What To Do When You’re A CIO That’s In-between Roles

Will Astbury
by Will Astbury 18 July 2016

Chief Information Officers (CIOs) may leave a role for a number of reasons. However, all of these reasons basically fall into two categories ‘your choice’ and ‘not your choice’.

Unless you have your next position lined-up, or the funds to take a short career break, as soon as you know that you might be leaving your job you need to get to work.

You must take control of your job search if you want to find the role that is right for you, quickly. Here are some tips to help you:

1, Prepare Yourself To Leave

If you have time to plan your exit from work, make a copy of all materials you will need to bolster your CV (without infringing on your former employer’s copyright and your employment contract) and negotiate your severance package, working with a good employment solicitor can be money well spent.

CIO Magazine identified the following list of information that you will need to copy from your former employer to help you with your job search:

  • Contact details (name, title, phone and email) for your contacts that you made at the company.
  • Copies of emails and notes received from happy clients.
  • A summary notes on your projects and responsibilities.
  • Resist the temptation to copy proprietary information such as sales data, software code and specific business plans.

If you were not expecting to leave your current position, give yourself a few days to collect your thoughts and adjust to the shock. Try not to take it personally, there are plenty of businesses out there that will need your skills. Note your thoughts and try to access the relevant information listed above.

2, Review Your CV

When looking for work, everybody wants their next job to be fun, challenging, and to suit their personal strengths, whilst providing appropriate compensation so they can live their life in the way they have become accustomed.

Think about your specialist knowledge, the most successful projects you have worked on (include the stats to prove it), and write a list of your achievements and the things you learned in your previous role.

While updating your old CV, make sure to refresh your descriptions of previous roles so they reflect popular topics and technologies that current employers are looking for. Computer Weekly said that CIOs must not let themselves become pigeonholed and should focus on conveying the impact they have had on businesses rather than just on IT.

Another ‘must’ is tailoring your CV to your next potential employer. This may take a little bit of extra time but you need to convey to your prospective employers exactly why their company needs you.

When your CV has been updated, make sure that this is reflected on your LinkedIn page. Consultants from IT recruitment agencies scour these sites when they have a role they need to fill urgently. Make sure that your job profile is not overlooked.

3, Work Your Network

CIOs have varied views of the effectiveness of LinkedIn and other online networks as means of finding new roles. Whatever your opinion, you need to reach out to your friends within the industry, your professional associates, and members of any boards you sit on and let them know your current circumstances. LinkedIn is a great way to convey this information quickly. Your connections may know of opportunities from their networks and personal recommendations still go a very long way.

Whilst you have the time, continue to build your network. IT recruitment agencies host a range of events, for thought leaders. Make sure your name is first on the list as these events are great way to hear about the latest movements in the industry and raise your profile.

Invest in your personal brand by offering to speak at these events, or write a blog with your thoughts on topical IT discussions. All of these efforts will stand you in good stead when it comes to interviews, as you will have brushed-up on the latest relevant debates.

Focus on building relationships with positive people that are making strides in the industry. They will inspire you, and provide useful insights to their successes.

4, Consult While Job Hunting

A great way to gain experience, build your networks, achieve notoriety, and cover costs when searching for a permanent position is to do short consultancy jobs.

According to CIO Watercooler, the key to working for a client as an adviser whilst looking for a job is to balance your diary and priorities. The aim is to remain visible and available to both potential employers and consultancy clients. Ensure that you have a manageable structure to your week so you can attend interviews and give your clients high-quality service.

5, Work With An IT Recruitment Agency

Good IT recruitment consultants know about current job opportunities across the UK, and they know when positions will be coming available in the near future.

Their aim is to get you a job and they get paid for doing this on a daily basis, so listen to any advice and guidance they may offer.

To avoid wasting your time, clearly convey your aims, your expectations, your experience, and your philosophy. Recruiters will store this information so even if they don’t find you a role right away they are more likely to find the right position eventually.

Crimson IT Salary SurveyCrimson is an IT consultancy, an IT solutions provider, an IT recruitment agency, and a Microsoft Gold Partner with offices in Birmingham and the City of London.

Topics: IT Recruitment