Over the last couple of weeks I have been thinking about my career a lot. Where is it headed? I am at that point now where change is right in front of me. I am almost two years into my career at M&T Bank, I am now an officer at the bank and I think about the industry I am in and where my future goals are.
It is easy to say, I am 23, I have my whole life ahead of me – but I realize now that I can’t let others drive my career (not that anyone who knows me would say that I have), but I can’t let others dictate the moves I am making. The choices I make over the next couple of years can will define how my career is shaped, can I make mistakes of course, everyone is entitled to making mistakes but the choices I make will lead to positive or negatives changes that can and will continue to effect my careers.
I am so fortunate to have the “advisory board” that I do for my career. Different people I can go to to look at things from a different perspective. Not all from banking, not all in Buffalo and I think that is important, as any young person starting their career and continuing their career – find people you can talk to about different aspects who will give you the no Bull $#!T approach. Those people who can be straight up with you can give you the most honest and advice and that is probably the most important thing you can ask for.
A wise person once said you have to have all different levels of people on your board that you can go to for advice who will talk about you if you ask and then you have a sponsor panel – the people who will talk about you when you are not around. I think I have established a pretty good panel of sponsors as well.
It is an exciting time for financial services – is this my career forever, do most 23 year old people know what industry they want to be in at the end of their career – I doubt it. But I know with the combination of FinTechs, bank acquisitions, regulation challenges, and the branch model changing, it is definitely a good time to be in banking.