Vanguard career 5 year plan

Why I got rid of my five year plan

In March of 2008, two months before my college graduation, I had the perfect five year plan. I was a Business Management major with a passion for the sports industry, working part time with a sports marketing agency while finishing college. I loved the work, and planned to sign on full time after graduation. But then, 2008 happened.

As the banking and housing markets collapsed, companies that seemed secure and booming started to crumble. My five year plan disappeared as the marketing agency closed their doors.

After a summer of re-imagining my five year plan, on October 6th, 2008 I walked in to Vanguard with no financial acumen and a plan to be back in the sports industry as soon as possible. Hopefully within five years.

Vanguard career 5 year plan

I spent my first two years working with our 401k plan participants. My financial acumen grew and my customer service skills were refined. One day, three different people sent me a link to an internship opportunity in another division. Three different people said “you’d be perfect for this – you should apply”. So I did. And I got it. My five year plan started to get fuzzy.

My internship turned into a full time opportunity, and I spent my next three years supporting Sales Executives and Client Service teams who served international clients. It was a very different role and I learned so much and worked on things that five years prior I never knew existed.

Vanguard career 5 year plan

And then it happened again – the emails. Leaders and friends from my current and previous role forwarded me an opportunity back in the division I started in–supporting the teams who worked with the companies that used Vanguard as their 401k provider. Those words again – you’d be a perfect fit. So I applied, and again, I got it. Five years in to my Vanguard career I was on to role number three. It became time to officially throw out my five year plan, and build a career within a company and industry I have grown to love.

Two and a half years later it was like déjà vu and I found myself in our Retail division, where I am today. In two years I’ve held three very different roles that have stretched my potential.

In a few short months I will celebrate my ten year anniversary with Vanguard and purposely do not have a five year plan. Why? Because the last ten years have taken me in a direction I never would have planned – and I have loved every minute of it.

Vanguard career 5 year plan

Although I’m not in the industry I thought I’d end up in, every role I’ve had has completely aligned with my skills and led me to new and exciting things (and people!). My leaders, mentors, and the genuine friends I have made continue to play an active part in my career and I imagine will do so for a long time.

As I plan my next five years, I’m not thinking about a destination – I’m thinking about how I can continue to grow and am always open to the possibility that my strengths could lead me down a path I never could have planned.

-Lauren T.

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