Career Watch: On job satisfaction, CIOs' perceptions may be skewed

CIOs in the Dark

CIOs might need a reality check when it comes to the contentment of their IT staffs. Most CIOs are confident that their employees are satisfied with their jobs, but less than one-third of those employees are sure they won't look for a new job in the next year. That contradiction in perceptions was uncovered in two separate surveys recently conducted by Robert Half Technology.

The CIO survey was based on telephone interviews with more than 2,300 CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees. The IT worker study was based on responses from more than 7,500 IT workers who participated in a Web survey.

CIO Survey

How satisfied do you think your company's IT workers are?

• Very satisfied: 29%

• Somewhat satisfied: 43%

• Neutral: 20%

• Somewhat unsatisfied: 3%

• Very unsatisfied: 2%

• Not applicable: 3%

IT Worker Survey

Do you plan to look for a new job next year?

• Yes: 35%

• No: 30%

• Unsure: 35%

IT Worker Survey

If you plan to look for a job next year, what are your primary motivations for leaving your current employer? (Top three answers; multiple responses allowed.)

• Need a new challenge: 48%

• Lack of advancement potential: 47%

• Not paid adequately: 38%

Ask a Premier 100 IT Leader:

Robert Krestakos

The Steelcase CIO answers questions about moving to the private sector and more.

What does it take for someone who has been consulting to the public sector in the area of project management to move into the private sector? Project management, by its nature, translates pretty well from the public to the private sector, so you have the advantage of having transferable skills. What may be very helpful for you is to get solid representation from a placement agency or a recruiter. Recruiters are frequently used in the private sector, with the fee for the agency usually paid by the hiring company. Two suggestions if you decide to go this route: First, find someone who represents youto multiple employers and has a strong network of contacts that can help you get access to as many potential employers as possible. Second, select someone that gets to know you as much as possible and can also be a good adviser for you on finding the company that is the best possible cultural fit for you.

Are certifications an effective way to boost your career even if you have limited time and money? Certifications can be an effective way to boost a career, for a few reasons. Many certification programs are quite highly regarded, and being able to place one of them on your resume could definitely accelerate your career. You get the best value from the better-known and better-regarded certification programs in the various sectors of the technology industry. And there are other considerations. As the leader of an IT organization, I highly value people who develop a breadth of skills across multiple disciplines. In other words, if you're in one technical discipline, such as database administration, consider a certification that takes you into a new area, such as network design.

Another benefit of a certification can be the opportunity to build your social network by interacting with other students in the class. And you should also look for insights from your classmates that you can bring back to your own company. That can prove to be a bigger career boost than the certification itself.

I strongly suspect a particular help desk technician of being behind a string of petty thefts in our offices. I'm not a manager myself. What should I do? You need to be cautious and make sure you get the right parties involved. You should have a talk with your immediate manager and voice your concerns. If you're not comfortable naming the person you suspect directly, point your manager in the right direction and ask him or her to look for signs of what you see happening. If you have an internal security department, you should consider getting it involved also; if not, you might want to turn to the Legal or HR department. But by no means should you confront your co-worker yourself in any way.

If you have a question for one of our Premier 100 IT Leaders, send it to, and watch for this column each month.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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