Insights on Embracing Change to Remain Successful
By Diana Booker, Service Specialist, Commercial Bank Service Team
June 12, 2014 01:36 PM
To celebrate Citi Foundation's Pathways to Progress, Diana Booker (Service Specialist, Commercial Bank Service Team) shares insights from her first job.
I began my career at the age of 17 working at a clothing store in Springfield, Virginia. From this job, I learned to think critically and to embrace change - two lessons that have been reinforced through my various positions since.
As an associate, my responsibilities included working the register, assisting clients in selecting clothing and maintaining the overall cleanliness and organization of the store. Prior to this role, my experience consisted of working at my high school bookstore, so while some of my duties were similar, others were relatively new to me.
Because of this, I quickly came to understand that making mistakes was a natural part of the learning process. I realized that the important thing was to take ownership of errors and to ask for guidance to properly correct them. Some of the best advice I got was from my father who said don't make a small mistake worse by trying to cover it up.
Over time, and with this advice in mind, I was able to become skilled in crucial areas, such as customer service. I learned to be attentive to clients who asked for my assistance, and in turn, they often came back to the store looking for me to help them again. While I eventually became comfortable with my duties, I was never complacent. Early on, I realized that each manager had unique expectations. While the store manager encouraged me to interact with customers, the assistant managers were more focused on the cleanliness of the store. This was one of my first lessons in the importance of flexibility and adaptability.
In my current role as a Service Specialist on the Commercial Bank Service Team, I can face situations that I have never previously encountered on a weekly basis. To succeed, I must remain open-minded in my approach and think critically by leveraging available information and resources. I have learned that it is important to be able to dissect a situation and find a solution.
While many of the lessons I learned during my first job are still relevant to my role today, what I have found most helpful is my ability to quickly adapt to situations. When speaking with colleagues I advise them to embrace change because that is the one thing we can always count on!
*Tagged as: change, critical thinking, leadership, my first job, pathways to progress