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How to build a successful career in Risk Management

Posted by Alex Heron, 2 months ago

2 min read

After what started out as a quick career move in 2003, Operational Risk Lead Ajay Ahuja is now celebrating twenty years working for us.

‘Two decades! I recently attained this incredible milestone working for NatWest. What started out as the next option to get a raise in my initial working years turned out to be a career defining move. During my tenure with the bank, I have handled various roles including Mortgages, Branch Operations, Product Management and I’m now a part of the Risk Oversight team who are responsible for helping business take risks in an intelligent and well-informed manner.’

Ajay’s journey has been less-than-typical for a career in banking; however, he feels this has given him a unique perspective on the industry.

‘People working in, or who are familiar with banking will know that the width of roles I’ve mentioned is not something that everyone may have in their plan. Looking back, I am glad to have taken up each of these roles as these turned out to be the opportunities that helped expand my horizons as well as offering endless learning opportunities. I am equally thankful to all the wonderful people who placed their trust in me over the course of my career. It’s really the people who make an organisation a great place to work.’

To mark his two decades in the industry, Ajay has written some top tips for a successful career in banking:

1. Take your time

The first and most important point thing to remember is that your career is not a hundred-meter sprint! It’s not even a marathon. Instead, it’s a long journey which is solely yours to make. Make sure to enjoy the twists, turns, ups and downs. As long as you are moving forward, you are doing just fine.

2. Experiment

You should use your formative years in the corporate world to experiment. Keep trying new roles that interest you and you might discover some of your own hidden strengths. Even if these experiments don’t turn out as you thought they would, remember that these unsuccessful attempts can and will provide some real-life lessons that no learning module can replicate.

3. Grow your experience

The more diverse your experience is, the easier it gets for you to understand not just your job but the business you work for. Which is a key strength to build as you move up the career ladder.

4. Setbacks are normal

There will be times when you are frustrated with everything around you. This is normal and bound to happen, it’s just one of those laws of nature. Just go back to my first point, it may not solve the problem, but it will definitely get you moving again.

5. Your experience is valuable

To anyone who isn’t sure if Risk management is a good career move for them; let me tell you by first-hand experience – a person coming in from other areas of the business is likely to have unique knowledge and experience that is invaluable to any Risk career, and people within your business will look favourably upon any insight you can bring.

If you’d like to learn more about our Risk careers you can find out more on our website.

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