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Leadership

Strategies, advice and opinions helping to define and develop the role of IT leaders and their staffs.

CIO Careers: When you’re gone, make sure you’re not forgotten

Even though the Canadian IT executive community is small, it’s surprising how often CIOs who have been made to walk the plank – often through no fault of their own – sink out of sight with barely a ripple. They may let a few of their close associates know, but the broader IT executive community is none the wiser. By the time they hear about it, it’s several months after the fact.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of very capable ex-CIOs out there who want to continue their careers but who’ve spent too long on the sidelines. They’re now not only unemployed but also stale-dated. If they find a CIO job at all, it will likely be one of considerably less stature than their previous one.

No question, it’s a tough market for CIOs who’ve been given the gate by their former employer. And though it’s human nature not to want to advertise the fact, this is definitely not the time to lay low in the community until your next gig comes along. Like it or not, you need to get yourself out there and strut your stuff, both personally and through social media.

Where to start? These days most CIOs have fairly sizeable LinkedIn networks, and though some connections may twig through LinkedIn that you’ve left your company, much better to proactively touch base with all of the potentially relevant people in your network and tell them that you’re in the market for a new opportunity. And of course while doing so, you’ll avail yourself of the opportunity to put a positive spin on the reason for leaving your old job.

For those without good LinkedIn networks, now is definitely the time to start building one. The mere process of doing so – using a personalized invitation rather than LinkedIn’s canned one – can generate interest in your status and provide you with useful market intelligence that you might otherwise not come across.

If you’ve not yet bothered much with social media, this is also a good time to break the ice: start blogging about IT management issues; comment on other IT industry blogs, especially prominent and/or Canadian ones; get a twitter account and start building a following (hint: focus on IT management; don’t tweet about the cat coughing up a hairball); join and become an active participant in online IT groups, especially those for Canadian CIOs; consider creating a personal web site focusing on you as an IT professional (but if you do, make sure it’s well executed).

Check out my blog for more on CIOs and social media.

On the personal side, get out to any type of event where CIOs congregate: conferences, trade shows, meetings, seminars, product launches, roundtables, social events, charity events – you name it. IT executive groups such as the CIO Association of Canada are great places to catch up with peers, expand your network, sharpen your skills, and keep an ear to the ground. Wherever possible, also get yourself out to events focused on key industries you’ve worked in.

When you attend events, use them to promote your personal brand. Be an active participant in Q&A sessions. Contact the organizers and get on panels, offer your services as a moderator, or volunteer to do a presentation. Presentations are great ways to promote yourself and your accomplishments. A great presentation on, for example, implementing an ERP system in a specific industry might go a long way towards helping you find a job with another firm in that industry facing a similar challenge. Panel appearances and presentations also set you up as an expert – an excellent way to enhance your profile and keep you in the game.

Press coverage is an often overlooked means of getting your name out there. If your writing skills are up to snuff, there are many print and online publications that would love to hear from you on industry matters and issues of interest to IT executives and sometimes even the business community at large. Many outlets are happy to publish articles, columns, letters to the editor, or blogs provided by IT management experts. And if you can’t write, you can always contact an editor and offer to be interviewed on a current news story with an IT management angle to it.

Finally, keep up with as many industry colleagues as you can by means of emails, phone calls and social activities. They’ll buoy your spirits, keep you informed on who’s doing what in the industry and, who knows, maybe point you to your new and better job.

Want more career advice? Stay tuned to the ‘For CIOs’ section of our web site,  and follow me on Twitter.  

 

Past Attendees


ADP - VP Architecture & Infrastructure

AESO - VP, Information Technology

Agnico Eagle Mines - VP, IT

Agrium - Global Mgr., IT Security

Agrium - Senior Director IT Shared Services

Aimia - SVP & Global CIO

Ainsworth Engineered - Director IT

Air Canada Vacations - Director IT

Alberta Energy Regulator - Director, Office of the CIO

Anthem Properties - VP IS

AON Risk Solutions Canada - Head of IT

Aviva Canada - VP, Architecture & Strategy

Bank of America Merrill Lynch - CTO

BC Ferry Services - VP & CIO

Bellatrix Exploration - Director, Information Technology

Bentall Kennedy - VP IT

Black Press - CTO

BlackBerry - VP Corporate IT

BMO Financial Group - Head of Services Delivery

Bombardier Aerospace - CISO

Bonavista Petroleum - Head of IT

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP - Global CIO

Bow Valley College - Director, IT Services

Bridgewater Bank - Head of IT

BuildDirect - VP IT

Bulk Barn - Head, IT

Burnco - CIO

Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec - VP, IT Planning, Architecture, Governance, Operations

Calfrac Well Services - Head of IT

Canada Mortgage and Housing - VP, Information & Technology

Canadian Depository for Securities - CIO

Canadian Direct Insurance - CTO

Canadian Payments Association - VP & CIO

Canucks Sports - Head of IT

Cardel Homes - VP MIS

Cargojet - CIO

CCS Corp. - VP IT

Centerra Gold - Director IT & Comm

CIBC - Senior Director, Infrastructure Planning & Engineering

CIBC - SVP & CIO, Retail and Business Banking Technology

CIBC Mellon - AVP, Enterprise Architecture

CIBC Mellon - SVP & CIO

Cineplex Entertainment - CTO

City of Brampton - Senior Manager, IT Architecture & Planning

City of Toronto - Director of Strategic Planning & Architecture

CN Rail Service - Chief Information Security Officer

Coast Capital Savings - VP Technology

Concordia University - AVP & CIO

Crescent Point Energy - Head of IT

Dairy Farmers of Ontario - Head of IT and Administration

Dale Parizeau Morris Mackenzie - VP, IT

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP - Director, Information Technology

