SOURCE: Princeton Public Speaking

Princeton Public Speaking

January 12, 2011 11:16 ET

Frontline to CIO (or even CEO): 10 Tips to Boost Your Career in IT From Princeton Public Speaking

10 Step Communication Blueprint: How IT Professionals Can Position for Advancement

PRINCETON, NJ--(Marketwire - January 12, 2011) - Even in difficult economic times, the opportunity for advancement exists. This is the first in a series of communication "blueprints" from Matt Eventoff of Princeton Public Speaking for IT executives looking to ascend through the ranks, whether you are a frontline associate looking to move up, or a Senior Vice President looking toward the CIO role.

While these steps can't guarantee that you will move up within your organization, they will definitely give you a leg up on your competition.

1. Develop Relationships within your organization but outside of IT - Seems like common sense but this often gets pushed to the side in favor of day to day responsibilities that yield immediate results. It is much easier to communicate what you do and why it is important to someone who is used to hearing from you regularly. Make a habit of trying to develop a relationship within a different business division at least once a month.

2. Develop a message - How does what you do, or what your team does, further the efforts of the organization? How does it help the business achieve its bottom line objectives? You MUST be able to articulate the value of your position to the organization clearly. This often takes time and effort, but is crucial -- make the investment.

3. Be open. Be available. Talk to people. - IT can often breed a solo or small team atmosphere. If you are a leader in your organization, be seen. Nothing is worse than a CIO, CTO, EVP, AVP or even Director, who stays behind closed doors and remains silent.

4. Treat your top talent as you would boss - If you think you have talked to them enough, go back and talk to them one more time. Trust me, if your top talent is nervous, and they are, and you are not communicating with them, they are looking elsewhere. As times get more challenging your top talent becomes more valuable. This rings true at every organizational level, from the frontlines. Replacing superstars is not easy.

6. Be Consistent - Nothing deflates an organization or a team more than perceived inconsistency in communication or communication style.

7. Be Open with Information - The old adage that "information is power" still holds some truth; however, the idea that hoarding that information will result in more personal power does not. Controlling the flow of information is a losing proposition. Everything you do sends a message, and communications, or lack thereof, sends a clear message (hint -- not a positive one).

8. Develop Partnerships within other IT Divisions - This happens in many divisions outside of IT as well; the tendency to end up in silos and spend precious little time networking in other divisions within your community can cost opportunity. Just like in sports, rising stars at different positions often end up leading the entire team; develop those relationships now.

9. Master Other Domains - Feedback I hear fairly regularly from IT executives, when commenting on professionals who are looking to ascend internally, is the need to have experience in more than one space. While "master" might be a strong term, a well-balanced portfolio should not only be limited to your 401k.

10. Get a Mentor. Stat. - Mentors are crucial in any business, and in a business where networking is not as common as in other lines of work (sales, marketing), mentoring is not only a great way to learn but also a great way to develop a relationship with an executive that you would normally not have the ability to interact or spend significant time with.

About Princeton Public Speaking:

Matt Eventoff is the President of Princeton Public Speaking. For over 15 years, Matt Eventoff has served as a communications and messaging strategist for C-level executives in organizations ranging in size from startups to Fortune 100 firms.

Princeton Public Speaking specializes in communication training, message development and training, and media training. Please visit www.princetonpublicspeaking.com for more information.

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