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Lydia OSHODI: from Cybersecurity manager to staff management director

Cybersecurity refers to the practice of protecting internet-connected systems, including hardware, software, and data, from cyber threats. It involves implementing measures to prevent unauthorized access, data breaches, identity theft, and other potential risks that can occur in the digital realm.

The primary goal of Cybersecurity is to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information by safeguarding computer systems and networks from various types of cyberattacks. These attacks can take many forms, such as malware, phishing, ransomware, social engineering, and more.

Discover the story of Lydia Oshodi that worked as Cybersecurity project manager to recruiting the best Cybersecurity candidates for companies!

Lydia OSHODI: from cybersecurity manager to staff management director

Hi, my name is Lydia Oshodi, I am a Nigerian American based in Florida. I have worked in the project management space for years in mid-size organizations to Fortune 500 companies in various industries such as finance, Cybersecurity, entertainment & etc. Outside my corporate work, I have helped thousands of jobseekers gain valuable resources in their career journey and turned my passion into helping others by launching my own staffing agency. I am now the President and Chief Executive Officer of Saveen Management Staffing, where we recruit IT and Cybersecurity candidates for our clients who are seeking the best talent for their departments. Growing my firm has been an amazing, exciting new venture, and most importantly resourceful for my network.

My mission

As a Chief Executive Officer, I handle our strategic partnerships with clients. I make sure I manage the operations of the business such as the finance department, sales/marketing team, and talent acquisition team. My favorite part is seeing our team members hit their metrics and performing to the best of their ability. My least favorite is having to attend a lot of meetings to touch base with everyone for the week, it can be overwhelming sometimes.

Everyday as a C-suite executive looks very different due to the tasks being presented to me, but for the most part, I usually start my day at 8am to check my emails and calendar schedule assigned by my assistant. Review any important priorities I must first complete before lunchtime which may require an immediate response. From there, attend any necessary Zoom meetings with business partners or my internal team members for updates. After noon, I would work on business development plans I have for the firm.

My background

My career path is simply as a tech investor. My staffing firm is one initiative that I had set forth but also will be working on becoming a Venture Capitalist* for tech startup companies ideally in the healthcare space. Health innovations have always piqued my interest since I believe that "health is wealth" and personally making efforts to create a healthy lifestyle for myself. Supporting and backing other tech founders to expand their business so they can make a difference to patients and consumers will truly be a goal of mine.

*Venture capital is a specialized form of financing that supports new and innovative business ideas or startups. Think of it as an investment made by individuals or firms in promising early-stage companies that have high growth potential, but may also involve higher risk.

I wished I had a role model growing up to direct me in working smarter not harder in my career. I took the unconventional route and dropped out of college due to not knowing what I want to do in life. I was taught at an early age just 4 types of careers: becoming a doctor, lawyer, financial manager, engineer and that's it. These pathways were the road to success as part of the Nigerian dream. The frustration of not fitting to the box and figuring out what was best for me was a long journey.

Now with the knowledge I have on resources that could have given me hands-on experience into tech, I would have better guide myself in picking out a role I enjoyed. Also understanding the importance of networking on LinkedIn so I could see other options out there.

My company

Other than sharing educational courses, training programs, and tips to transition into technology & security, I wanted to be the “middle man” in bridging the gap in helping an individual to land a job. Being part of the last process of someone securing their dream role is very fulfilling for me. Many people don't understand the layers of having a job, it goes deeper than just the title, but it is a tool for someone to make ends meet in their personal life. They have a job which pays well to put food on their table, help save money for a better future, and even give them access to benefits for their wellbeing.

Lydia OSHODI: from cybersecurity manager to staff management director

My experience as a woman

I faced more so discrimination of my race and ageism vs gender in my experiences. Being the token black team member has always felt unsettling to me. Whenever I had to perform, all eyes were on me and I was never given the same grace or feedback that my colleagues had that did the exact same work. A lot of times I also felt pressured to excel and meet high expectations to prove my worthiness of having the role.

I had incidents where I was questioned about how I got my job or been treated with passive aggressiveness in the workspace due to some hidden feelings towards me being in the team. Made it even worse that I was always the youngest team member in a managerial position which left a few colleagues to feel threatened. I tried to voice out my concerns to leaders but I noticed more eyes were on me. I don't think awareness has increased since there's a lack of black leadership in C-suite positions and HR positions. It is difficult for the department to take a complaint on discrimination seriously when there's no diversity within their teams.

I try my best to participate in black women security and IT groups via Facebook. I provide all the resources I can find to help other black women to excel and be given a fair chance to succeed.

My hobbies

I am part of the screening committee for "The Cancer Fund" which is an early stage venture capital fund designed to impact cancer by commercializing promising cancer research for preventions, therapies, cures, and enabling technologies. I am a member of ForbesBLK, the sister organization of Forbes that is an exclusive hub for leaders of color who are breaking down barriers & impacting culture globally. I am also a member of CyberDEI which is a community of professionals interested in Cybersecurity wanting to create systematic change in inclusion & diversity for the industry.

For hobbies, I enjoy cooking, traveling, wine tasting, going on hiking trips for outdoor activities and reading. My current books that I am reading are "Ready, Fire, Aim: Zero to $100 Million In No Time Flat" by Michael Masterson and "Unleash the power of the female brain" by Daniel G. Amen.

I also enjoy watching Japanese anime and hope that in the future I can be part of curating a studio for live action movies based on all the hit animations. My current favorites are Jujitsu Kaisen, Kotaro Lives Alone, and Hunter x Hunter.

Work and family

I try to have a balanced schedule by placing all my tasks from Monday through Friday and making sure work does not bleed into my weekend activities. At Saveen Management Staffing we aim for a work life balance culture. I believe it's important to know when you are feeling burnt out and stressed. I sometimes request a self care day within the week which allows myself and my employees to have the option to take one if necessary so they can regroup and reset.

Lydia OSHODI: from cybersecurity manager to staff management director

Role model My role model is Quianna Watson, she is a luxury real estate broker and investor based in Atlanta, Georgia. Despite her being in real estate, I came across Quianna Watson's career journey when she first started out as a real estate agent on Instagram. I had just graduated from high school and wanted to see other black women who are successful & carried themselves with class. Quianna has been the perfect example till this day. Her work ethic within managing her own team at her brokerage and scaling her business was what motivated me to launch my staffing firm. Seeing a black individual breaking the status quo, top % in her state and continuously building generational wealth for herself is inspiring to me. I pray I get to meet her one-day just to let her know how much she means to me in my journey.

Some piece of advice

My advice is that there is no cookie cutter path to Cybersecurity. Someone else's journey will not look the same as yours, so don't be discouraged. Even if you come from a non-traditional background, you have transferable skills that can tie into a security role. Cybersecurity is just the industry but remember that there are plenty of roles for you to choose from that will suit your interest. Take the time to research, connect with others on LinkedIn for advice before dedicating any studying. Having some type of guidance will go a long way.

Do not give up on yourself. The sky is your limit.

As a young woman looking to launch your own company, the best advice I would give to you is to be resilient. There is no glitz or glam of being an entrepreneur. Your traditional 40 hr a week job that you are used to might turn into 50 hours or more as a business owner. There are days when you have to work overtime or put in constant attention into details that can be very tasking yet very rewarding in the end. Your company is like your project, you built it from the ground up and put in sweat equity to see it grow. That alone will give you the motivation to propel forward despite any challenges that may come your way.

Edited by Manon P. et Mazzarine D.

Lydia OSHODI: from Cybersecurity manager to staff management director

Find her on Linkedin : Lydia Oshodi


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