This piece was originally published on Oct 5, 2009. It is being re-run as Steve is away on sabbatical.
There was a time that I wanted to be a the CIO of a company. It was a goal, and I tried to really learn more about a variety of things. I wanted to be a better DBA, but I also learned more about other technologies, like networking and security. I also really worked on learning more about business in general, and the specific industries I've worked in. Asking lots of questions, trying to be sure that I would be prepared if the chance came for me to move into that role.
I've mostly abandoned the goal of becoming a CIO, but I still read about the position, trying to better understand the management point of view for many issues. Recently I ran across an article on how CIOs can better support their CEOs and thought it had some good advice, and not just advice for current CIOs.
I think lots of the items mentioned are techniques that the average DBA could use to better support his or her boss as well. Things like putting yourself in the manager's shoes, making an effort to get regular face time, think about things from a business standpoint and more are ways that you can stand out from the rest of the workers.
Becoming successful in your career means working on your part to ensure that others around you are successful as well. If you don't want to move up the corporate ladder, if your manager is happy with you and sees you as an asset, that's good for you career. You are less likely to get laid off, and more likely to get little benefits, like training opportunities, better assignments, maybe even first choice of vacation times.
If you want to move up into management, other managers will also take note of someone that gets things done. They will be aware of you supporting your boss, and helping him or her out. That will win you support in other areas as you look to move your career along.
There are definitely some managers that take credit for your work. In that case it might be time to seek another job. For most of us, however, supporting the boss is a good way to grow our careers.