employee stories

Building a multi-passionate career at NAB

Building a multi-passionate career at NAB

WORK180Sep 13, 2020

Yishan Chan is multi-passionate and dedicated to learning – about herself, the ingredients of a high performing team and how to unlock business value. She is focused and dedicated, and had helpful tips around directing your career and being intrapreneurial.

Yishan joined NAB as a grad, saying, “I wanted to start my career with a large organisation that offered diverse opportunities. The hiring manager was interested in experiences I had outside work and wanted to know the story behind them. I remember feeling valued that NAB would recognise and acknowledge some of the creative ways I had developed my learning mindset.”

That learning mindset has shaped many of Yishan’s decisions, and she had lots to share.

Figuring out what you like

When Yishan started her career, she,

wanted to be a generalist because I was curious about many different domains. I realised NAB is an employer that can grow with me and support me long term in pursuing creative ways to learn and add value.

She applied for a position in the grad program that enabled her to work on a mix of projects, marketing, change management and process improvement.

“That mix landed me my first job in product management where I discovered that I love working on projects.”

Yishan has now worked across most parts of the value chain; including operations, consumer product management and now technology.

To someone trying to work out where they want to focus, she suggests;
  • Follow your curiosity: “Build knowledge on topics that inspire to you to ask the question – wouldn’t it be amazing if…”
  • Be yourself: “Bring your whole self to your career.”
  • Share what’s important to you: “You may discover the support network you need is closer than you realise.”
  • Design your juggle: “We’re all juggling multiple facets of life, so deliberately design this to enable you to thrive.”

Designing your juggle

As we move through life, our goals evolve.

“Your juggle may start out that you want to learn how to be more entrepreneurial or contribute to the community while pursuing your job. As life stages evolve your juggle may shift to include your family situation. The things I want to pursue alongside my career have changed with various life stages.”

Right now, part of Yishan’s juggle includes her podcast, Build Your Talent Stack. She discusses creative ways to learn, network and own your future of work. BYTS features guests who have taken “a portfolio approach to their career” as well as Yishan’s own content and story.

“Build Your Talent Stack is a living, breathing extension of my digital portfolio. It helps me demonstrate how I’m evolving my skills. I then bring ideas back into work to improve the way I facilitate learning, add value to my team and foster connection between like-minded people in my network. It’s my own learning sandpit!”

Being an intrapreneur

‘Intrapreneur’ is a relatively new term, and reflects an employee tasked with developing innovative ideas and projects. Yishan’s natural learning mindset led her to become intrapreneurial as she is “interested in bringing in fresh ideas to drive change.”

I’m exploring what leadership looks like for me in my next career chapter. I’m open to the idea of leading outside the lines and driving change outside the hierarchy.

Yishan loves learning about how people across multiple generations think and what makes them tick.

“I’m passionate about innovating how we engage with employees in a multigenerational workforce. I’m always on the lookout for ways to encourage curiosity and learning by thinking outside the box in how we connect and share stories.”

Building your personal brand

When I asked Yishan what the biggest impact on her successful career at NAB has been, she responded; “Evolving my career identity from one solely based on what I’ve done in the past – which can be very frustrating - to a more holistic identity that is aligned to my why. The opportunities that have come have been so different since I’ve made that change. A good place to start is carve out time to diversify your activities and your network.”

NAB has continually been able to treat Yishan as an individual and been fully supporting of her extra-curricular endeavours, knowing that passionate, engaged people bring that to work and add value in unexpected ways.

When trying to build your own holistic personal brand, Yishan shares:
  • Find the threads: “The answers will lie in the common thread across the tribe you connect with and the legacy you want to leave behind.”
  • Focus on the Future: “I am who I am because of the things I want to achieve in the future.”
  • Talent Stack: This work is borrowed from Scott Adams, who says “you can combine ordinary skills until you have enough of the right kind to be extraordinary.” Talent Stacking is the idea that you can stand out from the crowd by having a unique combination of skills, and apply them in a way that is unique to you.

Yishan’s goal is to

help leaders build connection and curiosity through effective communication strategies for the digital age, and build an adaptable workforce by inspiring people to be creative in how they learn new skills to own their career. This is at the heart of what drives me to innovate and unlock business value in an era of rapid change.

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About the author



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