Planning Your Next Career Move?


How often do you think about your next career move? Two recent articles in CIO Insight bring the issue front and center.

In their new book, The Real Business of IT, Richard Hunter of Gartner and George Westerman of MIT pose the question to CIOs and aspiring IT leaders.

That excerpt comes from the end of a chapter describing the various roles a CIO can play. Many have found themselves moving up the ladder due to their success in IT leadership. But, as Hunter and Westerman note, none of those CIOs planned those career progressions. "You can't dictate the future, but you can take steps to improve the chances that your future will be what you want," they write.

Art Langer of Columbia also weighs in on the topic. In his analysis piece, he urges CIOs to strongly evaluate their strengths and weaknesses as they look down the road at their next potential opportunity.

Building a strong professional brand can be a huge advantage in the job hunt, says Howard Seidel, a partner with the career advisory firm Essex Partners (scroll down for his bio.)

Like Langer did in his analysis piece, Seidel offers a number of questions CIOs should ask themselves:

- If I were to leave today, how am I positioned?

- What are my strong suits?

- And what could be the perception of what I'm missing?

- What are the components of my background I need to build up?

Answering those questions should help CIOs and aspiring IT leaders understand their personal value proposition to a potential employer. After that, they need to understand the needs in the market, and then figure out how to position themselves to fill them.

Touting your accomplishments is one thing, he notes, but networking to build strong references is essential. "Certain executives have a background of accomplishment," Seidel says. "They have visibility for having done certain things, but they also have champions out there who are actively promoting them for positions."

How do you go about evaluating potential opportunities? What questions do you ask about yourself and your own strengths/weaknesses, especially in this time of great change?


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