Lots of people ask me about my “five-year plan” or whether I’ve thought everything through. I genuinely haven’t. I want to base my career on three core things: I want to be known as authentic, I want to have no fear, and I want to be known to have flexible thinking – adjusting to different situations and finding a way to the answer. So there’s no “plan” but I look for opportunities where I’m going to learn something new and it’s going to test and challenge me. It’s about personal growth and continued learning and hopefully positive impact rather than any end-goal.
After the graduate scheme I realised I’d never had a customer-facing role where you see the whites of customers eyes and learn what our business does day-to-day. So I applied for a hub manager role, where you’re responsible for running several branches, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done because you learn so much around how customers react to what you’re doing, what their needs and priorities are, and how they understand things.
It was fantastic to have the chance so early in my career to help colleagues and customers in that way, and I learned a huge amount about myself and how I react to difficult situations, how I plan things and manage time: huge personal lessons that are going to help me throughout my career.
The thing I love most about my job is having the chance to look at all the new businesses that are out there. They’re going to impact every industry and it’s really exciting to see how smart people are creating new opportunities bringing together technology and business.
The most interesting part of my day is meeting external clients, either VCs or start-ups. There are also a whole range of internal meetings. Because I work across different sectors of the bank – Investment, Wealth, Technology and so on – there are a lot of different people you need to speak to, keep informed and leverage, so a lot of my time is spent having internal discussions making sure that we’re doing everything the right way.
It’s a people and meetings job, but in a completely different way to my previous role in the branches. The great thing about the branches was the energy from colleagues and customers. There are fewer high-intensity situations in my current role, but there are more challenging conversations with bigger issues and bigger decisions to make.
I speak to Tel Aviv, San Francisco and New York on a regular basis, and you can do a lot of that virtually, but every so often it’s good to meet face-to-face, so that means travel.