No two career paths are the same in the tech industry, but if you ask senior-level IT executives about how they took their careers to the next level, a few common themes will emerge, and one word you’ll almost always hear is “mentor.”
We recently connected with Edward Marchewka, founder of CHICAGO Metrics™, about his career journey, and he said the best advice for those looking to jumpstart a career in tech or start a business of their own is to seek out mentorship opportunities. “Find someone who has been there and done that, who has experience, and who you can call periodically to get their advice” said Marchewka. “They can help you take that next step in your career and get into a position or field that you’re passionate about.”
Having started two businesses of his own, Marchewka is no stranger to taking on an ambitious career challenge. The first company he started, Portho, focused on helping businesses and consumers repair computers and other electronic devices. Then in 2015, he founded CHICAGO Metrics™, a platform that helps companies tell a better story by managing their key IT and information security risks.
Entrepreneurship comes with a host of challenges, and because of this, Marchewka says he understands how valuable it can be to get a different perspective when working to solve an organizational problem. “I have mentors I can always call on and run an idea by, and now I’ve found people that I’m mentoring too,” he says.
Marchewka has been working in the IT industry for 17 years, and says what he likes most is getting to see all the components of how a business functions and the ability to “truly influence the way an organization operates in a positive way.” He says he’s always had a desire to understand how things work or how something is designed, which helped fuel his interest in technology.
When it comes to starting his own IT business, Marchewka says the most rewarding aspect is seeing how clients are taking advantage of the platform. “Our goal is to help people tell a better story when they use our tool,” says Marchewka. “I had one person tell me ‘I showed this to my CIO, and they got it’ and that was so gratifying because I thought ‘yup that’s why we’re here.’”
Marchewka is also a member of CompTIA AITP and says the Chicago chapter has been incredibly helpful when it comes to networking with business professionals in the area and discovering mentorship opportunities. “The relationships I’ve been able to build going to events and getting to interact with different people in the community have been very valuable.”
Marchewka also serves as a judge for the annual Chicago CISO of Year Award that CompTIA AITP Chicago and other organizations in the region partner to host each year. Check out the finalists for Chicago’s 2018 CISO of the Year Award, and if you’re ready to take your career to next level and network with IT leaders in your area, find an event in your area!