A new opportinity: Sr. Security Engineer back to IT Support

SoCalGuy858SoCalGuy858 Member Posts: 150 ■■■□□□□□□□
edited March 2020 in IT Jobs / Degrees
tl;dr Currently a Sr. Security Engineer for an insurance company, but have an opportunity to join a 3-letter federal LE agency with same pay, same local, but would move back into IT support.  Looking for input!  (For those that remember, I posted this 1.5 years ago about another opportunity that came my way, which I currently serve in:  https://community.infosecinstitute.com/discussion/133905/a-layoff-and-a-new-six-figure-opportunity/p1)

So, as the tl;dr states... I’ve got an opportunity in front of me to join a 3-letter federal LE agency as an IT support person in thier local office, so no need to relocate.  This would be a “jack of all trades” IT role covering 3-4 smaller offices in my part of the state.  I’m qualified up to the max grade for the role, which would get me essentially equal pay if I were to be granted the highest step.  With paying into FERS and TSP matching, it would definitely be a bit less, but certainly not an issue or show-stopper whatsoever.

I love security, but getting the opportunity to join federal service in a role that's as cool as this one is (in my eyes, anyway!) is definitely the one thing I think could pull me out of security, even if it's just a stepping stone.  My biggest desire growing up was to serve in the military, but that went right out the window with a medical disqualification... so I'm looking at this as my "chance" to do something.  (It also doesn't hurt that it would come with a TS/SCI clearance that could help with future roles, not to mention simply having "3-letter federal LE agency" on your resume!)  I also definitely don't mind doing IT support, and actually enjoyed my early years doing so, especially in the smaller offices I worked in (more of a team-player feel to it rather than just a cog in the giant help desk wheel.)

I'm making a list of thigs to discuss with the hiring staff (how much travel, on-call, etc., etc.), but would love anyone's input from those that have had to weigh decisions like this -- particularly if anyone is past/present civil service and can relate to making that jump from the private sector.  I'm trying to make sure I don't miss any important questions to ask or different ways to evaluate this.

Thanks, everyone!
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  • mikey88mikey88 Member Posts: 495 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Don't assume that you'll get the highest step. I knew a guy that went back and forth with HR for 3 months to bump his pay a bit until they finally budged. Also, depending on day one clearance requirements, you may not actually start for a long time after you accept conditional offer, so keep that in mind. 
    Certs: CISSP, CySA+, Security+, Network+ and others | 2019 Goals: Cloud Sec/Scripting/Linux

  • SoCalGuy858SoCalGuy858 Member Posts: 150 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Good to know!  Thank you, mikey!
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  • JDMurrayJDMurray Admin Posts: 13,025 Admin
    edited March 2020
    Make sure you understand the requirements and restrictions of your DoD clearance. With a TS, you will be restricted on what you can do and to what countries you can travel to and when. You must moderate your behavior so you can pass a surprise drug test and stay our of legal and financial trouble. Even getting mistakenly arrested by LE can cause your clearance to be reduced to a level below what you need to stay employed.

    Ask your interviewer what will happen if you are hired and you don't pass muster for the full TS/SCI. (This is where your past history will come back to haunt your future.) Will having just a TS/SSBI or Secret clearance be enough to keep you employed there? Ask if there are any additional project clearances required and what their requirements are.

    People think of a DoD clearance(s) as a shiny, desirable badge for their resume, but it's really a mark of trustworthiness that you must continually live up to if you want to keep it.
  • SoCalGuy858SoCalGuy858 Member Posts: 150 ■■■□□□□□□□
    @JDMurray Thanks for the input on the clearance!  No blemishes on my past history whatsoever, as well as a great financial standing, so I would *think* I'm good there, but who knows!

    Thanks again for the input!

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  • itdeptitdept Registered Users Posts: 273 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I currently do support desk so I would see this as a step backwards...
      I also definitely don't mind doing IT support, and actually enjoyed my early years doing so, especially in the smaller offices I worked in (more of a team-player feel to it rather than just a cog in the giant help desk wheel.)
    How long ago were you on help desk and for how long? For me it feels like dog years.

  • SoCalGuy858SoCalGuy858 Member Posts: 150 ■■■□□□□□□□
    It was definitely years ago, but not *that* long (I'm only 27).  Early on around 18-21.
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  • Danielm7Danielm7 Member Posts: 2,310 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I'm not too familiar with how LE/gov does budgeting and such, but are they really likely to hire someone who hasn't done the job they're hiring for for 5+ years who will likely cost around double what they could hire someone else for? Without getting into whether it's a good career move or not, i'm just not sure if being overqualified in a different specialization and far top of salary band = someone they'd want to make an offer to?
  • SoCalGuy858SoCalGuy858 Member Posts: 150 ■■■□□□□□□□
    You're guess is as good as mine!  I'm just along for the ride... :)
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