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3 Ways to Get Your First CIO or CTO Job

3 Ways to Get Your First CIO or CTO Job

Breaking into the CIO or CTO ranks is challenging. But people do it…the question most people have is “How?”CIO

To better understand how, it’s important to know why it is so difficult to land that first CIO or CTO position.

  1. There are a limited number of C-level opportunities (CIO, CTO, CxO)
  2. The number of candidates at the VP, Director, or Senior Manager level waiting to get their chance to head up the technology organization is at least an order of magnitude greater that the number of available roles
  3. Most larger companies expect to interview candidates who have already served as a CIO or CTO with another firm

OK, so that leaves out the possibility for jumping directly to a C-level role at a Fortune 500 company, but what about all those small and medium-sized businesses, start-ups, early-stage firms, and private companies? That certainly will be your target if you want to be successful. Now, let’s look at the 3 most common methods used to pursue one of these roles.

CIO Job Boards

There are hundreds of places to find CIO or CTO jobs posted online. These include Dice, LinkedIn, Career Builder, and Monster, as well as executive subscription sites like BlueSteps or Execunet. The paid sites offer the advantage of less competition, so there can be some value-add there. But C-level roles posted at free sites are highly competitive because of the sheer volume of people who respond…many of whom aren’t remotely qualified.

Recommendation: Join one premium site and use the public sites mostly for researching companies, their competitors, and the market in general.

Technology Recruiters

Recruiters are the be-all-end-all for senior executive roles, right? Not always. Only 4% of all positions are filled through recruiters (slightly higher for executives). Recruiters will typically not pursue candidates that aren’t already at the level for the role they are recruiting for. However, smaller companies will sometimes provide the recruiter with a desired candidate profile that includes people in the next tier down at a large corporation or working for a direct competitor.

Recommendation: Connect with recruiters, focusing on those that work with small and mid-sized companies. You can work with more than one recruiter at a time (and should). But don’t allow this to take up all of the time that you devote to the job search.

Executive Networking

You’ve heard it before…and I’ll say it again…networking is the most important thing that you can do to break into the ranks as a CIO or CTO, and it’s not even close. Industry research indicates that more than 70% of all executive positions are secured through networking. Here are the things that I hear most frequently when I tell candidates to network:

  • It’s too hard
  • It takes too much time
  • I can’t stand it
  • I’m introverted, so I’m not very good at it
  • I don’t have enough connections
  • I don’t have the right connections

Recommendation: Yes! Do it…but you’ve got to go about it the right way so that you don’t burn your network and ruin your opportunity to make a dormant network active for you.

Look, you don’t have to be a used car salesman type of person to make networking work for you. But there is a methodology that works, even for the most introverted person out there. If this is you, and you want help putting things into motion, schedule an appointment with me and we can get you on the path to success with networking.

But first, there’s one more thing that impacts your ability to land your first CIO or CTO role…

Positioning

No matter how you come across opportunities — job boards, recruiters, or networking — the manner in which you present yourself is a huge factor in determining where things go from there. That presentation has everything to do with positioning or a host of other terms that are used to describe it today (messaging, branding, etc.). The resume and LinkedIn profile are key, as they are typically the initial presentation of your skills and experience that people see. But it goes well beyond that to creating a portfolio that differentiates you from the pack…taking your candidacy from good to great!

Take Action

  • To schedule a free consult call with me, click on the link for my online calendar.
  • Learn more about our comprehensive U.S. CIO Recruiter Directory with 850+ names, emails, phone #s, and address…all instantly downloadable for just $49. Click here.
  • Check out the video on this post on YouTube.

 

Stephen Van VreedeAbout Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical résumé writer. He provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (NoddlePlace) (5-15 years) tech and technical operations leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy (out June 11, 2015). Contact Stephen directly at Stephen@ittechexec.com or send him an invite at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenvanvreede. To see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, take their free (and anonymous) 1-minute compatibility quiz, Is the ITtechExec Approach a Good Match for You? Also, feel free to take his complimentary resume self-assessment quiz, How Certain Can You Be About Your Technical Resume? You might be surprised by what you find out!

Becoming a Highly Sought-After Candidate in the War for Tech Talent

Becoming a Highly Sought-After Candidate in the War for Tech Talent

As a professional in the world of technology, you don’t have to agree that there is an aggressive “war for tech talent” as so many companies and media outlets claim. Heck, it can be a total fabrication! Bottom line, though, is that companies truly believe that they will gain a competitive advantage in the market by winning this talent war.

