It was exactly five years ago that I left my job at Infosys to become a Cowgirl scouting for contract gigs in the Corporate wilderness. One of the early opportunities that came my way in August 2010 was with ANZ. When I started there, not for a moment did I think there will be a heart-breaking Goodbye at the end of it nor that it will be take me five long years to get to the point of adieu.
I am still very much a Cowgirl at heart, staring once more at the Wild Wild West (or East, or any direction for that matter) looking for exciting adventures to come, but my stint with ANZ has left me with some indelible imprints.
Here are the five things I will take with me from the slice of ANZ that I was part of.
Being a Financial Instituition, ANZ has a strong risk culture. It was a bit strange when I came in. When I was handed a lock and cable with my laptop, I had no clue how to use it. But then the culture seeps into you with every clear desk audit, with those RAF compliance courses that just don’t seem to go away and just about everything you do.
What I learnt was, it was not about lack of trust but rather building practices and controls that don’t give room for trust based assumptions that could go wrong.
BCP stands for Business Continuity Planning. During my days with ANZ I built BC plans. I built BC plans in case the original BC plans failed. I was challenged with the question on what I would do if those too failed; participated in fire drill am earthquake drills; reviewed numerous pages of documentation. Beneath the idiosyncrasy of it a all, there were enough real life events that made me realize there is a method to the madness. It may seem funny to hypothesise and test for a bleak situation, but better test if you can duck your head under that desk now rather than when there is a real earthquake.
“It is what it is”
I must have heard these words a million times! This mantra is a testimony to the forward looking attitude that almost everyone I worked with carried.
The focus would be on what to do to solve the problem at hand; or how to get things moving in spite of the people and situation we have landed in. While sometimes too forgiving, this attitude helped everyone keep their cool and work towards a solution.
Individual opinions and experiences might differ, but the level of accoutnability people assumed for their work was greater in ANZ than other places I have seen. But more than that, if you are willing to assume accountability for your work, you could open any door. People are ready to listen and take your views into consideration if you are ready to stand up and talk (talk sense, that is). This is something that worked in my favor over and over again. That was a great culture to work in.
This is something most in ANZ would vouch for; the place is like one big global family; “family” the Godfather way.
There is a code to it and once you crack it open, you are there and rolling along effortlessly. It is very common to run into folks with a long tenure in ANZ behind them.
Of course, having a distant cousin in Technology Services and your maternal uncle thrice removed in Accounts Payable definitely helps. And that is what exactly those people become after you start working with them.
Thanks to ANZ’s wide presence in Asia Pacific region, your colleagues are usually spread across the world and you just learn to work across time zones. One of the most useful skills I picked up in that environment is now being able to speak Singapore English, Filipino English, Aussie English, Taiwanese English, Fijian English and Chinese English.
ANZ is much more than that. An inclusive, diverse, flexible work place that I enjoyed being a part of, thanks mostly to people who made every step of the way memorable. I may not go as far to say my veins will bleed in ANZ blue, but I carry a bit of it within me, now and always.
PS: All thoughts expressed in this blog are my personal opinions