You are the CIO of the company and you have already reached the top of the food chain but what’s next. Good IT leaders never settle and always stay in the learning mode. On the flipside, average IT leaders settle when they reach the top and think that they know everything already.
If you are a CIO that belongs to the former club and looking for ways to advance your IT career despite being at the top, then this article is for you. In this article, you will learn about seven ways that can help you advance your IT career in 2022.
7 Ways To Take Your IT Career To The Next Level
Here are seven ways you can use it to propel your IT career to new heights.
- Change Your Role
Yes, you read that right. Just because you have reached the zenith in one industry does not mean that you can not think about changing your role. If you want to take on new challenges and want to learn new skills, you must consider this option. If switching to a completely different industry seems too daunting, you can take up a different role in the same industry. For instance, if you are currently managing the best servers, you can move towards network server or database management or any other discipline of the IT industry.
Do your research regarding different avenues your industry offers and if you find one that suits your taste, you can take up the new role. If the industry you are currently working in does not offer you that liberty, it is better to consider an alternative career path. Don’t be afraid to switch jobs or even go to a competitor if they provide better learning and career growth prospects.
- Become a Mentor
You have spent years or even decades working in the industry. You can share your experiences and knowledge with others and motivate new entrants to achieve their goals. This will not only allow you to nurture talented teams but also give you some time off from your hectic daily routine. For fresh candidates who have just stepped into the industry, it will be a once in a lifetime learning experience.
It will teach them things that no books or university can ever do and give them the opportunity to learn from others’ mistakes without making them. It even gives you the satisfaction that you are giving back to the community who have helped you to reach that point in your career.
- Be A Part of a Faculty
One of the most common issues behind talent shortfall or skill gap in IT or cybersecurity industry is the huge disconnect between academia and industry. You can act as a bridge to connect them and minimize that gap to end this acute talent shortfall.
You can do this by joining a faculty and use your experience to teach students what’s relevant and will help them excel in their careers in future. Additionally, you can also become a member of a curriculum board and review course content taught in universities and colleges. This allows you to suggest which topics need to be covered and which ones should not.
Yes, you might not be able to teach like a professor could do but you can bring in the years of experience and industry knowledge that they lack. Yes, you might have to deliver lectures, design tests and grade them, which can be hectic but it can give students access to a teacher who does what he teaches.
- Kickstart an Outreach Program
If you have some free time, you can even think about volunteering. When you are helping others or supporting a cause, it will give you internal satisfaction. You can visit different high schools, colleges and universities to deliver lectures. You can also start an outreach program and use your connections to your advantage. More importantly, you can play your role to get enterprises involved in public initiatives so it can benefit both parties. Your role will be highly appreciated and might even get recognized at a higher level.
- Network, Network, Network
Yes, you might already have a huge network or you might not get enough time for networking due to your busy schedule but that should not deter you from networking. It will give you an opportunity to learn new concepts and see existing concepts from a fresh perspective. The more new people you meet, talk to and share your views with, it will change your outlook on different topics. You can also attend conferences, seminars, symposiums and webinars to expand your network and keep pace with latest industry trends. This allows you to stay up to date with the latest industry developments.
- Citizen Developer Initiative
With the rise of no or low code development tools, you don’t have to be a tech geek in order to develop apps and software. These tools have empowered citizens and made app and software development convenient with that drag and drop interface. If you are one of the IT leaders who supports this movement then, you can be a part of the citizen developer initiative. Learning new skills and creating powerful applications have never been so accessible for everyone than it is now thanks to these no or low code development tools. The added push for agility, digital transformation and speed will fuel this trend even more.
- Seek Professional Help
If you have reached the top and could not tell where to go from here then, having a career coach can come in handy. They can guide you in the right direction but can also share actionable insights and well thought out strategies to help you advance your career as an IT professional. Having a career coach on your side increases your chances to achieve your goals as research has already shown that individuals who have career coaches are 65% more likely to achieve their career goals. The number can be even higher when your progress is closely monitored.
What steps do you take to take your IT career to the next level in 2022? Share it with us in the comments section below.