Career Lessons from 2022

In the last quarter of 2019, I was opportune to work on the testing and implementation of the CLM program of an investment bank in Canary Wharf, London, which came with a lot of responsibilities and working with senior stakeholders.

This lasted close to the end of the third quarter of 2021. However, being a contractor connotes that no matter how good a job role or contract is, we must surely be ready for the end at some point.

So, I am back to business as usual. Working within the Quality Control and Assurance function in the Anti Money Laundering and Know Your Customer (Bank) environment.

The year 2022 has somewhat been a mixed bag of some sorts and here are some lessons from my playbook:

1.) Quality is still King: To survive working in quality control. Quality must always be at the heart and soul of everything we do. Arriving at the right outcomes means quality must always be the driver of our decisions. In giving feedback, referring to the process and policy documents is one way to ensure everyone is aware of current procedures and policies and there is an alignment of approach across the board.

2.) Remote Working is here to stay: It’s great to see even with the increase in hybrid roles within the financial services sector, many employers have continued on the path of remote working. I believe that remote working should continue to be embraced as a low-cost model to achieve organisational objectives if it’s not abused, and the right outcomes are achieved.

3.) Avoid the bandwagon effect: Since the advent of remote working and the flexibility it offers. Many people have engaged in sharp practices on the premise that many people are doing it. But, to build a career fighting financial crime. It’s pertinent that financial crime fighters try their very best to not engage in questionable activities. Pertinent questions to ask: Am I in breach of conduct rules? Would this decision be a conflict of interest? Trying to stand apart and be different is not a crime and would help us build a career that stands the test of time.

4.) Financial Education: Working as a contractor in the financial services sector means financial education must be very paramount to us. Retirement planning should be a key focus while we try to focus on surviving our present-day realities and navigate the cost-of-living crisis. Can you save in a private pension? Open a lifetime ISA if you’re still eligible for it and invest into a stocks and shares ISA or a mixture of stocks, shares and bonds depending on your risk appetite. I believe it would be an anomaly of some sorts to have spent many years working in this sector without tangible results to show for it. So, at the barest minimum, being open to information on financial education and retirement planning must be treated as important subjects in our journey to financial freedom.

5.) Attitude to work: I was discussing with a colleague earlier this week how nothing trumps a great attitude to work. No matter how good you think you are at your job, without a great attitude to work, it would be very hard to build a career. No one likes to work with people with poor attitudes. Being a contractor has taught me that flexibility and being able to adapt to changing work requirements are key to career success. With a great attitude, we can truly move mountains.

Merry Christmas and have a joyous holiday.

Photo by Mike Hindle on Unsplash

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