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Getting on the management track

Before you pursue IT management seriously, manage a project at work first to see how it goes. Get on the management track Before you pursue IT management seriously, manage a project at work first to see how it goes.

Dear Molly: I work in the IT field and have an MCSE, along with a few other certifications. A couple of times in your articles you’ve talked about advancing up the ranks into senior technology-related jobs or moving into IT management. I’d like to check out IT management career options. Can you help me?

Molly says: If you want to find out what the day-to-day life of an IT manager is like, the best thing to do is track a few of them down and get to know them. One way to find them is to go where they go–such as discussion forums and conferences. Strike up a conversation and get to know a few people.

Surf over to the American Management Association Web site to do some online research for background information. The site has a lot of information, including notices about IT management seminars. One seminar called “Making the Transition to Management” caught my eye.

Before you make the commitment to a management career, make sure you have the personality for it. Taking some personality tests will help, but what will really test your mettle is taking on a small management role where you work now. Offer to work as a project manager for an upcoming special project, or develop a needed project and then volunteer to manage it. If you like the management end of things, terrific–you’ve got some experience you can tell prospective employers about.

Molly Joss also writes the monthly Career Advisor column for ComputerUser magazine. Ask a career-related question at [email protected]

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