Growth vs. Value (To Your Firm)

Nov 27, 2018

career growth

Let me lead off with this post by mentioning this is not a post about growth vs. value investing (although my day job requires me to speak on that subject frequently.) The primary emphasis on this post focuses on employer’s view of you as an employee within your firm. In many cases you’re either in

  • Growth mode; early in your financial services career, accumulating knowledge and experience and no grey hair yet. Or you’re in
  • Value mode; somewhat established, you know a thing or two, you’re in the process of losing hair and may never see grey.

Regardless of where you are in your career, it’s important to know that your employer always expects you to be an asset, whether it’s through your talents – both natural and learned – and/or through hard work. I highly encourage working smarter and not harder. Knowing where you are now helps to understand where your career is headed.

Moving up, or not

Let’s be clear, being in the growth mode of your career doesn’t always translate to being “new”. Depending on the function of your role, you could be actively growing for years. In one of our posts, we highlighted that despite the belief that all millennials are impatient and seeking instant success, we are willing to put in the time for the right opportunity. As you actively grow within your firm, you’re also creating a foundation for your entire career. Work ethic, networking skills, presentation skills, taking the lead on projects, meeting deadlines…are all core competencies that we all need to experience during the Growth part of our career. The growth phase doesn’t come without frustrations and doubt. My sister applied for a job within her company several years ago that she thought was a seamless transition. The interview process went as well as it could, and after not getting the role, the unanimous feedback from the hiring managers was “you’re not ready.” This brings me to my next point, growth isn’t a function of time, it’s a function of persistence. Had she earned the opportunity to apply for the role – heck yea, but simply being accomplished in her current role didn’t immediately make her ready for her new role. To her dismay, she had some more growing to do, which brings me to the impact of value employees can have on their firm.

Growth vs. Value (to your firm) Click To Tweet

With a capital V

The best piece of advice I ever received from a co-worker is, “If you wait on the opportunity, it will never come.” Some things take time. Growing a mature book of business, or creating a footprint as a niche advisor, but most of the opportunities between your first dollar to having $100 million in AUM are the opportunities you create for yourself (and subsequently your firm.) If growth entails accumulating knowledge, then value should entail creating knowledge. If working towards the next level in your firm requires project management skills, in what ways are you working towards that goal? Do you work hard enough to just hit your client acquisition quota, or do you create ways to break through and set new standards? Do you make yourself available for corporate initiatives (outside of your role as an advisor) or do you focus your own sales goals? In the case of my sister, part of the follow-up was understanding why she wasn’t ready – each hiring manager followed up with “we want you to think about the company goals, not just the goals of the role you’re applying for.” Long story short, the value you bring to a firm should be comprehensive, not just specific to your role.

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