Jump from Director to Vice President
The biggest leap you will make in your career is from Director to Vice President. The jump from Director to Vice President is so difficult because a Vice President is commonly an officer of the company with implied legal liability.
The Board and “C” level employees are certain to vet a prospective Vice President very carefully because it is extremely costly to remove a VP once in place. Firing a Vice President creates bad publicity and can affect the stock price, not to mention the disruption of running the business.
1. The clearest path to jump to a VP level job is to be promoted. More commonly, currently in place Directors are promoted to Vice President because they have proven they can stand up to the challenge and the scrutiny of the Board. They have proven themselves in a manner no outside candidate can. Even if you are not especially interested in a longer career with your current employer, a promotion is your clearest path to VP. Take steps to make that happen possibly using a Coach. Once you have achieved VP status, you will be seen as a VP candidate generally. The key to promotion for a technology executive for any position, is to be seen as a business person who understands technology.
Significant first step? Ask. Let your manager know your career goals. “Roberta, my goal is a promotion to VP within the next 18 [or what you feel is fair] months. Shall we discuss what you need to see to to consider me for VP?” Discuss a timeline and mileposts. That doesn’t work? Ask someone else. Continue reading