Plansmith Blog

Bankers: The Case for Mentorship & Continuing Education

Posted by Jennifer Mello on 10/5/16 10:34 AM

Education. It’s different when you’re young – you have to go through it. You keep moving up another step until graduation, and then one day, it’s all over. Then you have a choice: stop education all together, or continue education and further enhance your career.

Continuing Education for Bankers

The banking industry is a perfect example of a field that believes in continuing education.  For example, there are courses to further enhance your knowledge of finance and accounting or other industry-related material. However, the best education really comes from within your bank! Everybody there wants you to strive for great results and have a successful team, and those people can be your best resource. The key with this is to find someone who can give you what you need to learn about your bank's business. Not the business of banking in general, that’s what classes are for, but the business your bank does: who your bank wants to be, the statement they are making to the community. Who might that be? A mentor. A mentor is the perfect resource for learning your bank and how the integral parts of the bank are run.

Identifying the Mentor

Who do you learn from at your bank? Who can you ask questions that gives you the time and patience to answer and explain? If you don’t have someone yet take the time to find them. Once you figure out who your mentor will be, ask to have lunch with them, even if you don’t have anything specific to ask just yet – discuss the bank or its history.  It’ll give you a feel for whether or not you have a learning connection with that person and help you decide if this is the right mentor for you. If it is, have these types of meetings and conversations regularly to develop and bolster a relationship.

What if I'm the Mentor?

Maybe you’re the mentor! You’ve been there, you’ve seen the struggles, and you’ve overcome obstacles – who could benefit from all the amazing knowledge stuck in your brain? Find someone, ask them to go to lunch and discuss the bank's background. Someone is sure to jump at the chance to learn more from you. Your knowledge could help them succeed at their job. Be that person!

And once you have the knowledge, make sure you have the tools to build that vision and start planning for the future! #compass

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Topics: community bank, community bank strategy, banker education, continuing education