Over the last few years, I’ve spent the majority of my time thinking about the future, planning my next career steps. But after my last week with Edward Jones, there is no better time than now to reflect.
A few thoughts on the first six years of my career:
Working at Edward Jones helped me realize what it looks like to truly put the client first. Naturally, every professional services company claims to put the customer first. But I can say firsthand that the vast majority of people at Edward Jones truly are focused on the mission of helping clients improve their financial lives. It is not a competitive environment hyper-focused on brand prestige, compensation, or flashy perks. The quiet, humble culture attracts people who genuinely want to make a difference. It’s a value that has resonated strongly with me and will be a major factor in my job search ahead.
I’ve now lived in St. Louis for a decade. The first few years after I graduated from SLU were challenging for the region, including the shooting of Michael Brown and the following unrest, as well as the NFL Rams’ decision to leave. The regional tone and negativity seem to have changed in the past few years, though. St. Louis is now debating how to best tackle regional unification, on the cusp of gaining an MLS team, and celebrating the Stanley Cup-winning Blues. Historic neighborhoods like Tower Grove, Cherokee, and the The Grove are growing quickly. New developments in Midtown (City Foundry, Cortex), downtown (renovated Gateway Arch National Park), and in between (Choteau Greenway) are exciting. Optimism is back.
Over the past six years, I’ve learned about competitive strategy, financial statements, process improvement, and more. But I’ve learned just as much about myself. I’ve learned that I have a passion for strategy and enjoy building new teams. Thanks to honest feedback from coworkers and friends, I’m painfully (but gratefully) more aware of my own flaws. Outside of work, I’ve discovered a new hobby in kayaking and am on a mission to explore all of the National Parks.
I feel so fortunate that the first stage of my career has been better than I ever could have imagined. A career is just one aspect of a full life, but it is a major piece that can give a sense of purpose. I’m excited to keep pursuing my purpose in the next stage.