Over the course of my assignment in Manhattan, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many successful leaders in the hedge fund sector and within PwC’s Alternative Investments group. The industry is dynamic and constantly evolving and . I’ve definitely had my share of challenges, but I’ve also learned some important things about how to gain confidence and stand out on the job:
1. Ask questions and show your interest in learning
Often times when I’m working with people who have greater expertise in an area than I do, I feel intimidated to ask something that might seem like common knowledge. But asking questions not only shows your interest in learning, but lets you gain deeper industry knowledge better understand your client, become an expert in your field and ultimately bring more value to whoever you work for.
2. Be vocal about your aspirations
Analytical skills are something that I’ve been interested in developing throughout my career at PwC, which I let manager know from the get-go. When a new accounting standard came into effect, I reminded my manager that I wanted to help in the analysis of the impact to our client. When you remind your superiors of wanting to take more responsibility, you’ll be able to show initiative and the next time an opportunity comes up, you’re more likely to be asked to help out.
3. Embrace what sets you apart
Feedback Fridays are a big part of the PwC Canada culture where teams gets together to give both upward and downward feedback in a casual setting through a team coffee or an afternoon outing. When I brought up the concept of Feedback Fridays in New York, my team was excited since they’d never taken part in anything like it before. Suggesting something new in the workplace may be risky but can really go a long way.
4. Think outside the box
Remember that there are many ways to complete the work that you’re doing. Often times I’ll get bogged down in the details and lose sight of the bigger. When I take a step back to understand what’s being done, I’m able to propose new and more efficient ways of working.
5. Seek out consistent feedback from your mentor
Every relationship you make in your career is an important one, but make sure you’re able to connect with someone that believes in you and supports you. Constantly ask for feedback and ask for ways to improve in areas of weakness. Just going for a quick coffee break to catch up can be one of the easiest ways to get the conversation going.