Remember the game snakes and ladders? That’s life.
I’d like to share with you a fantastic episode of The Treasury Update Podcast that I recently listened to.
Having listened to episode #60 titled “How to Get Stuff Done: Networking, Noise, Niceties & Nurturing Your Career” in its entirety, I can say that this podcast has some insightful tips regardless of whether you’re starting out in finance or are a seasoned finance professional.
Make every moment- both in the office AND at home-count.
The episode “details the journey of a busy treasurer juggling career navigation, skill-set maintenance, goal achievement, professional development, work/life balance and more.”
How does one person handle all these tasks (along with many others!), while also moving up the financial practitioner maturity model?
The interviewee, an Assistant Treasurer at ION Geophysical, shares her tips on how to make every moment — both in the office AND at home — count.
Here are my favorite highlights and talking points from the podcast.
How to get stuff done- a career discussion
The Four Ns
The interviewee introduced listeners to the four categories she uses to guide her throughout her career ascendance. The four Ns, or the four areas that particularly stand out to her, are:
4. Nurturing your career
How do I meet my goals, and also the goals set by my company, and also nurture my career?
Network=your support net
As a ballet dancer (the interviewee’s first career was as a dancer), “we had to rely on each other. A great ballet cannot be performed alone. The same thing can be said for a great team, project, or company. What I’ve learned is you have to strategically build your network. When you do that you can have people who act as your resource to get things done.”
When it comes to career opportunities, your professional network functions as your resource.
The interviewee notes that having a network is very important, but casting a wide net is not enough. It’s just as, and maybe even more, important to have a relationship with your network.
[Recalling a time when she leaned on her network]:
“I try to drive obsolescence when I see redundancies. The first step when I assessed what we were doing as a treasury department… I saw that one of the areas for improvement I could quickly target was the cash forecasting process…
And so I had a look at it and I tried to figure out ways to do it by myself but I realized I’m not a programmer and I need help trying to get a solution. So, I was at the AFP conference last year and I ran into a company called DataRails and it’s a very creative and cost-effective way to solve the challenge that we had. And the requirement was to make sure the forecast was dynamically updating and not taking a full-time employee four days a week to complete from beginning to end…
Networking at the AFP was so fundamental to making this project a success. I don’t know how I would have found such a good product otherwise. Networking has helped me achieve my goal of automation for 2019, and it’s been a really successful project…it makes me very happy that we can get these things in progress and help meet the goals for the company.”
Noise= make your voice heard
“Treasury is really vital to a company. The only way to promote its worth and use is to really speak up wherever possible. You can’t be that siloed department that sees activities being done that either contradict the strategy or don’t aid the end cause.
I think for treasury we’re in a position where we offer critical information to the company and we are tasked with being the stewards of capital and protecting the company’s assets…
The way I think about it is that treasury has to think and act strategically. They way you do that is by getting a seat at the table. And you’re only offered a seat at the table of you can suggest practical views and manners in which to achieve measurable results…
Treasurers should be a partner to the company and not a vendor. [Be] value adding, not just processing payments and doing cash management, but actually adding value to the company and maturing us as a department to be more helpful to the company.”
Niceties=broaden your interactions and relationships
Success and meeting goals is often based on your ability to develop good relationships with others. When people know that you trust them and listen to them even when you disagree with them, you can engage people around you and a lot of good can come from these relationships.
“From the treasurer’s perspective, you can invite other parts of the organization to the conversation. By that I mean operations, sales, finance, accounting, legal, and even tax. You can use your expertise to teach others how treasury can be valuable to them and help them in their own job…
Make it [treasury] relevant to others…”
Treasury can do so much… just often not everybody knows what we do.
4. Nurturing Your Career
Nurturing your career=being methodical, practical, and keeping your career goals in mind
“When I was starting my treasury career I got a roadmap of what I needed to do to move from being a Treasury Analyst to a Treasurer- what does it take, what education, what experience I needed. So I methodically worked my way through all areas…
I pretty much studied everything I could that had anything to do with finance and treasury to make sure that I could move myself up that path…
It’s good to have education and its good to have experience, but you have to use those in the right way to make sure its beneficial to your company and that its beneficial to you and what you want to get out of your career.”
Final thoughts from the interviewee
“I would encourage people if they want to move forward in their careers and enjoy what they are doing- they need to increase their engagement at work.
Either with peers or industry professionals- treat others well, charge your own course of success and work to upskill yourself. I think by doing this you demonstrate a proactive use of your time.
Not only does this increase value for your organization but I think it also…you can find satisfaction in your own career by doing that, at least I have.”
If this article piqued your interest, you can check out the 26 minute podcast at https://strategictreasurer.com/60-how-to-get-stuff-done-networking-noise-niceties-nurturing-your-career/