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How to Make the Leap from IT Pro to CIO

What does it truly take to become a CIO? For starters, you are going to have to completely change the way you think about and approach technology. In an article for InformationWeek, David Wagner talks with executive recruiter Kathy Harris about the true nature of the CIO position.

Oftentimes, IT professionals have such a deep-rooted love for technology that they want to further their technology commitment and become a CIO. Senior managers actually view technology as a means to end for the betterment of the business, not a solution on its own. This is a difficult mindset for new CIOs to break.

A leader is only as strong as the people surrounding him or her, so this means a CIO needs to have a strong team. The CIO needs to have a great relationship with the team, and understand people and how to best engage them in project activities.

Before even applying for a CIO position, Harris suggests studying job postings and seeing the job requirements. Looking into different postings can help potential CIOs see where they need to improve, and what areas of skills they should be emphasizing. Talking with the current manager may even help to further develop necessary skills.

A huge amount of senior leadership jobs are filled by networking. This is often something that is foreign for IT professionals, but it is the necessary evil to landing the dream job. Additionally, higher positions bring about a more tedious interview process. The interview will take longer and the company will likely look to see how well the potential CIO is meshing with others.

When it comes to impressing the interviewer, there are four things to emphasize:

  1. What you have made
  2. What you have built
  3. What you have saved
  4. What you have achieved

That bottom line is that potential CIOs need to emphasize what business advantage they have brought to the organization. You can view the original article here: http://www.informationweek.com/it-life/how-to-make-the-leap-from-it-pro-to-cio/a/d-id/1324668

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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