It’s a tricky time for graduates joining the workforce, with remote work prevailing as the largely undisputed modus operandi for many businesses and allowing little space for networking and training. Our own Business Change and Improvement Manager at Siemens Financial Services, Claire Fleetwood, offers her expert advice on seizing professional opportunities and getting the most out of the resources at your disposal during these less than usual times.
I truly believe that it’s better to regret something you’ve done, than something you haven’t. And when it comes to your career, chances are you won’t regret doing something new and different. This is the advice I generally give people when they are on the fence about taking up new responsibilities or taking the road less travelled. What feels like a risk is actually more of an opportunity to grow and develop. The bottom line is that if it feels comfortable and safe, you are not flexing those learning muscles. Pushing yourself out of comfort zone and getting your voice heard is more important now than ever, as it’s easy to get left behind without the office acting as a natural space for internal networking.
When I first started out in the world of work, I was fortunate to join a team with a strong knowledge-sharing ethos. This enabled me to gain exposure to a plethora of responsibilities outside my day-to-day tasks - simply learning by doing. My confidence grew as I began to learn and master new skills, processes and systems. Take my word for it: when you take ownership of your projects and deliver on your commitments, you will begin to gain credibility and build up a reputation for yourself. For that reason, I recommend always stepping up to any challenge that comes your way!
In a similar vein, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. This can be applied to most situations, not just the land of work opportunities. Be curious, ask questions, and get into the habit of walking in other’s shoes because empathy and connection are the building blocks of any relationship. Take the time to get to know colleagues and you’ll reap the benefits of effective collaboration and gain a network of co-workers who can support you.
Adopting a growth mindset and having the confidence to seek out ways to improve and gain observational feedback will help you develop. Transfer this learning into your day-to-day to demonstrate a commitment to your learning journey.
At Siemens Financial Services (SFS), we’re lucky to have access to so many learning resources available via My Growth, so I would advise all employees to take advantage of these and invest time in their own professional development. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion are high on the culture agenda for SFS, and this includes encouraging diverse thinking. You’re going to succeed if you can manage to get your voice in the room, share your ideas (and listen attentively to others) and gain credibility by following through and delivering on them.
Good luck to all those starting out in their career and please reach out to me if you want any guidance! We’re always offering exciting internships and graduate schemes (find out more here) for those interested in kickstarting their career with SFS.
Claire Fleetwood Business Change and Improvement Manager
I have been with SFS for 6 years and my role has developed and grown, enabling me to drive business change and improvement with a high focus on organisational development and culture. We are committed to improving our culture across Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and leaning into Conversations that Matter for a feedback rich culture. I support my colleagues within SFS and across my Siemens UK network with performance coaching and mentoring as well as actively support our Women’s Network.
I love spending time with my husband and two teenage sons. We also have a new addition to the family, a Cockapoo puppy who has transformed our lives and home. My passions are cooking and dining out, and I love a good movie too!