment that better meets your needs, allowing you to obtain greater job satisfaction and reduce stress.

 

If you are interested in finding a new position, the skilled professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with leading employers throughout the area. Contact us to discuss your ideal role today and see how our services can benefit you.

 

 

Tech Burnout

 

Burnout is a serious problem in the IT field. Often, work overload is assumed to be the largest contributing factor, particularly since unemployment is low and many companies can’t fill all of their vacant tech position.

 

While being over-tasked is a significant factor in burnout, it isn’t the biggest one present in workplaces today. Additionally, there are many other reasons as to why a tech pro may burnout, showing that workloads are only part of the larger puzzle.

 

The Biggest Factor of Tech Pro Burnout

A recent survey of IT professionals indicated that “poor leadership and unclear direction” was the largest contributing factor to burnout, representing 23 percent of the responses. This is four percentage points higher than the second-place contributor, “work overload.”

 

The results of the survey showcase the value of strong leadership within an organization, particularly one where the mission and the company’s vision are clear and serve as sources of guidance and inspiration. Similarly, it highlights the importance of direct managers functioning as leaders to their team, something that often requires clear communication and expectations.

 

However, “work overload” is still a significant cause of burnout for tech professionals, so this point shouldn’t be discounted. If tech teams are constantly tasked with more than they can manage, leading to long periods of mandatory overtime, burnout may be inevitable for some. But, even if additional hours aren’t required, the feeling that catching up is impossible can be just as damaging to morale.

 

Other Top Reasons for Burnout

Not far behind “work overload,” which came in at 19 percent, was “toxic culture” with 18 percent of the responses. This suggests that many tech businesses and departments are still experiencing culture issues, leading many to turn away from the field or seek out opportunities with other companies.

 

A “lack of control and career growth” as well as “insufficient reward” were also cited as top reasons for burnout, with 15 and 12 percent respectively. This could also indicate the importance of being appreciated or acknowledged in the workplace along with giving employees a sense of autonomy and room to advance.

 

Only about 10 percent of survey participants claimed that “burnout isn’t a problem” at their workplaces.

 

Ultimately, burnout continues to plague tech pros at a range of companies, both inside and outside of the tech industry. At times, problems can be remedied, allowing employees at risk of burnout to recover. However, if companies continue to provide poor leadership experiences, overload their workers, maintain toxic cultures, or not correct any of the other causes of burnout, workers will likely feel forced to seek out opportunities elsewhere to escape the situation.

 

If you are interested in learning more about how to combat burnout in the workplace, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our workplace expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Red Flags

 

Your resume is often the first impression a hiring manager gets about your capabilities as well as you as a person. If certain red flags are present, it isn’t uncommon for your application to be sent directly to the discard pile.

 

By removing negative points and making specific corrections, you can increase your odds of being selected for an interview. If you want to make sure there aren’t any red flags on your tech resume, here’s are some key areas to examine.

 

Spelling, Grammar, and Formatting

Misspelled words, poor grammar, and formatting issues can significantly harm your chances of landing a job. They can suggest a lack of attention to detail or that you didn’t care enough to review the document before you submitted it for consideration.

 

Before you send your resume to the hiring manager, make sure it is error-free. Run it through several spelling and grammar checks, read the entire document line-by-line, and adjust the formatting to increase readability, ensuring there are clear divisions between the sections and a reasonable amount of white space.

 

The Total Length

When you create a tech resume, you need to make sure it is an appropriate length based on the complexity of the job. Typically, if you are applying to an entry-level role, a single, full page is the ideal target. If you are aiming at a higher level position, then a two-page document is acceptable, as long as all of the details are relevant.

 

 

Including Skill Lists

While it may seem wise to include a list of your skills on a tech resume, this isn’t the best approach. A basic list doesn’t provide any context when it comes to your skill level or how you applied your skills in a professional or educational environment.

 

Instead, work your relevant skills into your resume by including those details when you discuss your accomplishments. This approach is much more valuable as it allows hiring managers to see not just what skills you have but where you used them and your level of success.

 

Weak Word Choice

The language you use to describe your skills can either inspire confidence or doubt in your abilities. Phrases like “familiar with,” “knowledge of,” or “some experience” suggest you don’t possess much experience in those areas, and that can harm your chances of being selected for an interview.

 

Instead of using those weaker phrases, make your resume bullet points achievement-oriented and quantify them. Typically, this will eliminate the ability to discuss your skills in an ambiguous fashion, which may be an easier approach than simply searching for a more powerful phrase. Plus, by highlighting your accomplishments, it is easier for the hiring manager to see your value, increasing the odds that they will see you as a competitive candidate.

 

By using the tips above, you can remove red flags from your resume. If you are interested in learning more or are seeking out new employment opportunities, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our skilled team members today and see how our services can make it easy to take your career to the next level.