The Race for Tech Talent is On!
The Race for Tech Talent is On!

On April 4, 2016, CIO.com published the article, The Race for Tech Talent Isn’t a Marathon, It’s a Sprint, by Diana Bersohn. In it, she cites an Accenture Strategy – Technology study in which 85%-plus of the businesses surveyed believe that they need to win the war for talent to be successful in the market. Additionally, 80% believe that the workers they hired 5 years ago do not have the skill sets required for success today, with 60% feeling strongly that the biggest organizational challenge for IT specifically is having workers with the right skill sets for today.

My initial response to those figures was “Yikes!” If you’re doing the same thing you were doing 5 years ago, you’re antiquated…outdated…a legacy employee ready to be sun-setted…? If you do nothing, maybe you’ll get lucky and be one of the workers that your current company chooses to invest in for the future. But seriously now, do you have any confidence in that? What has their track record been with investing in their technical staff previously? A select few companies do a great job of developing talent internally, but most are just terrible because it requires knowing your people, evaluating their capacity for growth, and taking the time to prepare a deliberate development plan for each employee.

Make Yourself Marketable

Whether you’ve worked for the same company for 20 years or you are a contractor engaging with a new company every 6 months, how you’re perceived by decision makers in the market is entirely up to you. OK…you can’t control everything (for example, you can’t fix stupid), but you can connect the dots for people to make it obvious how your experience, talents, and technical skills translate into something relevant in today’s digital market.

It Starts with Your Language

The language that you use, both verbally and in writing, make a huge impact on how people view you. Despite much thinking to the contrary today, perception does not equal reality. However, people’s perceptions drive their thinking along with their real-life actions. That translates into the decisions that they make when promoting internal candidates or hiring external talent.

You can shift the perceptions others shape of you starting right now by reconsidering your verbal and email interactions. Think about what CIOs and other tech leaders value today and shape your language accordingly. For example, you’re a senior engineer on a project that management has decided to take a direction to which you vigorously disagree. You’re not a go-along-to-get-along type. Great, neither am I! But instead of continually slamming the project or questioning the intelligence of the management team, shaping your argument so that it focuses on specific business objectives elevates the discourse and can get people thinking about things from your perspective instead of simply a pain in the backside that should be silenced.

Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile

Changing the focus of your language applies to your resume and LinkedIn profile, too. When you’re talking about external opportunities, you only get one chance to make a great first impression. Even more challenging is the fact that your one chance gets squished down into 30 seconds or less. That makes the message you deliver in your resume and any online profiles of vital importance.

Are you an outdated employee with antiquated skills? Or, are you a fresh talent poised to help the company springboard into the next phase of the digital age? The answer to those questions has nothing to do with your age, gender, or your years of experience. It has everything to do with the identity that you present.

 

Stephen Van VreedeAbout Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical résumé writer. He provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (Nodd
lePlace
) (5-15 years) tech and technical operations leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy (out June 11, 2015). Contact Stephen directly at Stephen@ittechexec.com or send him an invite at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenvanvreede. To see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, take their free (and anonymous) 1-minute compatibility quiz, Is the ITtechExec Approach a Good Match for You? Also, feel free to take his complimentary resume self-assessment quiz, How Certain Can You Be About Your Technical Resume? You might be surprised by what you find out!

2 Resume Secrets for the Aspiring CIO or CTO

2 Resume Secrets for the Aspiring CIO or CTO

2014 CIO Resume Sample_Page_1The market is full of Technology Directors and IT Leaders hoping to break into the C-level ranks as a CIO or CTO. The problem is that demand far outpaces supply, making each CIO or CTO opportunity highly competitive. Naturally, every company wants “the best” candidate. But what does “the best” mean? And are you positioning yourself as the best possible CIO or CTO candidate?

The Secret Sauce for Your CIO Resume

There are many factors that go into how companies evaluate “the best” technology executives. It’s ok, you don’t need to guess what those factors are. You just need to consider what type of organization you want to be a part of and what type of leader you want to be.

Secret CIO / CTO Resume Ingredient #1

Call it “culture” or “environment” or anything else. Either way, the chemistry that you form with a company that employs you is important. No, really…it’s very important. Did you know that you can filter out a lot of opportunities that won’t be a good fit by how you position yourself in the resume or your LinkedIn profile? Well, you can. It’s not limiting either, but freeing.

