Mastering the role you currently hold will propel you forward to whatever's next for your career, says John Smith, senior manager of mortgage sales at $22 billion asset BECU in Seattle, Wash. "Become the expert: the one that people go to for resources and look to for an example," he says.
Smith joins nationally recognized speaker, author, coach, and 2020 Governmental Affairs Conference emcee Antonio Neves to discuss building expertise, the value of life experience, and more in the new video series "10-Minute Mentorship," sponsored by CUNA Mutual Group. On the show, Neves interviews credit union leaders about career development topics.
Smith's experience with managing people has also taught him that a college degree isn't always necessary for a candidate to be the right person for a job. "If that person is available who has not been to college, but they've got the experience, I think that's a valuable person to have on your team: somebody who understands the mission at hand and is ready to roll up their sleeves and go to work."
Having somebody who believes in you at work is crucial to professional development, Smith says. He suggests finding a mentor or peer who is willing to be honest and have open conversations about performance and goals.
When mistakes happen or work gets stressful, Smith focuses on staying calm and maintaining perspective. It can also help to unplug. "We have so much technology around us that I even get a piece of paper and a pen and write down the things that are important," he says.
"Life is a challenge nowadays, but we have to keep on moving forward," he says. "That's what I believe, so that's where my attitude is."
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