Yes, I am back finally. I have taken off the past few weeks as I been working hard on something I wanted to keep back until it actually came about. I have a new job! I was extended an offer from a wonderful company and started at the beginning of January and am almost a month in. I am working in the world of finance, but not where I thought I would be though. I am working in the mortgage department of a regional bank as an analyst, so don’t come to me asking to originate a loan, I can’t do it and I don’t have much interest in going that direction.
Why, do I make my first post of this year about that though? As the first post of the year, it’s almost like a new beginning of sorts. So, as a new beginning of a new career I found it appropriate to make this post a little late rather than some hogwash about my New Years resolutions which I can do at any time. This opportunity I don’t think is just a job, but with the mobility in and around the bank I think this is a career that I will be happy with for the future. I don’t discount my dreams of running my own fund one day, so I do keep trading and investing to build a track record I can point to in the future, but for now I really am happy with this.
I’ve got a great new team and the beautiful part is that I get to put into use many of the same skills that I used in my former occupation. The biggest difference is that I’m doing it in a new industry which I had zero experience in. That has meant quite a steep learning curve for yours truly, but I have a theory about that. Many businesses want to hire you for your industry specific knowledge, which once you reach the higher levels of an organization where you have your own corner office and can put VP in front of your title then yes, it is important.
However, I believe in choosing people for their skill sets regardless of industry. If I have someone with an amazing skill set that I can put to use in my company I don’t care if they don’t know the industry. Here is a secret I learned from my time in my former occupation. You can teach anyone an industry; you can’t teach everyone a great set of skills. What do I mean by that? If I want to teach you about the automotive industry what can I do? I can have you read books that cover the birth and growth of Ford Motor Company, GM, even Tesla. I can provide documentation and regulations around the building of cars and trucks in the last twenty years, I can create courses that teach and test, I can even have you spend time down at an assembly line, showroom, or corporate headquarters. All of this is relatively easy to learn and pick up with surprising speed.
What if I want you to learn to build a team or even more frightening LEAD a team? That takes years to fully cultivate if you are even capable at all (let me add, I believe most people are capable of this, but in this case I take capability as desire as well. If I have a leader with no desire to be a leader then you will be useless to me because you will never be able to fully grasp your full potential if you have a gift for it. Desire is a key to leadership.). If I want you to be the central node of a department which helps everything to run smoothly and efficiently for the team AND the customer, and you don’t have the experience in operations management…it’s going to be very painful for you, me, the team and the customer as you learn over a period of years.
Take all the courses you want and read all the books you want, but the scars of learning and doing will outweigh all your schooling or reading. Give me someone who has been battle tested and survived any day over someone who is theoretically capable with a good diploma. I’ve seen new highly trained operations managers freeze when things went wrong, get behind the eight ball and crash and burn. A seasoned operations manager sees the problem, assesses it, plots solutions, and acts with speed and forcefulness to get everything running smoothly again. That dear readers is something you can’t teach in a classroom.
All of this is to say a very great thank you to my employer for taking a chance on someone with no experience in their industry, but a decade of experience doing what they have hired me to do and trusting I am intelligent enough to learn the industry. That is part of why I decided to go to work for them, because I have a boss who could see my capabilities and understand how valuable they were for what she needed and look past my lack of degree or experience in the field.
I am proud of what I am doing and what I have done to get to this place, and I will be working diligently to make this organization the best that I can and see where the path goes from here. That being said, it’s time for me to go work so I will see you soon.
Standby for another post later today on the whole Wall Street craziness of the past couple of weeks. Yes, I have noticed, been watching and waiting to make a post to see how it plays out. I think I finally understand enough and can articulate some important points and truths. See you then.