Nearly every CIO took an occasional misstep early in their career as they were learning to navigate the nuances of leadership roles. Luckily, aspiring tech leaders can learn from these mistakes, helping them to avoid similar situations and trappings as they work their way up the ladder.
If your career goals involve reaching the upper echelons of management, here are some common early-career mistakes made by CIOs and how to avoid them.
Avoiding Maintenance Tasks and Routine Projects
Typically, maintenance activities and routine projects don’t have a substantial amount of visibility within an organization. However, they are essential to a company’s success.
Similarly, pushing against prolonging legacy systems in favor of transitioning to the latest and greatest system may seem more exciting, but it may not be in the best interest of the business. And rejecting the idea of improving what’s there can hurt your career.
Instead of rejecting the routine, differentiate yourself within that space. Increase your knowledge of existing systems, learn how to use them to create additional value, and strive to improve what is already in place. This will set you apart from professionals who aren’t interested in anything but high-visibility projects, cementing your reputation of always having the organization’s best interest in mind.
Not Seizing Opportunities to Become a Top Performer
If you establish yourself as a top performer, it is possible to bypass your more complacent colleagues, even if they have more experience. Those interested in reaching the leadership ranks should work to keep their skills up-to-date and complete their work to the best of their ability every time, regardless of the level of visibility.
Don’t be afraid to acquire new skills associated with emerging technologies, even if they aren’t yet in use at your company. That way, if they decide to embrace them, you are ahead of the pack and can help make the transition a possibility.
Not Proactively Planning Your Career
Becoming a CIO rarely happens by accident. Instead, reaching that level in an organization is usually the result of a well-planned career that was properly executed.
If your goal is to become an executive, then identify the skills and experience required to land those roles. Then, pursue opportunities that allow you to move in that direction, networking with other skilled professionals and tech leaders along the way.
Being Afraid to Let Go
Whenever a person in a contributor position reaches the leadership ranks, it can be hard to shake that old work persona. But, if you become a manager, your role has changed, and you need to learn to trust your team and release the urge to handle the tasks that used to make up your day to day.
Strong leaders delegate and empower their teams, and that means letting go of who you used to be and embracing who you are now.
By avoiding the early-career mistakes above, you can position yourself for greater success as you reach the leadership ranks. If you are looking for a new opportunity to move your career forward, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with leading employers throughout the area. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our services can help you take the next step toward your career goal.