Advancing Your Career without Leaving Your Institution

Higher education IT professionals can successfully advance their careers without moving to another college or university. The author shares the lessons he learned during his thirty-three-year journey from IT student employee to CIO at the same institution. These tips are helpful regardless of whether someone chooses to stay at one location or move around.카지노사이트

Higher education IT professionals are commonly advised that if they want to advance their careers, they need to be prepared to switch institutions. But for some people, this may not be an option or a choice they are willing to make. If this sounds like you, that doesn’t necessarily mean your career is at a dead end. By taking proactive steps, you can prepare yourself for advancement opportunities that arise at your college or university. While working (and advancing) at one or two institutions for an entire career is not necessarily as common as moving between several institutions to advance, many higher education professionals have successfully progressed from entry-level positions to executive appointments at the same college or university.

There are many reasons why you might wish to stay at the same place for most of your career. Perhaps you have fallen in love with an area. Maybe you have children in the local schools, family nearby, or other deep ties to your community. Perhaps you cannot imagine yourself elsewhere. For me, it was several things: I love the natural beauty of the area, I have a sense of belonging to my community, and I wanted to live in a place where my wife and I could raise our family. I also feel deeply connected to my institution and continue to enjoy opportunities to contribute and make a difference.

Early in my career, I realized that I wanted to try and stay where I was for a while, but I also was interested in growing professionally and advancing if possible. To make that happen, I knew that I had to take proactive steps to continue to expand my experience and make myself a strong candidate for opportunities as they arose. While the path I took from IT student employee to CIO was certainly not straight, many of the lessons I learned along the way can serve as helpful suggestions for others who are trying to advance while staying at their same institution—whether they aspire to become CIOs or simply want to move to the next level.

Prepare Yourself

Whether you are at the beginning or well into the second decade of your career, you can prepare yourself for future opportunities. Some of the tips below are investments that position you for things that may be a few years into the future, while others are actions you can take to prepare yourself for opportunities that may be just around the corner.

Have a general sense of where you want to head. Predicting exactly how your career journey will unfold may not be possible; however, taking time to reflect on what is important to you in terms of your career and what that path means for your life outside of work can help you progress with intention. 바카라사이트

Opportunities will change, goals will shift, and new horizons will become visible over time, but having an idea of where you would like to go and what you would like to accomplish are crucial (knowing what is not appealing to you is equally important). Reflect on how these choices will impact where you live, your daily work/life balance, and any other obligations you may have. This exercise includes thinking about what activities and work bring you joy and energy and what kinds of things you don’t find as fulfilling.

Having a general sense of where you want your career to go, along with continued self-reflection as your career and life events unfold, provide you with the context, motivation, and guide rails to keep you moving forward as you proceed on your journey.

Expand your horizons beyond your institution. One of the top obstacles to advancing at your own institution is showing that you bring perspectives, ideas, and best practices from beyond the place where you have spent much of your career. The more time you spend at one institution, the more critical this issue becomes—especially as you seek to advance to the higher ranks where broad perspectives and strategies can play the biggest roles.

When an institution is looking to fill a management role, regardless of whether it is an entry-level or senior position, institutional leaders often leverage the opportunity to bring new perspectives and ideas to the organization. Hiring a new person is one of the most effective ways to help a department evolve and mature and to help leaders craft the culture and future direction of an organization. As an internal candidate, it is important that you can show that you can help your institution grow by bringing in ideas, best practices, and perspectives from beyond your campus. 온라인카지

With some intentional work, you can expand your horizons while remaining at the same college or university. The key is getting involved in activities outside of your institution.

As you work to broaden your perspective, you should look for two types of opportunities: those that allow you to grow your leadership and organization-development skills and those that enable you to dig deeper into current, new, and evolving issues related to your field or career path (these activities do not necessarily need to happen at the same place). When a chance to advance arises at your institution, explain how those outside experiences have helped prepare you for the new role.

There are many ways to grow your leadership and organizational skills, including volunteering at a local nonprofit organization, sitting on the board of your local library or other agency, organizing a community makerspace, running an annual charity event, or participating in countless other activities that allow you work with and lead teams toward a shared objective. Many of these opportunities will take time to nurture. You will need to seek out some of them, while others will come your way as you put yourself out there. One small action can open a door and then another. You never know when a brief interaction may catch someone’s attention. Be open to exploring opportunities as they arise. Even if something is not an exact fit in the short term, it could lead to other, more valuable opportunities down the road.

To expand your perspective and understanding of your field, get involved in organizations and discussions related to your career path. To find these, talk with others who have the type of position you are interested in and find out what organizations they belong to, what blogs or lists they follow, and what books or magazines they read. Then, get involved. Subscribe to newsletters, participate in discussion forums, attend user groups (virtually or in person). Volunteer to read conference proposals (this is a great way to get a sense of what people are thinking about), submit your own conference proposal (proposing a session at a smaller regional conference or collaborating with a colleague can be good ways to start), and attend events, both large and small, virtually or in person, where you can hear what others are thinking about and participate in the conversation. One of the wonderful things about working in higher education is the collaborative nature of our industry. There are many regional and national consortiums, professional organizations, and special-interest groups that provide a welcoming opportunity to engage with others and gain different perspectives.

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