5 Steps to Becoming a CIO

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Do you want to be on the career path toward becoming a Chief Information Officer (CIO)? This role goes way beyond technical skills. Before you can start on climbing the ladder to the executive suite it is important to have a clear career plan that can take you there. Here are the five best career tips for aspiring CIOs.

  1. Learn leadership skills. While most IT jobs are focused on the technology, a CIO has a very different role in the company. This position is all about leadership. It is critical that you not only understand the skills it takes to be a leader in a corporate environment but active cultivate those skills. Be open to opportunities and take responsibilities for your actions, both good and bad.
  2. Be flexible with tech knowledge. Of course, the one thing that differentiates a CIO from any other C-level executive is the oversight of IT. Technology is a part of this job; it just isn’t the only part. You should have a clear understanding of IT and be able to handle various aspects of it, but have a diverse enough background that you can lead this part of an organization from any angle.
  3. Focus on communications. A good leader also has strong communications skills. You need to be able to speak and write effectively and communicate with people at various levels of a company. If you want to be on the path to CIO it is essential that communications be a primary focus of your career development. Spend time learning effective skills in this area.
  4. Learn to see skills in others. A successful leader, especially one who climbs to the rank of executive, is especially skilled at delegating tasks to the right people. Making sure that your team is made up of the best individuals for the job will be a large part of the CIO role. Learn to understand how certain personality types work together and complement one another. Develop groups who are efficient and embrace innovation.
  5. Understand corporate structure. Lastly, the hardest skill to learn as a CIO is corporate structure. The reason for this is that every company is going to have a different mission and core values. IBM, for example, is largely procedure based and at the CIO the level the functions are very different from a company like Apple. Before you start down the path of CIO start to think about the type of corporate structure you work best in and pursue those types of jobs.

Do you think you have what it takes to follow the path of a CIO? VincentBenjamin can help you find an opportunity to take your career to the next level.