This year is monumental in that it marks my 10th year in the corporate environment; operating within the financial services industry.
My very first role was in a bank in 2007, two years after completing matric. There I was in a big corporate – young and overly-enthusiastic about life. I was ready for this brand new chapter of my life.
I must admit, the dreams and plans I had then about my career were not very clear and concise; and in retrospect, I will admit that I wasn’t very true to myself. As ambitious and driven as I was, I still required some guidance in this respect.
I wanted to pursue a career in finance because in my mind, that career path would mean instant gratification. I neglected the good old saying that “passion drives success”. It had not yet occurred to me that passion is a fundamental aspect of identifying my strengths.
Fast forward 10 years later…
Still in corporate, with a very clear vision and plan.
I have grown in leaps and bounds, and still continue to do so as this journey is a process of self-discovery – it’s continuous.
I have learnt quite a number of lessons whilst on this journey, and have encountered countless hurdles; all of which have contributed to who I am today.
I’d like to share with you a few important lessons I have learnt on this journey to date.
I have learnt that while conventional methods have been tried and tested and proven to work, it is ok to challenge these methods once in a while.
Be bold enough to challenge the status quo, to ask questions, probe, investigate, but most importantly make a meaningful contribution. It serves no purpose to merely raise concerns, but provide no solutions to them.
I truly believe that life begins at the end of your comfort zone. It’s not easy, I agree, but think Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. If you’re aiming for the top tier (Self-Actualisation needs: Achieving one’s full potential), then you need to move out of your comfort zone.
Raise your hand more, be counted, try new things that challenge you.
I’ll share a personal story with you. So, three years in my first role at the bank, I walked into our manager’s office (he was new to the team) and advised him that I no longer wished to continue in my current role. I made it clear to him that I felt I was complacent and that I needed a challenge. The role was monotonous and no longer challenging.
The discussion didn’t quite go as I had envisioned, so I took charge. I applied for a different position within the organisation, one I had absolutely no experience in.
Different environment, different location, different people. Long story short, I went for the interview (a panel of four – phew!), and I got the job.
As you can imagine, I was thrilled to have the job, however I also had to remember that this was going to be challenging as it was something totally new and different; and that a great deal of learning had to take place. I was open to this. That role was very instrumental to my growth and transformed the way I applied my mind completely.
Daring people are brave, and daring adventures are pretty exciting – Unknown
In all that I do, I strive to make an impact – no matter how small.
My advice is simple: In all that you are tasked with, in all that you do, give it your best shot. Adopt a strong work ethic, and your work will speak for itself.
I’m a firm believer in going the extra mile, as in so doing rewards will manifest. Please also be mindful that, rewards may not always come as expected. Rewards may not even be forthcoming for that matter. This is the nature of the beast, and this should not demotivate you. Push through, and keep doing your best.
We are different individuals, with a unique skill-set. Identify your strengths and capitalise on them. Bring your uniqueness to the fore – that is what sets you apart from the rest.
Embrace your shortcomings. Nothing brings greater peace! None of us want to hear that we have an “area of improvement”, however this may just propel you to even greater heights.
It is important to note that personal mastery is key in your journey to greatness.
It is vital to constantly clarify your personal vision; to focus your energy on seeing things objectively. I must admit, this is an endless process of trial and error, however it is necessary to your personal growth.
Remember, nobody is you and that is your power.
I really hope I have inspired you in some way, and that you have made some mental notes on some of the points touched on above.
Love and light.