My clients are very smart people.
They are expert problem solvers who can anticipate technical and business issues months - if not years - in advance, and create complex, detailed, and effective strategic plans that address many critical issues - before they happen.
But it's often the case that those same IT professionals are far less strategic about their own careers than they are about their jobs.
That's not a criticism, of course. We all have blind spots - and the old proverb about the shoemaker's children going barefoot is something we can all relate to. Speaking from my own experience, not all professional resume writers have great resumes.
So it's not really surprising that the most strategic IT executives may be less than strategic about their own careers - and this can even more common with execs who are so good that they've been consistently recruited for new opportunities, without giving the necessary thought to where a next opportunity may lead.
After all, if everything is going swimmingly, it's a natural human response to assume that that's going to continue indefinitely.
But in one's career - as in most aspects of life - every choice increases one set of options, while limiting others. That's the nature of life - choices have consequences.So it's critical that you take the time to examine where your current job is - or is not - taking you. Because, as George Harrison said, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there."
I realize that when you're as busy as many IT professional are, it's easy to think that there's just not enough to think about your career. To think about the next ideal opportunity. And - to the extent than any of us can do this - to map out a real strategy to get to the place you want to be in ten years.
If you want to become a CIO or CTO, you need to hone your management, leadership, and strategic skills.
If, on the other hand, you're not terribly interested in management, you need to focus on building the technical tools that will make you a superior Architect, for example. But it is important to realize that if you do want to stay hands-on through your career, opportunities may be harder to come by when you're in, say, your fifties - and relatively expensive.
And you need to realize that, if your current job isn't helping you reach your long term objectives, but just providing a - possibly healthy - paycheck, than every year you stay in that job may limit future options that are more interesting, more challenging, and more remunerative.
If you know that you're ready to move - if you know that the job you've currently isn't taking you where you want to be, it may make sense to invest in your career. Strong, powerful IT resumes and IT cover letters really can make a difference in how fast you get called back for an interview.
And if you've just not sure where you want to be in a year - or in 10 - IT career coaching can help you gain the clarity you need to really discover your passions, and creating a strategy to help achieve your goals.