DealerTrack Canada - Director, Technology

Defence Construction Canada - Corporate Manager, IT

Dentons - Canada CIO

Devon Energy - Director, Integrated Business Services

Direct Cash - VP IT & Security

Dynamic Tire Corp - CIO

eHealth Ontario - VP, IT Systems & Services

Encana - Director, InfoSec

Enerflex - CIO

Enerplus - VP. IS

ENMAX - VP, IT & PMO

Essential Energy Services - Director, IT

Expedia Cruise Ship Centers - VP IS

FGL Sports - VP, Information Technology

Fix Auto Canada - COO & SVP

Flightnetwork.com - CIO

FT Services - CIO

FundServ - CIO

Genus Capital Management - CTO

Genworth Financial Inc. - VP IT

Golder Associates - CTO

Gran Tierra Energy - Director IT

Grant Thornton LLP - CIO

Greenwin Inc - VP, Information Technology

Groupe Dynamite - Director, IT

GSK Canada - IT Director

GTAA - Acting CIO

H&R Block Canada - VP IT

Hewitt Equipment Ltd. - VP & CIO

Hitachi - CTO, Americas

Home Trust Company - CIO

Home Trust Company - CTO

Home Trust Company - VP & CISO

Horizon North Logistics - CIO

Indigo Books and Music - CIO

ivari - SVP & CIO

JP Morgan Chase Canada - Executive Director, Information Risk Management

Keyera Energy - Director, Information Technology

KnowledgeOne - CIO

LaFarge Canada - Director, IT

Landmark Cinemas Canada - VP, IT

LCBO - Director, Applications Systems

LCBO - SVP & CIO

Leisureworld Senior Care Corp - VP IS

Lightstream Resources - Head, Information Services

London Drugs - GM IT

Loto-Quebec - Corporate Director, InfoSec

Magna International Inc - VP & Global Leader, IT (CIO)

March Networks - VP Professional Services & CIO

McCain Foods Limited - Manager InfoSec

McInnis Cement - Director of Information Technology

Medical Pharmacies Group - VP, Information Technology

MEG Energy - Manager, Information Technology Solutions & Services

MMM Group - CIO

Montreal Police Service - CIO

Morguard Investments - CIO

Moulding & Millwork - CIO

National Bank of Canada - Information Security Officer

National Capital Commission - Chief, IT infrastructure & Support Services

NHL Players' Association - Head, Security & Technology

Northbridge Financial Corp - CIO

OEC Group Canada - Vice President, Information Technology and Client solutions

Oildex - VP, Architecture & Infrastructure

Olympia Financial Group - CIO

OMERS - SVP IT

Ontario Pension Board - CTO

Ontario Trillium Foundation - CIO

Ottawa Police Service - CIO

Pacific Western Transportation - CIO

Packers Plus - Global IT Director

Patient News - CTO

Peel District School Board - CIO

Pengrowth Corp - Director IS

Penn West Exploration - Snr. Manager, IT Operations

Peterson Investment Group - Head of IT

PFB Corp. - CIO

Pizza Pizza - CIO & VP, IT

Precision Drilling - VP, IT

Precision Drilling - Director, IT Infrastructure & Security

PSP Investments - Snr. Director, Internal Audit & Business Infosec

Public Works and Government Services Canada - Director, IT Security Directorate

PwC - Managing Director, Real Estate Technology Advisory

Qantas - Global CIO

Queen's University - Director, Information Technology

RBC Royal Bank - Head of Application Security, Data Protection & Security Consulting

Regal Lifestyle Communities - CIO

Revera Inc. - CIO

Revera Inc. - Security Architect

Ricoh Canada - VP,IT

RioCan Property Services - VP IT

Rogers Communications - SVP, Customer Experience IT

ROM - CIO

Russel Metals - VP,IS

Scotiabank - VP - International Systems Technology

Scotiabank - Director, Architecture & Engineering

Sears Canada - Divisional VP, Information Technology Services

Secure Energy Services - GM, IT

Shaw Communications - VP, Technology Operations

Shaw Communications - Director, Risk Management

SMART Technologies - Director, IS Corporate Services

Smartcentres - Director IS, IT

Societe de Transport de Montreal - Division Head - Security and Compliance

Street Capital Financial - CIO

Sun Life Financial - AVP, Data & Business Intelligence Services

Sun Life Financial - VP Application Ops & Services

Suncor Energy Inc. - Director, Application Portfolio Optimization, I&PM, Business Services

Symcor - CTO, VP Technology Services

Talisman Energy - SVP IT & Business Services

TD Bank - Enterprise Architect

Teknion - SVP, CIO

TELUS - Chief Security Architect

Tervita Corporation - VP, Information Technology

The Hudsons Bay Company - VP Technology

The Hudson's Bay Company - SVP & CIO

The Source - VP, Information Technology

TMX Group - VP, CISO

Toromont Industries - VP & CIO

Toronto District School Board - Chief Technology Officer

Toronto Hospital for Sick Children - Director of Technology

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) - Chief Enterprise Architect

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) - CIO

Toyota Canada - National Manager, IS

Transamerica Life Canada - CIO

Trican Well Services Ltd. - Director, Business Information Systems

Tridel Corporation - CIO

Trillium Health Partners - IT Director, Applications & Clinical Informatics

UFA Cooperative - VP & CIO

University of Calgary - Executive Director, Development Services

University of Ottawa - CIO

University of Ottawa - Senior Director IT Services & Infrastructure

University of Waterloo - Director, Technology Entrepreneurship

Vancity - VP Technology & Solutions

Viterra - Director Enterprise Technology

World Health - Director IT

Yellow Pages Group - Director - Enterprise Data Management

York Region District School Board - CIO

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