My "Sense of Adventure" Led to My Progress
By Christine Lam, Country Business Manager, Citi Consumer Banking, Hong Kong March 04, 2015 10:30 AM
To celebrate International Women’s Day, Christine Lam, Country Business Manager, Citi Consumer Banking, Hong Kong, shares her story about the defining characteristic that led to her progress.
“30 years, and counting.”
That was the opening line of an essay I wrote about my Citi career that was featured as part of an International Woman’s Day celebration in 2014. Now I can proudly – and accurately – write: “31 years and counting.” Along the way, I have had seventeen assignments, twenty-five managers, and worked in three countries in two regions. The jobs have taken me from the Intuitional Clients Group into Global Consumer Banking. I’ve held staff positions, client-facing roles, jobs with critical profit and loss responsibilities, assignments in Operations and Technology. Many of these assignments involved taking on roles that did not previously exist, and undergoing groundbreaking work for Citi, including breaking into new markets, and creating new organizations. Each time, the experiences were also new for me.
I often get asked how I manage my career, long characterized by mobility across sectors, the diversity in the nature of the roles, and geographies. Although some of these moves were more surprising than others, I enthusiastically accepted all opportunities as they presented themselves.
I originally applied to join the bank’s Human Resources department. Ironically, that’s one area where I have not held a position. Often, opportunities came along when I least expected them. In some instances, I did not get positions I’d hoped for, or accepted roles that I didn’t seek out – but for which I felt I could add value. The bank took risks on me, and I took equal risks on myself.
It is this adventurous spirit that energized me for the last three decades, and the reason why I continue to approach each day at the office with wonder and excitement. A career at Citi is a marathon, not a sprint, and I have enjoyed the scenery along the way.