The impact of burnout....
In my role within the cybersecurity industry, I've witnessed the impact of burnout first-hand on both my candidates and clients. The past few years have brought a surge of pressures, exacerbated by remote work, talent shortages, frustrations with job duties, and a host of other challenges.
These factors have created an environment where a recent study concluded 66% of individuals in the cybersecurity industry experience stress at work: 22% are very stressed, 23% are fairly stressed, whilst 63% say their stress levels have risen over the past year.
The age-old saying of amidst the bloom of virtue, the seeds of hardship take root, for balance prevails. Although an incredibly rewarding and fruitul career, the relentless demands of the profession can take their toll on the resilience of cybersecurity professionals. The responsibility of safeguarding sensitive data and combating ever-evolving threats is enough to strain even the strongest minds. And now, the added complexities of remote work have blurred the lines between personal and professional life, leaving individuals in a perpetual state of being "on."
Compounding the issue is the talent shortage, which places additional strain on cybersecurity teams. The workload continues to increase while resources become scarcer, leading to heightened stress and potential burnout. Amidst these challenges, mental health is becoming increasingly fragile within the cybersecurity industry. It is imperative that we remove the masks that we wear and acknowledge the toll these circumstances are taking on individuals. What can we do? We must rally together to make long-term impacts to improve mental health across the board, from graduate to CISO.
We must create an environment that not only recognizes the struggles but also embraces vulnerability and encourages seeking support from both an employee and an employer standpoint. Cybersecurity is one of the most exciting and rewarding careers out there, I speak to candidates and leaders daily who truly love what they do. It is through collective understanding to prolong this industry that we can build a community of empathy and support, reminding professionals that they are, in fact not alone. A study recently revealed that the top 3 ways cyber security professionals prevent or recover from poor mental health are by getting outside (66%), staying active (65%) and spending time with family and friends (61%). Interestingly, it doesnt come down to a dislike of the industry, all comes down to the importance of having a healthy work/life balance.
It is crucial to shine a light on the mental health crisis within the cybersecurity industry, as employers and of course, as the individuals who are representing talent within the industry, we must peel away the layers of pretence and create a culture that nurtures honesty, and understanding.
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