Are you interested in Banking and Finance? Here is advice compiled from a number of Time4Coffee guests who work in these fields and were asked to share the best career advice they’ve ever received:
- PUT YOUR SITUATION INTO PERSPECTIVE
All of us are bound to experience struggles and face obstacles in our career journeys. After working 100-hour weeks as an intern at Goldman Sachs, Adam Roseman, now CEO of Steady, wasn’t offered a full-time job at the company. As a great student and high achiever, hearing “no” for the first time came as quite a shock. Although he had set his sights on full-time work with Goldman Sachs, that opportunity was no longer available to him. If you don’t receive your first choice, whether than happens with your job choice or with schools, don’t despair. The man who had informed Roseman that he wasn’t receiving a full-time offer also told him, “you’ve got offers from other investment banks. Put everything in perspective. You’ve got it pretty good.” Even if you have a well-thought-out vision for your career, there isn’t just one path to advance it. There will be bumps in the road. So, expect that and be prepared to make shifts, pivots and changes along the way.
- NO ONE CAN TEACH YOU TO BE SELF-DRIVEN
In the first decade of his career, Kaiyuan Capital Managing Director Brock Silvers, worked for Chicago investment legend Sam Zell. On Silvers’ first day, Zell told him, “I can teach you accounting, but I can’t teach you to be a smart guy. And I can’t teach you to be my kind of guy.” There are some technical skills that can be taught in the workplace, and it can happen at any workplace. However, soft skills like working well with your co-workers or being self-driven are all you. “What he was trying to say to me is that he could give me an opportunity, but what I did with that was really going to be up to me,” Silvers said. Working hard and receiving an opportunity is only half of the struggle, the second half, where you make use of it and showcase your ability is the true test.
- FIGURE OUT WHAT ENERGIZES YOU
Finding topics or fields that you’re passionate about isn’t a one and done task that you complete at the end of high school. As you grow and change, your interests and passions will too. Dr. Janet Yellen, former Federal Reserve Chairwoman, and current Treasury Secretary, says that “a good career starts with figuring out what makes you feel energized. Java helps. But beyond that, it’s essential to have work that you really enjoy doing, that you find exciting and that you want to spend your time doing.” Look at what extracurriculars or classes made you feel most excited to learn and work, even if it turns out to be something outside of your current major track. Pay attention to what energizes you. Furthermore, Yellen notes that we spend a significant amount of our time at our jobs and with our colleagues, so when choosing organizations to work for, ask yourself if you’d feel proud working for them? Understand what their mission and purpose is and make sure it aligns with your own goals and passions. Remember companies aren’t the only ones choosing who fits their culture — you are doing the same.
- MANAGERS SET THE TONE
When you’re in a position of authority, you have the power to set the tone. Lisa Shalett, Managing Partner & Head of Strategic Innovation at Brookfield Asset Management, reminds herself that “you set the tone …. And I think when people are in an organization, they always feel like they have so many layers to look up to and don’t necessarily feel like they’re an empowered leader.” As a manager you can set the tone for your team in a variety of ways. For example, your productivity, the manner in which you complete your work and the way you treat your colleagues all send powerful messages. Remember, you have more agency than you think.
- DON’T FORGET THE IMPORTANT PEOPLE
It’s easy to get so caught up in chasing our own individual success we forget to connect with those closest to us. Accenture Strategy Analyst Liza Goodspeed, who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017 says, “Success means nothing if you don’t have anyone to share it with.” So make sure to keep working hard in school or in your job, but don’t forget the important people in your life. Keep up with your loved ones, and if you’re comfortable, let them in on what’s on your mind. Having friends and family to share your success with, and your challenges, makes it so much sweeter.
If you want to hear more career advice from these professionals or learn more about their careers, visit the Time4Coffee website to listen to their episodes.