Think about it. Have you ever gone through the hiring process with a company – dealt with the recruiter, completed several rounds of interviews, managed negotiations – before realizing that the culture isn’t what you’re looking for? Or even worse, you think everything is great and the company suddenly tells you they’re going to pass because you’re not a “good fit”?
That’s really frustrating…and your time is valuable, so don’t waste it.

Secret CIO / CTO Resume Ingredient #2

What type of leader are you or do you aspire to be? I speak with a lot of prospective CIO candidates that are tired of operating in a keep-the-lights-on environment that requires a command-and-control leadership style. Instead, they want to be a leader that builds a truly collaborative environment where people’s ideas and perspectives are valued.

That doesn’t mean the company chases down every stray idea each employee comes up with. But it does foster an environment in which employees understand how what they do impacts the business and encourages them to consider ways to improve how the business works.

If this is the type of leader that you are, don’t you think that it’s important to communicate that to your audience…executive recruiters, CEOs, and COOs? I do. In fact, using this strategy has helped the CIO and CTO candidates I’ve worked with be viewed as “the best” by many companies, including start-ups, mid-sized companies, and Fortune 500 corporations.

Take Action

  • To schedule a free consult call with me, click on the link for my online calendar.
  • Learn more about our comprehensive U.S. CIO Recruiter Directory with 850+ names, emails, phone #s, and address…all instantly downloadable for just $49. Click here.

 

Stephen Van VreedeAbout Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical résumé writer. He provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (Nodd
lePlace
) (5-15 years) tech and technical operations leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy (out June 11, 2015). Contact Stephen directly at Stephen@ittechexec.com or send him an invite at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenvanvreede. To see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, take their free (and anonymous) 1-minute compatibility quiz, Is the ITtechExec Approach a Good Match for You? Also, feel free to take his complimentary resume self-assessment quiz, How Certain Can You Be About Your Technical Resume? You might be surprised by what you find out!

The Sustainable Career

The Sustainable Career

covey

Some people wonder why it seems like others are always catching breaks at work…getting a promotion or being recruited for an exciting new opportunity. For those who excel, it usually has to do with a single decision made, committed to, and executed over the course of their career.

The Decision

What’s that decision? Simply put, it is the decision to invest in their future, to bring a passion to their place of work every day, to understand their value, and to know how their contributions impact the business at large.

“C’mon, you can’t be serious!” I know, you see evidence all around you of those who are getting ahead without giving one moment’s thought to these things. You’re right, but I would contend that these people aren’t becoming true leaders or giants in the industry. Instead, they’re just focused on nudging their way to the head of the peloton (in cycling, that’s the main pack of riders that cluster usually well behind the leaders). If you would characterize those you’re thinking about as image-conscious and, as my 11-year-old daughter likes to say, “one-uppers” then you’re spot on.

Is That What You Want Too?

Honestly, can you say that’s what you aspire to? Don’t you want to be great…not just fake things so everyone thinks you’re great but to actually be great?

If so, begin by making the decision today to invest in yourself and be passionate about what you do. There are so many ways to investment in you soundly. The typical fallback is another degree or certification. Those are fine but they do little in the way of helping you to understand who you are, what you want, what you have to offer, and how an organization should value your current and future potential.

That’s where building your brand image comes in. Not an illusion or false image, but a genuine representation of you in a form (resume, LinkedIn, bio, in-person) that resonates with executives internally and at prospective new companies.

 

Stephen Van VreedeAbout Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical résumé writer. He provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (Nodd
lePlace
) (5-15 years) tech and technical operations leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy (out June 11, 2015). Contact Stephen directly at Stephen@ittechexec.com or send him an invite at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenvanvreede. To see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, take their free (and anonymous) 1-minute compatibility quiz, Is the ITtechExec Approach a Good Match for You? Also, feel free to take his complimentary resume self-assessment quiz, How Certain Can You Be About Your Technical Resume? You might be surprised by what you find out!

Employee Engagement in the Workplace: A Disaster of Epic Proportions

Employee Engagement in the Workplace: A Disaster of Epic Proportions

realized-1238069The American workforce is largely disengaged from the goals and objectives of the organizations by which they are employed.

The 2015 State of the American Workplace study, conducted by Gallup for the past several years, shows that less than one-third (33%) of employees in the U.S. are considered engaged in their jobs and with the companies they represent.

employee engagement

That’s a staggering statistic! Unfortunately, it’s staggeringly poor. Let’s put that into perspective as we consider the impact this would have on workforce productivity at five of America’s most recognized tech companies. Again, this is just an example of the number of disengaged employees we could have if the national averages held at each of these companies.

