Pushing for Personal Growth

Pushing for Personal Growth

Practice what you preach!  Our work has a leadership development program, and applications come out once per year.  I was not accepted last year (there were only 15 spots for over 80 applicants, and yes, I was completely and utterly crushed), but I’m determined to apply again this year.  It’s a great opportunity to develop my leadership skills and network with peers in a similar situation.  As such, I have spent the weekend working on my application instead of writing a new post.  I wanted to share a snippet, which should clear up some confusion about why I’ve been so busy lately!

Question 3: What are your career goals over the next 3-5 years?  How do you plan to achieve them?

I have been a numbers person my entire life, from starting on an advanced mathematics track in middle school to earning a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics.  My first role was in Cost Basis, analyzing gains and losses to ensure accurate reporting for our clients.  I then took a role as a Financial Analyst for Fixed Income, analyzing net present values and money making opportunities for fixed income swaps.  I automated most of the processes enough that one person could do the job alone and felt ready for a new challenge, so I wanted to find a position focused more on the process improvement aspect which I had enjoyed.  I started as a Project Consultant for IT Finance last year, where I had the opportunity to assist on multiple reporting efforts.  However, I found I missed analyzing financials, and I realized it was time to transition back to a role focused more on money.

I’ve recently started the transition from Project Consultant to Business Manager for our Chief IT Security Officer.  This entails managing the financials (including budget and forecast) and headcount for his entire organization, which makes up 37% of overall IT annual spend.  I regularly meet with our CISO and all of his VP directs and extended leadership to discuss the current situation and strategize for the future.  I also report the information directly to all the senior leaders and our Chief Information Officer.

Over the next 3 to 5 years, I intend to establish best practices within the org regarding financials and reporting, and to create full transparency with regard to the financials for the entire IT organization.  I have spent the last two months doing a deep dive into the financials throughout the entire org.  I have ideas for new technology and reports that I am currently working to implement, which make the data easier to comprehend and visualize for managers who are unfamiliar with closely managing their financials.  I also have new budgeting strategies I am preparing to implement this summer with the help of my Finance team, bringing more clarity to the true cost of running the organization and the true cost of ownership.  The most important piece to ensuring full transparency is making sure that the people on the receiving end of the information understand it fully, so I’ve been working closely with each of Andy’s directs to help them gain a full understanding of the current budgets, current spend, and mid-year forecast for each direct.  We have made notable progress as a team in our the understanding of our financials thus far.  Long term, I would like to involve not only directs but extended leadership for our CISO’s org in the financials and discussions.  As I work to implement the changes in our CISO’s org, I am able to share the reports and the benefits with my fellow business managers, who are then able to share with the other SVPs.  My three-pronged approach of technology, financial management strategy, and education will bring our organization full financial transparency.  I am looking forward to working with all our senior leaders to ensure we are able to meet our goals, and to ensure our financial plans are in sync with our mission.

**I am still working on my essays, and have a friend in the Legal department who can proofread before I submit my application, but I’d like to think I’m off to a great start. 🙂

As of today, I am officially a Business Manager!  (And huzzah for the raise!)  I’ve been doing the back office work since December, and have been doing the full responsibilities of the position since February, so I’m incredibly excited to share that my hustle has paid off.  I didn’t realize how excited I would really be about the position until after I started doing the responsibilities in an effort to assist my manager and take more off his plate while he navigated his own promotion.  My mentor tells me to always seize opportunities and always be the one to volunteer, and that it has been the number one driver that brought him to where he is today.  Here it is in practice.   You never know what you’ll find when you step up to take on a new challenge!

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