Dorothy Killeen, managing director in Capital Finance at Wells Fargo: I think there is naturally a tendency — and for women in particular — to assume that working really hard and doing really good work will lead to that next big thing.
And without raising your hand, without being more intentional about where you want to go next, building the relationships to get there, telling people what you want to do, making sure folks are aware of not just your technical skills, but your leadership skills— without doing that, it’s not likely to just emerge or just show up, or just have someone say, “Hey, why don’t you post for this role? I think you’d be great at it.”
I think in the environment that we work in, in more of a team-based, client-focused, broader, enterprise-wide environment it’s very rare that an opportunity is created entirely by one individual. There are folks who have been very influential in helping me find roles, find the next opportunity, figure out what I want to do.
You know, when I think back to some of the real transition moments in my career, coming back from maternity leave after my first child was really, for me, a big turning point in terms of thinking through what I wanted out of my career, by having sponsors, by having folks who were looking out for me, folks who said “We want you to be part of our business. We want you to be in this role, even if it’s not for a long time. Even if it is not permanent, we want you back. We know that there are different opportunities for you over time If you need to take a step back right now, that’s okay.”
Knowing that those people were there looking out for you while you were gone was pretty key for me in terms of feeling comfortable that not only was I valued in terms of returning to the team, but that the team that I worked with wanted to be flexible, wanted to be encouraging and say “Please come back, we’ll figure it out.”