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Creating a Career Plan to Get Where You Want to Be

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Next, think of the positions that lead up to this. The hierarchy for a CTO position might be something like this:
  • CTO (eventual goal)
  • IT VP or Director
  • Manager or Sr. Manager
  • Supervisor or Sr.-Level Technical Position
  • Technical Position in IT (your current position)

List the Steps You Need to Take

Once you have an idea of some of the stepping stones along the way, think about what skills and experience will help you get from one to the next.   For instance, to follow our example, let's say you are currently employed as a help desk technician. What skills and experience will get you to a senior or supervisory role? Should you pursue a certification or degree? Or can you get to the next level in your current company if you demonstrate your capabilities through taking on additional responsibilities?  Once you have and idea of some of the milestones you need to achieve, check our links section to find information on adult eductation, scholarships, and certification training.

For each new position or level you want to achieve list out all of the items you feel you'll need to have or do to get to the next level.  These could be milestone accomplishments like "Get MCSE certification" or more general items like "Develop a network of friends in IT Management positions", "get more visibility within company" or "speak at industry events". You will be refining your plan more over time as you move toward your goal, and adding additional detail as you begin working the plan.

You may want to assign some timeframes to each level as well. This will give you some guidelines for when you need to move forward.  For example, using the example above, we may want to set a timeline of one year to move from a technical position to a supervisory role. During that year, the candidate will be taking classes, taking on additional responsibilities, and building a network to work towards a promotion. 

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