Make Your Mark! Women in Commercial Finance Profiles 2019
Featured in The Secured Lender
Gordon Brothers' Becky Goldfarb is profiled in The Secured Lender's Women in Commercial Finance issue. The article profiles women in the industry who exemplify success and deserve recognition for their hard work and dedication. Here she shares her thoughts on building a career in commercial finance.
What do you think the industry could do to attract and retain the best and the brightest today?
So much of what we do is learned on the job, and a candidate’s resume isn’t always the best indicator of success. There is a large learning curve in this industry and success comes to those that are able to adapt to a quickly changing environment. A candidate who thrives in this type of situation should be identified, mentored and coached, because they will quickly bring value to the organization. In order to retain talent, organizations need to be willing to invest time and energy into making sure that more junior employees remain engaged and are provided with continuous opportunities to learn.
What do you know now that you wish you knew in the beginning of your career?
I wish I was more accepting of the fact that I didn’t necessarily know what I wanted to do when I started out. It is okay to change course on your career path and sometimes an opportunity arises when you least expect it. When I started in this industry, I could not have predicted that I would be where I am today. I’ve learned what my strengths are based upon the experience I have gathered through different roles. Being able to identify those strengths will ultimately lead to a career that is more fulfilling. Just because the job hierarchy says you should move to the next step, doesn’t mean that’s the right next step, especially if your passion isn’t in it. You need to able to recognize your strengths and passion and make changes in your career to build upon them. Understanding your skills and having the confidence to use them in the right role will make you much more successful in your career than doing something because you think that’s what you are supposed to do.
What kind of role has mentoring and/or sponsorship played in your career?
I’ve been mentored over the course of my career by a number of people, and the ones that have had the most impact on my life have mentored me both personally and professionally. I believe a large part of success is learning how to balance both. I have worked in this industry for my entire career, and the growth and success that I have achieved is due in large part to people taking time out of their own lives to teach and guide me. They also provided me with opportunities to use that knowledge to further my career and encouraged me even when I was uncomfortable and doubted myself. The way I see managing and mentoring now is that if a mentee or direct report can ultimately do the job as well as or better than me, then I’ve been successful. No one should be fearful to share all of their experiences and knowledge with someone else in order to help them, that’s what will make you more valuable to your organization.
What advice would you offer to women just starting out in the industry?
There is always something more to be learned. I have been in this industry for 25 years and while I’m fairly knowledgeable in a lot of areas, I continue to educate myself on a daily basis. Knowing “a lot about a little” can be advantageous sometimes, but knowing “a little about a lot” provides you with much more opportunity in the future. You need to always be willing to ask questions, do whatever it takes in order to continue your education, and not always wait to be asked to be included. The more you are willing to learn about this industry outside of your designated role and do it without the expectation of immediate recognition or reward, the more opportunities will come as others realize your value.