It’s somewhat surprising to me that young professionals would actually take time out of their day to network with me and ask me for career advice. That is what recently occurred when I accepted an invitation to host the Business Council of Fairfield County’s Young Professionals Network luncheon. The Young Professionals Network is a group of under 40 year olds – attorneys, CPAs, non-profit professionals who meet to network, get advice and even socialize over a cocktail or two at a local “happy hour”. I missed that part of the program.
They were very interested in my position at First County Bank and how I got the privilege of sitting in this seat. My career path has been pretty linear over the years but for many, that does not necessarily happen and it’s not a bad thing. My point to them is that it’s important to follow a common theme or the “line of crumbs” that lead you down a path to success and fulfillment.
The advice was free so I passed along one of the key elements to success I have found: stay close to your customers. These can be external or internal customers but they are the most important interactions you can have in your workday. Creating and maintaining relationships with customers is what we, at First County Bank, are all about and this belief can help forge a path for every successful business and individual. I also told the group how important the mentors and business leaders that I have modeled my career after were to me, especially my colleagues who taught me to be active in the community.
One final piece of advice to them is to be healthy and stay fit so it’s probably a good thing that I missed some of those “happy hours.”