Today as part of our Brand You Webinar series, we heard from Cris Parker: Director with the Banking and Finance Oath (BFO
), and the Head of The Ethics Alliance. The BFO was set up so members of the Banking and Finance industry could commit to being personally accountable for their actions and decisions at work. Cris explained that it also provides an excellent framework for individuals to tell a better story of their role in the industry, in the wake of the global economic crisis.
For young industry professionals, it can be hard to talk about yourself well. The idea of talking about your strengths can feel like you are talking yourself up, being boastful or selling yourself. However, Cris highlighted that it doesn’t have to be like this, and that you show your brand in everything you do: how you walk and talk, dress, and get jobs done. If you are good at something or have a strong belief, you should own it but do so using ‘story’ examples. Do not just say “I’m reliable”, rather provide a description of a time you acted in a reliable way.
In Cris’ early career as an actress, she found herself gravitating towards roles and stories that aligned with her personal values. Even in her current roles, she finds herself working in a way that is true to herself. If you are not sure what your beliefs are, or what is important to you, it is worth investing some time to reflect.
It is important from the beginning to the end of your career to have pride in who you are and what you stand for, and to work with integrity. The possibility of working with integrity in relation to the banking and finance industry has however been called into question due to the findings of the Financial Services Royal Commission. When Cris was a Ted X speaker, she opened with a statement she wasn’t sure would be received well: “We need to believe in the inherent good of our financial services industry”. To her surprise, she was met with applause. What the BFO addresses is an important need, especially in a post-rc environment: to allow people to make a personal commitment to doing the right thing. Even though the company or wider industry you are a part of has made some mistakes, doesn’t mean that you yourself cannot work with integrity and honour. According to Cris: “integrity is your greatest strength.”
By way of summary, to truly be fulfilled and true to yourself as a workplace professional, you need to know and be comfortable with who you are in terms of your personal qualities, but especially your personal set of ethics. If you are working in a way that is good and honest, then you are doing your bit to make the culture of this industry bright.