Having worked in the finance and technology industries for nearly 25 years, Corynn Ciber is no stranger to breaking barriers. In two industries that women have been underrepresented in, she has blazed her own trail, leading to her role as Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at WSFS Bank.
Here are three of her tips for others who want to break barriers:
- Embrace the Unknown. Be bold, embrace the unknown and look for opportunities to challenge yourself,” Ciber said. “That’s how I started working in technology within the financial services industry.
I’ve held a variety of financial services roles, from insurance sales to marketing manager to operations manager. I then transitioned into program management and technology, where I supported and led development teams, infrastructure, and organizations.
I was working on a high-profile project that was going sideways at my prior organization. The Chief Information Officer recognized my ability to lead the team and get the project back on track. After that, he was confident that he needed someone with my skillset, and within weeks I was offered the position of his Chief of Staff.
Leadership skills are often transferable across job functions, and this role opened doors for me in technology and provided an opportunity to grow, personally and professionally, and led me to my role at WSFS.
- Recognize that Strong Relationships Are Key to Success. Regardless of the industry you work in, strong relationships go a long way toward your success. Trust is earned and can take time to build.
Early in your career, look for mentors and advocates to help with your development. Be sure to return the favor as you advance in your career by serving as a mentor for others as well.
It is important to take the time to listen and learn throughout your career. This can help you grow professionally while also forging stronger relationships.
- Strive for Work-Life Balance. As with most things, finding the right balance can be key. Strive to find a fulfilling career that provides the right work/life balance, but understand it will never be perfect.
Keep one calendar for both your work schedule and personal life to help keep yourself organized and ensure you never miss important meetings, games, or school events for your family.
Be clear about your commitments at home and at work. Focus on balancing your workload to ensure you won’t have to settle with your time at home or at work. Setting clear expectations will allow you to manage your days and limit guilty feelings. When you feel like balance is off, call a time out to reset and reevaluate.