What Would You Do Differently?
We asked associates: “If you could change one thing about your time at T. Rowe Price, what would it be? The answers may surprise you.
Have you ever had something happen at work that made you wish you could turn back time? You’re not alone.
Our careers are filled with “hindsight is 20/20” moments. Can you relate to any of these situations?
- There was that meeting where I spoke up... and realized I shouldn’t have.
- I saw a great job posted, but assumed it was already too late in the process to apply.
- I had a great conversation with a senior leader at a networking event, but I wasn’t sure how to follow up, so I never did.
If you experienced any (or all) of these situations, give yourself a break. Sometimes, you just aren’t sure what to do, and maybe the timing wasn’t right. But when you know better, you do better. It’s never too late for a second chance.
We talked to tenured TRP associates about what they would tell their past selves if they had a chance to do things differently. Here’s what they said.
“I wish I better understood how the work gets done.” How the work gets done is as important as the outcome. This is where your relationships, collaborative work style and having a champion for the work (i.e., a sponsor) can help. A big part of getting projects through is socializing progress to the right people and knowing who your key stakeholders are.
“I wish I prioritized my education.” Some associates regretted not finishing their degree. Others said they kept putting off pursuing designations or certifications. Investing in your professional development is important, but you must make time for it. T. Rowe Price offers a tuition reimbursement program and other types of education, to strengthen skills applicable to your role. Not sure what you want to do, but interested in learning something different? There are almost 2,400 free courses in the firm’s learning portal available to associates.
“I wish I managed my career with intention.” There are thousands of employees at T. Rowe Price, and relationships can influence your career progression. Prioritize building relationships as well as your personal brand. If your brand is solid, you might catch the eye of someone who will sing your praises when you are not in the room. In other words, you will be sponsored, in most cases by a senior leader. .
“I wish I found a mentor and knew how to maximize that relationship.” If you’ve listened to one of T. Rowe Price’s leaders speak at one of the business resource groups events, they all share a common theme: the value of having a mentor. A mentor can help expand your understanding of the firm and more importantly, how your work fits into a larger picture. Mentors can help advise you on how to build a specific skill set, introduce you to people in different parts of the firm, and most of all, share their expertise. Finding the right person to mentor you is an important decision, and it’s a two-way street when it comes to putting in the work. .
“I wish I realized doing the job well isn't enough.” Good work gets recognized, but the game-changer in your career is how you were perceived while getting the job done. Were you diplomatic, or a little too candid? Collaborative, or just to a point? Unflappable, or bordering on full tilt when things got a bit hectic? Your behavior can upstage your talent and hold you back. If you aren’t getting feedback from your boss or colleagues, seek out a friend who will tell it to you straight.
“I wish I was more resilient.” We all have setbacks at work. We lose a great boss or friend who leaves the company. We have projects that weren’t as successful as we had hoped. Or we get reorganized and wind up in a job that isn’t a great fit. It’s not a great feeling and you can get into a funk and withdraw. Try to push through that. It may be hard to see an opportunity in a new situation. This is when your network, sponsor, or mentor can help you see things differently.
Chances are, one of these situations will repeat itself. With this wisdom in mind, you can take a different approach going forward and hopefully, have a better result.