If you're wondering how to advance your career during the coronavirus pandemic, or are starting a new job from the comfort of your spare room rather than a bank of desks in the office, you might want to contemplate the advice offered by JPMorgan's new global head of diversity and inclusion, Brian Lamb.
Lamb himself arrived at JPM mid-pandemic, in April 2020. He previously spent over 13 years at Fifth Third Bank in Florida, where he was everything from regional CFO to head of retail banking to head of wealth and asset management.
Lamb's wisdom has proven something of a hit, with over 43,000 views so far. It's not all trailblazing stuff (Lamb suggests finding the nexus of what you're good at and what you're passionate about), but he also makes plenty of interesting observations, many of which apply equally to all candidates including those come through diversity schemes. This is his sagacity, distilled...
1. Find a group of people who'll encourage you to be your best self
If you want to thrive, Lamb says you need a group of supporters with "a vested interest" in your success. They might be parents; they might be other family members, university professors, neighbors or friends. However, they need to go beyond networking and have an active and personal interest in holding you to become the best person you can be. Turn to them for advice about both personal and professional issues. Lamb refers to these people as his, "personal board of directors." He says they hold him accountable for his actions and made him ask tough questions about his choices.
2. Be a maniac about preparation
Careers aren't entirely serendipitous. Lamb said you need a "maniacal approach" to preparing for your future so that you're positioned to, "execute when the opportunity arises." You need to research your potential career so that you have an "idea what success looks like." Always be looking one to three years ahead.
3. Avoid people with negative brands
Your personal brand is everything, said Lamb. If you associate yourself with people who have strongly positive brands, it will rub off on you. However, if you spend too much time with people whose brands are negative yours will be tarnished, so avoid.
4. Be authentic
Lamb is also all for authenticity, especially during the pandemic when barriers have been deconstructed between home and office life. If you're joining a new team and you want to build rapport while you work remotely, Lamb said you need to be your real self. - Acknowledge that you're working from home and that the conversation may be a bit less formal than usual. However, also make sure that you're fully engaged - that your body language, tone and readiness for the conversation reflect your preparedness to do the job.
5. Acknowledge your vulnerability
If you want excellent mentors and you want to build strong relationships digitally, Lamb said you'll also need to acknowledge some of your own vulnerabilities. Expose your real self - not just the person you think you need to be. "It's a tough time for everyone," he observed.
Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance. Whatsapp/Signal/Telegram also available. Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t.)
Photo by Barthelemy de Mazenod on Unsplash