THEVOICE • rockfordchamber.com
IGNITE: YOUNG PROFESSIONALS
Developing yourself and your future KYLE J. YORK IGNITE Rockford
What. Who. When. It’s what you know.
people do this through networking
Regardless of our situation: employed, self-employed or unemployed, one of the
groups, some through Chamber events, some through common interest groups, etc. Over the last eight years in banking,
best things you can do for
I am still amazed at the importance
yourself is to actively seek
of how “who you know” will get you
ways to learn new things. Early on in my career, I would often seek out advice from peers and mentors. Consistent advice that I received was to continually develop your skills and continually learn new things. This advice is not just for people in a sales role, but is for all people who want to learn more and develop themselves. From one’s youngest days of learning how to balance and sit up, to learning how to crawl and then walk, to the “traditional” school path of high school and college, to apprenticeship programs of the trades – it is what we learn and what we know that helps us develop ourselves, develop our skills and allow us to expand our knowledge. Regardless of our situation: employed, self-employed or unemployed, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to actively seek ways to learn new things. It can be simple things like picking up a new hobby or more advanced things like pursuing that next level degree. Maybe it’s adding to your repertoire of degrees, certifications, skills, licenses, etc. Challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort level to increase your knowledge in an area that you may not have the most knowledge in or may not have most interest in learning. Challenge yourself to learn something new every month or every year depending on the goal. With the resources and technology available to most, learning is easier than ever. I encourage you to challenge yourself and continue to grow and develop.
It’s Who You Know In addition to the things you learn and the skills you develop, it is the people you connect with and develop relationships with that will help develop yourself and help shape your future. In my first year of banking, one of my early mentors would always tell me that being a “connector” of people is huge in the banking industry. He would tell me that it is important to attend events, network with the right people and be able to always have someone to connect to a person’s needs or requests. Some
farther in some situations than “what you know.” Connecting with people teaches you things about other people that expands your knowledge. It teaches you things about yourself that you may or may not have known you had in you or sheds light on areas you need to improve, or even areas where you shine. Connecting with people leads to new opportunities, whether it be promotions within your current company or new job opportunities elsewhere. When you are a connector of people, the opportunities are endless.
It’s When You Know For
professionals who are new to their job/ industry, connecting people may seem like an endless task with no results. It is in time that what you know and who you know will start to pay dividends. It is different for everyone, as everyone has different definitions of success. Being a “successful people connector” could mean that you know who to refer people to for any situation. For some it may be that being a “successful people connector” means that you are often sought out for solutions or referrals. It could be a combination of both. Being a connector of people is a process and does not happen overnight. Start small and stay persistent. Build authentic
people you are looking to connect and prioritize your relationships. Invest in your long-term development by pushing yourself to increase your level of “What You Know” and “Who You Know.” Kyle J. York is VP, sales area manager, Illinois Bank & Trust, and member of IGNITE Rockford and IGNITE’s Business Networking Group. The views expressed are those of York’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.