 

 

Google Learns from Failure

 

While the term “postmortem” may conjure up some grisly images, that is the word Google decided to assign to its process of assessing its failures to allow them to make improvements. It involves an internal process of documenting mistakes and analyzing missteps so that the company can learn from these errors.

 

Ultimately, any organization can embrace Google’s approach, allowing them to benefit from this tried-and-true system. If you are ready to see your failures in a new light, here’s how to get started.

 

Identify the Most Significant Problems

Not every incident is as serious as others. When you want to focus on improvements that provide the most value, it’s wise to focus on issues that are genuinely important.

 

To determine which events qualify, you need to define what constitutes a major problem for your company. This may include evaluating the potential ramifications of an incident, ranging from the level of impact the organization feels to how it affects customers, as well as how severe the long-term implications are should the issue remain unresolved.

 

Document Everything

Creating a written record of the issue is a critical part of the process. It allows you to review precisely what occurred, what led to the problem, how it was mitigated, and the final resolution. Then, you can focus on defining steps that can prevent the misstep from reoccurring in the future.

 

If you want the documentation process to be successful, it’s wise to gather input from all involved parties. This ensures you get a complete picture of the incident as well as the perspectives of anyone who worked on the matter.

 

It also allows every team member to reflect on the scenario, which can potentially lead to additional insights that weren’t clear during the height of the incident. The process can be a little time-consuming, but it is worth it in the end.

 

Focus on Growth

When something goes wrong, it’s easy to play the blame game. After all, no one wants to believe they are even partially responsible for what occurred.

 

However, focusing on blame isn’t constructive. It creates an environment that is based on fear as people work to dodge any repercussions.

 

Instead of allowing blame to dominate the conversation, shift the discussion to a more constructive place by making growth the priority. This will enable you to reframe the incident as a chance to improve instead of as a setback.

 

Additionally, when you remove blame from the equation, your team will be more likely to admit their mistakes or failures, increasing the odds that you’ll be able to learn from the entire situation. Leaders also need to be honest about their errors. Otherwise, your employees won’t be as open.

 

By following the tips above, you can use Google’s approach as a positive example for addressing problems as they occur. If you would like to learn more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members and see how our expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Cybersecurity Salary

 

With the implementation of GDPR in May and information about leaks and breaches continuing to make headlines on a regular basis, cybersecurity is increasingly at the forefront of every company’s mind. This has created substantial opportunities for professionals working in the field, but some are more lucrative than others.

 

While your skill set and level of experience play a substantial role in determining your current or future salary, one seemingly innocuous factor also has an impact: your job title.

 

Even when the core competencies and experience level are predominately the same, the title associated with your current or next position can either help or hurt you when it comes to pay. If you are wondering why your title affects your cybersecurity salary, here’s what you need to know.

 

Job Title Nuances

Certain words within a job title can alert how you are perceived. This can lead to salary variances, impacting the amount you earn today and your worth in the eyes of a potential employer.

 

At times, these differences reflect differences in the nature of the duties. For example, an analyst role may spend more time monitoring and examining systems, identifying potential vulnerabilities, and creating plans to overcome weaknesses in the system. Testing may also be more prominent in an analyst position than some others, though this isn’t always the case.

 

Cybersecurity engineer jobs may focus more on actual system changes and physical or technical interventions. Design activities may also be more common.

 

However, in some cases, two roles with differing titles may be incredibly similar. Companies are free to label a position how they see fit, so there isn’t an inherent standard that all businesses must adhere to when deciding which title to use.

 

 

Salary Differences

While each organization controls the salary range it offers for a particular job, one survey showed that certain job titles tend to come with higher levels of compensation.

 

When the survey examined “Cybersecurity,” “Cybersecurity Analyst,” and “Cybersecurity Engineer,” as job titles, they found that the analyst positions tend to come with lower salaries than the other two in every major city they included in the analysis. Additionally, the generic “Cybersecurity” also tended to trend higher than the analyst roles.

 

However, it is possible to boost your value in the cybersecurity analyst field if you possess the CISSP certification. It can also have a positive impact on cybersecurity engineers, so don’t forgo the credential simply because you focus on the engineering aspects.

 

How to Make the Most of Your Cybersecurity Career

If you want to increase your earnings potential as a cybersecurity potential, it pays to seek out engineering roles over analyst positions. This small change can significantly improve your salary when you land a new job and throughout your career.

 

Should the option be available, consider listing your current cybersecurity position as an engineering role on your resume as well. This may make you appear more valuable in the eyes of potential employers, potentially leading to a higher salary offer. However, only do so if your employer supports that title as being appropriate to your position. Otherwise, a reference check may lead the hiring manager to see your resume as inaccurate or inflated, which could harm your chances of landing the job.

 

If you are interested in learning more or are looking to make the most of your cybersecurity career, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your professional goals today and see how our services can make finding your ideal job easier than ever before.