I had 4 jobs in 2 years at Fidelity. So did my colleague Julia. You may think I was the workplace version of a "problem child," but I actually did this voluntarily.
I started my career at Fidelity 5 years ago in the General Management Apprentice (GMA) program where I completed 4 job rotations over 2 years across 4 different Fidelity businesses. You know how they say things come full circle? Well they do! A couple of months ago, I had an associate join my team who is part of another rotational program here at Fidelity, the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP). And since joining my team, we have compared notes on our 2 experiences.
While we started at Fidelity at different stages of our careers, we both agree that rotational programs are amazing opportunities for anyone who is looking to be challenged at work.
Rotational programs are intentionally challenging. You learn a lot in a short period of time and have to find a way to make an impact. You are repeatedly the new kid on the block and sometimes have to admit that you don't know anything! These programs force you to roll up your sleeves and often our "outside" perspective helped us come up with new ideas that help propel the business forward. I graduated from the GMA program incredibly knowledgeable about Fidelity's businesses and I achieved more than I ever would have thought possible. I can already see Julia on the same path of learning, contributing, and forming her own path toward success.
Here's advice from the both of us for anyone considering a rotational program, job swap, or new role!
- Trust the process. At times I was confused why I was placed in a certain function. If I was playing content catch-up all the time, how was I supposed to develop as a leader? Turns out, I learned key elements of my leadership style while in this vulnerable place. My managers knew what I needed before I knew it myself, and trusting them—even when I wasn't sure exactly how to incorporate their advice yet—led to many growth opportunities.
- Adaptation is a skill, not a talent. I now know that whatever is thrown my way in a new role, I will be able to figure it out. Each rotation transition was easier than the last because I built the muscles necessary—including meeting new colleagues, understanding the mission of the work, and quickly finding my place.
- Make yourself instantly valuable. Always look for opportunities to make an impact—and this doesn't have to be something big! Because of the limited time within each role, you are very rarely able to achieve perfection, and that is OK. Find ways to help your new teammates. Take on projects that no one wants. Don't be afraid to ask what you may feel is a stupid question because chances are, that question can lead to new thinking. One of the most powerful things we can bring is new perspective. That's how companies like Fidelity continue to grow, innovate, and adapt over time.
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