My situation is at least somewhat unique, and I’m looking for advice.

I have been fascinated by offensive security / red team stuff for years now, despite having no direct background in it. I have a background in a lot of work that overlaps with it, but never held a security role. Briefly, my background is:

– 15 years experience as a Network Engineer (including architect roles designing large datacenters)
– 10 years of network automation and software development, writing and maintaining various internal tools in Python
– 5 years of monitoring/analysis, mostly working with time series data and visualization tools
– 10 or so years experience working with Linux systems. Never directly had a systems engineering role, but all my work is constantly overlapping so I’m quite strong here, just not as strong as on the network and automation side.

I’m getting a bit bored in my current career. I lead a simple life and have been in the tech industry long enough that I’m far more motivated by interesting work than by money.

So my question is this: How does someone like myself who has a very strong technical background get into red teaming and offensive security work? I assume my background gives me a huge leg up, but also I’m concerned people will think it’s a bit odd that someone with my skillset is looking to completely change careers. I currently am making in the 200-300k range, but I’d be perfectly happy with an 80k offer if it meant the work was interesting and I’d have opportunities to learn.

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