Adaptability in an Ever Changing Financial Services Landscape

Good day and greetings from the Financial Services area. For those who have read my previous blog entries, I would like to communicate a warm thank you and I hope to keep engaging your interest.

Even though I post under the category of Financial Services, I try to find a balance between business sensibilities but also try to inject some personality and perspective. Anyone can accumulate data supporting an argument and post tables with the corresponding graphs. I may do that from time to time as well but for the most part I like to leverage experiences to support my insights.

For example, I have been in and around the collections industry for more than two decades. To be able to do the job that I do with that longevity, logically speaking, I must be at least somewhat competent and effective in that role. I can remember sitting in different interviews for collections positions and being asked the gamut of stock interview questions. One of those open-ended questions that allows a person to reveal a little bit about themselves is: What makes you the best candidate for this position? There are a few variations on this question but basically the interviewer is asking you point blank, why do you think you are the best person for the job over anyone else. Over the years my answer has changed. It used to be creativity, meaning I think I can use my creativity to arrive at solutions that may roadblock others. Now in light of previous workplace experiences, that answer has changed to adaptability.

Why adaptability? If you look around, companies are not locking in and doing business the same way year in and year out. Companies offer employees more skill workshops, diversity workshops, inter-department collaboration, team building and all sorts of other methods mirroring successful competitor’s practices. In addition to the positive, there are negative factors as well.

In Corporate America today, the bottom line is always a topic at the forefront and sometimes this means reducing costs and finding cheaper alternatives. At one such stop in my career, I was tasked with training my outsourced replacement(s) from Manila. Not an ideal situation but you forge ahead as a professional and do the job as best as possible. Being adaptable even in the most difficult of situations will benefit you down the line. Also keeping a positive attitude in the face of adversity is a must in a fierce job market.

As I approach the six month mark in my current position, I am cognizant of the job I do and how I am viewed by peers. When possible, I am open to additional projects or duties that I may not have done before. The more skills, processes, environments and situations you are exposed to, the greater chance you have of being viewed as a valuable asset and adapting with that company.

On a baseball team, you will usually find one or two guys who are deemed ‘utility players’. These players are not usually the homerun hitters or the star first baseman but they are the teammates who can do a little bit of everything for a squad. They may play in the late innings for defense or come off the bench in a key situation when a big hit is needed. Those players are the most adaptable and every championship club has one or two of those players that make a big difference in the end.

I sincerely hope your month of August, like mine, has started off on a positive note. Please feel free to email me with any questions or feedback on this piece or if you would like to submit a topic or sub-topic pertaining to Accounts Receivable.

Until next time, may your all challenges turn into opportunities that benefit you for the next challenge.

— Scott Latta —

(Previously Published under my former employer’s Blog Site – 4 of 6)

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