Company Name Total Employees Disengaged Employees at 32.1% Engagement Rate
HP 302,000 205,058
Amazon 222,400 151,009
Microsoft 118,500 80,461
Apple 115,000 78,085
Google 59,975 40,723
 

TOTAL

 

817,875

 

555,336

 

What’s the Problem?

Without question, you can remove a certain segment of workers from the population because you’ll never be able to engage them at work. Those individuals will always have the “clock-me-in, leave-me-alone, clock-me-out, and forget-about-it” mentality. However, a larger segment of the population truly desires to bring value and be valued at their company. Well why aren’t they engaged then?

Peel Back the Onion

The answer to this question has multiple layers and many dynamic factors. But when you peel back those layers, the biggest element contributing to lack of employee engagement is leadership. Hold on, though! Before you go pointing your finger at “over-paid” CEOs and business executives, consider just who at the leadership level of companies has the most engagement with employees. Yup…middle management, including front-line supervisors, managers, directors, and department heads.

Two major deficiencies at the middle management layer are the main culprits affecting employee engagement. They are the relational and accountability aspects of management or leadership.

Most managers do not establish the proper foundation for a successful team/employee relationship. Being pals with your team does not lead to employee satisfaction. Neither does being aloof or acting like you’re “above” them. What really drives employee engagement in this area is mutual trust and respect based on professionalism, performance, and the value placed on each team member’s contributions.

Accountability, or the lack thereof, is the other major problem today. This is not to promote dictatorships in the management ranks because accountability cuts both ways. The leader is accountable on both a personal and a professional level to:

  • His or her team,
  • Performance of the team, and
  • Meeting the objectives of the organization.

Can This Help Me In the Job Market?

Executives, and rising middle managers, that are able to instill this type of culture in their organization are highly coveted because so many companies talk about change leadership but have a hard time delivering it. Likewise, those executives continually recruit directors and managers that “get it,” so positioning yourself in the market (we call it “branding”) as an accountable, relationship-building leader will result in the type of opportunities in which you’ll have the opportunity to work with inspired, engaged employees…and will help you be engaged yourself.

Don’t underestimate the power of team and culture leadership in your resume and LinkedIn profile. But be sure to have an effective strategy in place for how you present those skills. Having the right blend of hard-core, high-impact achievements along with those “soft” skills is critical to getting the response you’re looking for from executives and recruiters.

Stephen Van VreedeAbout Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical résumé writer. He provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (NoddlePlace) (5-15 years) tech and technical operations leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy (out June 11, 2015). Contact Stephen directly at Stephen@ittechexec.com or send him an invite at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenvanvreede. To see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, take their free (and anonymous) 1-minute compatibility quiz, Is the ITtechExec Approach a Good Match for You? Also, feel free to take his complimentary resume self-assessment quiz, How Certain Can You Be About Your Technical Resume? You might be surprised by what you find out!

Boost Your Image to Boost Your Salary

Boost Your Image to Boost Your Salary

salary-man-wearing-suit-holding-word-his-hands-41219907I recently read a series of posts by a colleague of mine on what candidates should and should not do when negotiating a pay raise at their current company. The information was largely accurate and relevant, instructing candidates to avoid arguments that focus on fairness, need, or length of tenure while emphasizing performance and success.

After reading and reflecting on these posts, I was struck by one overwhelming thought:

This is all very logical.

Immediately, I recognized that the problem here is too much logic. Don’t get me wrong, I love logic. I fancy myself a very rational, logical thinker. Most of us examine the decisions that others make with our logic, but make decisions of our own because of feelings. Think about it logically (smile)…consider advertising campaigns. When you see an ad for something you’re not interested in, you scoff and shake your head. However, when you see an ad for something that piques your interest (like the next new gadget), you’re transfixed and suddenly willing to overlook the cheesy marketing ploys used in the ad.

The same concept applies here. You’re not going to talk yourself into a raise (not a great one, at least) by using only logical arguments.

Image Is Vital

As much as you and I may hate it, image and perception trump substance in the world of work today. Actually, this has always been true to some extent, but in this era of teamwork and collaboration, if the people around you perceive you as a poor worker or a pain to deal with, your image across the organization won’t be so hot. There are always those people that are terrible at what they do but can game the system and make people think they’re great. On the flip side, there are amazing performers that contribute a ton of value who never go anywhere because they’ve done nothing to boost their image.

How Do I Boost My Image?

