It happens to the best of them. The long meetings talking about the same old issues. No support from top management. A sense of doom and despair prevails and before the year’s over, you can’t take it anymore.

You want out.

Everything you’ve experienced confirms the old joke: CISO stands for Career Is Surely Over. Well it doesn’t have to be that way.

Dominic Vogel, founder and chief strategist for CyberSC will offer some solid tips and career advice for experienced CISOs looking to become consultants and make a new life as a Virtual CISO (vCISO).

In “Journey of a Lifetime: So you want to be a vCISO?” at InfoSec World 2020, Vogel will go over some defining principles and chart a path to your next career move. Vogel’s secrets: Be pragmatic and honest. Be genuine and authentic, relational and not transactional. He also says vCISOs need to play the long game with potential clients, shortcuts don’t work.

A vCISO has to make certain decisions up front. Will they take on one large client or multiple small ones? Decide on a niche and don’t overpromise. Talk to people you trust in the business and find out what people charge.

Vogel adds that once a person decides they are in business for themselves, they have to be selling all the time. Use your contacts. Offer to speak at trade show meetings or these days, at virtual trade shows. And decide who you want to do business with. Which companies are your ideal clients? And which companies are ideal partners? If you’re an expert at assessments, you may want to partner with code developers and remediation people so your clients get the full services they need.

Longtime corporate people can go it alone, but they need to be strategic about which clients they keep and which ones they let go. They should build their brand on social media outlets like LinkedIn and use social media as a way to solicit feedback and get the word about the good work they do.

Finally, Vogel says: Do what makes you happy. Remember the reason you went on this journey in the first place.