Security job: Sales Engineering Manager, Genetec
Like many security professionals, my career in the industry happened rather by chance. Leaving college, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I started out at a computer company and then moved to a communications company, keen to evolve my technical knowledge. This got me into voice and data networking, which in turn led to a new job at a large networking manufacturer. Here, I attended a number of courses on different aspects of the IP realm and ended up as a third line support engineer.
After six years I moved from post sales into presales. Whilst I enjoyed troubleshooting and fault finding, I wanted to work on the design of networks, rather than the support side. A discussion with an old colleague secured me a sales engineer position with a systems integrator. Here I built my knowledge of servers, storage and network security – technologies that are all still relevant in my role today.
This prepared me well for my entry into the security industry as a sales engineer at Axis Communications. My mentor was the very knowledgeable Atul Rajput (now Regional Director Northern Europe at Axis) and I worked with a great team who helped me hone my skills. I enjoyed the role immensely, and spent most of my time assisting and training installers moving into IP, and in turn learnt the intricacies of evolving surveillance camera technology.
From Axis, I moved to Genetec, because with the hardware side under my belt, the software side seemed a logical step. My role today is busy and varied, each day offering something different – from working on enterprise level design, public speaking, training, writing articles or working on better customer support strategies. It can be challenging, with long periods of travel and high levels of pressure which can be hard to balance with my home life. But, I’m lucky to work for a company with great products, backed by a great team who all share the same drive and passion – as well as understanding and supportive family and friends!
I often encourage people to step into security and can offer the following pointers from my own experience: find a company/product that excites and motivates you, understand what your competition does and finally, understand the problems that your customer is trying to solve, and build a solution that fits. Don’t just sell features, as in the long term, that won’t get you anywhere.