There are many things you can do to boost your image. In fact, there are various layers here, making the answer really complex. However, it will probably start with changing your thinking. If you’re like me, you are able to identify the frauds and can see through every move they make. It’s obvious to everyone, right? Wrong! Most people are so busy or are caught up faking things themselves that they don’t see what’s so obvious to you. I’m not advocating being fake yourself, but evaluating what the “successful frauds” do well and learning from that. So when you add a positive perception with substantive performance, your image is going to skyrocket.

That’s when you’ll be in a powerful position to negotiate a great raise based on your positive image (the feeling you produce in others about what you offer) and the value you bring (the logical evidence giving credence to those feelings).

Stephen Van VreedeAbout Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical résumé writer. He provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (NoddlePlace) (5-15 years) tech and technical operations leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy (out June 11, 2015). Contact Stephen directly at Stephen@ittechexec.com or send him an invite at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenvanvreede. To see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, take their free (and anonymous) 1-minute compatibility quiz, Is the ITtechExec Approach a Good Match for You? Also, feel free to take his complimentary resume self-assessment quiz, How Certain Can You Be About Your Technical Resume? You might be surprised by what you find out!

Supply & Demand: A Relevant Concept for Today’s IT/Technical Job Search?

Supply & Demand: A Relevant Concept for Today’s IT/Technical Job Search?

If you’ve read any of my other content, you know that I like to challenge “conventional” wisdom and go against the grain from what most people are saying. It’s not because I want to be a rebel, but the truth doesn’t change because the opinion of the majority says so. (Simply put, it makes me want to declare what is true and real all the more boldly!)

So what myth am I busting today? Well, it has everything to do with laws of supply and demand, which generally define the effect that the availability of a product (supply) and the desire for that product (demand) have on the price of that product. Here is a simple supply/demand chart (courtesy of Investopedia.com):

economics5

What most people get wrong in this scenario is that you, the job seeker, are the supplier. After all, the company doing the hiring is paying whomever they hire to provide a product or service, which is the work performed. When the volume of products on the supply side is higher than the demand for those products, prices get driven down until suppliers bow out and equilibrium occurs. So, in this scenario, when there is a large number of candidates available on the market, then the company looking to hire can have its pick…and possibly get that person at a price below the typical market value.

How does this go against conventional wisdom, you ask? Well, let me lay out the following scenario:

  • It is mid-November
  • A company just had its Director of IT Infrastructure give notice that he or she is going to work for a competitor
  • The company doesn’t have a viable internal candidate to back-fill the role
  • There are some major infrastructure projects in the works that must move forward

Is this company going to wait until after the New Year to fill the role? Of course not. It’s going to fill the position quickly. But around this time every year, I get calls from clients saying that they’ve been advised to wait until January to conduct their job search because that’s when more candidates are active.

So, because everyone else is waiting until January, you should too? I don’t think so. Go back to the law of supply and demand. If you wait until everyone else is conducting a job search to conduct your own, you’re competing in a market with supply that is higher than demand. That’s not ideal. You actually put yourself in a better position by conducting your search during a time in which others are not. It’s now mid-November, so get yourself out there now when competition is low and you can position yourself as a top-level candidate.

Stephen Van VreedeAbout Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical résumé writer. He provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (NoddlePlace) (5-15 years) tech and technical operations leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy (out June 11, 2015). Contact Stephen directly at Stephen@ittechexec.com or send him an invite at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenvanvreede. To see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, take their free (and anonymous) 1-minute compatibility quiz, Is the ITtechExec Approach a Good Match for You? Also, feel free to take his complimentary resume self-assessment quiz, How Certain Can You Be About Your Technical Resume? You might be surprised by what you find out!

Why You Need to Have Good Relationships With Junior Employees

Why You Need to Have Good Relationships With Junior Employees

You’ve made it to the top–congratulations. Your years of hard work, late nights, and sacrifices have paid off, and now you’re at the top of your corporate food chain. But is it us, or does it sometimes feel a little bit like an echo chamber way up on high? You might not miss the busywork and second-rate projects, but you are missing out big time if you don’t foster excellent relationships with the folks who are now where you were ten years ago.

The most successful businesses fully leverage the intelligence and know-how of all of their employees, not just those at the top. But in big corporations, most of the vital decisions are made by only a fraction of the employees. Not only does this deprive your organization of its full resources, but it can lead to unilateral thinking that will keep you stuck in place rather than moving forward. Junior employees have a lot to learn from you, but you also have a lot to learn from them. Although you are the resident expert and have the final say on every business decision you make, your juniors may have valuable input that could surprise you.

If you look at today’s startups, you’ll see that they way senior staff interfaces with newbies is changing. Gone are the hierarchies, processes, and sometimes even office doors that separate one level of employee from the next. In tech, innovation is the name of the game—and what better way to foster innovation than by listening to fresh ideas? You don’t have to work somewhere with a “flat hierarchy” to reap the benefits of interfacing with juniors, since some companies are better suited towards this than others. What do you have to do? Simply start talking!

When you speak face-to-face with a new or lower-level employee, two things happen immediately:

  1. You contribute towards a company culture where people feel comfortable talking to anyone and everyone, allowing for cross-pollination of ideas.
  2. You begin to build a relationship that could benefit you down the road.

It’s needless to say that the more positive relationships you foster at work, the better. You don’t have to become somebody’s formal mentor to make a difference in his or her life. Sharing your expertise and listening to the struggles and experiences of your juniors will make both of you better at your jobs. Plus, the person who is your junior today could end up being part of your team in just a few years. The better working relationship you develop now, the easier it will be to continue working together down the road.

How can you start to reach out to new or junior employees?

Start a club. Whether it’s learning a new coding language or simply a book club, a regular organization that all staff is invited to become part of is a smart, practical way to socialize and exchange ideas.

Put in face time. Nobody needs more email–instead, try walking over to your junior employee and discussing the matter at hand in person.

Encourage family events. Try holding monthly family potlucks or a “family day” at the office to make your work environment a little more personal, and to get to know your coworkers that much better.

Create a company project. Some companies start gardens, volunteering projects, or even microbreweries to help employees bond. It doesn’t take much–what ongoing project could benefit your company and help improve your company culture?

Don’t go straight home after work. It’s tempting to head straight for your car after work, but that immediately erases any possibility of socializing after-hours with your colleagues. A good, old-fashioned drink or coffee after work is a classic, foolproof way to get to know coworker better.

Stephen Van VreedeAbout Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical résumé writer. He provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (NoddlePlace) (5-15 years) tech and technical operations leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy (out June 11, 2015). Contact Stephen directly at Stephen@ittechexec.com or send him an invite at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenvanvreede. To see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, take their free (and anonymous) 1-minute compatibility quiz, Is the ITtechExec Approach a Good Match for You? Also, feel free to take his complimentary resume self-assessment quiz, How Certain Can You Be About Your Technical Resume? You might be surprised by what you find out!

 

IT Employment Expert Stephen Van Vreede Says Consider Bringing Your Authentic Self Into The Workplace

IT Employment Expert Stephen Van Vreede Says Consider Bringing Your Authentic Self Into The Workplace

CEO of ITtechExec Stephen Van Vreede weighs the benefits and repercussions of being your “real self” at work, suggesting that doing so might benefit employees and employers alike.

Rochester, NY — Oct 21, 2015 — Stephen Van Vreede, CEO of ITtechExec, published a new blog post titled “Should You Try—Or Avoid—“Being Yourself” At Work?” In the post, he explains that researchers have found that there are some sizeable benefits to “being yourself” at work, from having more energy to bonding better with colleagues, though exactly how much to conceal or reveal is ultimately a deeply personal decision.

Van Vreede says, “For many people, it’s only natural not to reveal certain parts of their personality or history that could be viewed negatively in the workplace…But for the 63% in question, it’s not foibles or quirks that they are hiding–it’s major aspects of their humanity, such as natural appearance, health, sexual orientation, family situation, affiliation with certain groups, or belief systems.

And while it’s each employees prerogative to make the decision about what to reveal and what to conceal, some experts are beginning to question how much good it does to hide one’s true self in the workplace.”

Stephen Van Vreede is a personal brand strategist, certified resume writer, job search agent, and the CEO and owner of ITtechExec. Stephen has 10 years of experience in employment strategy and 8 years of corporate management experience. He holds an M.B.A. in Marketing from Villanova University.

Read the entire article here. http://www.ittechexec.com/should-you-try-or-avoid-being-yourself-at-work/

About ITtechExec:

ITtechExec is a new kind of full-service employment agency that combines resume writing, portfolio building, and job search solutions to launch extraordinary tech careers in the 21st century job market. CEO and Executive Solutions Guide Stephen Van Vreede created ITtechExec in 2001, using his background of personal branding and corporate management to create a multi-pronged approach that gets results. ITtechExec serves as the job seeker and career changer’s trusted adviser, helping them make the best of the careers they’ve built and guiding them into the professional futures they desire.

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