Story provided by Ricky Alexander, Managing Director at Schwab’s Westlake Campus
I am often asked what brought me to Schwab by friends, candidates, and colleagues. While I am always happy to tell that story, it is generally not as compelling as when I flip the script and instead say: “Let me tell you why I stay at Schwab.”
What if I told you that you can make a decision today that in 10 years you will reflect back and know unequivocally that you had just made one of the best decisions of your life? How often have you bought something only to find that item is missing a key functionality you really wanted? Or started a new relationship that proved the ‘chase’ was the exciting part and the euphoria eventually fades? I look back on my decision nearly 11 years ago as a recent college grad, who just seeking a job, but wound up adding new functionality daily and remain continuously euphoric that Schwab chose me!
Let me share a bit about how we have grown together and grown to know one another, an empowering story of why I stay. Our slogan at Schwab that is repeated, displayed all over for clients to view remains: “Own Your Tomorrow.” These aren’t simply words in which we inspire others, these are words intended to empower others. Most impressive, these words are instilled as the commitment Schwab also fulfills every day for employees like me.
I can point to any number of reasons to illustrate how wonderful this journey has been. Rather, I would like to take you along to three (of many) pivotal moments in my career, in my life that truly define why I am proud of who I am today and the firm that continues to allow me the honor to serve it every day.
First, after not really knowing who Schwab was when I joined and really unsure about who I was when I joined, it did not take all that long until I was completely hooked on the impact of what I asked to do on a daily basis. Six months into my career, a personal tragedy shook my entire being after my father passed away at the age of 52. This was the first time I had lost someone so close to me in my life, someone who would never meet his daughter-in-law or his grandchildren. Little did I know just how meaningful this sad event would play out in such a positive manner for my career. Anyone who has lost a loved one knows this pain, but that pain can be exasperating when you think of the financial affairs and estate of that loved one. About two weeks after my dad passed away, I was working on my first shift which ended at 2:00am. I received a call one night from a widow whose husband had just passed away and was distraught, they had been married for years and if the loss was not enough, he handled all of their finances and she had no idea on what to do next. Would her money last? Could she afford the funeral? Was it even her place to make these decisions? That’s when it hit me — I am here to be a part of something powerful. I am here to help others feel empowered and comfortable to make decisions that will impact their lives forever. My response to that client: “Ma’am, I know exactly what you are going through. My name is Ricky, I work for Charles Schwab, and I am here to make this the easiest part of a difficult time.”
Secondly, Schwab has simply placed a priority on my growth and development. I am challenged every day to step outside of my comfort zone, while always able to utilize what I do best every day. Think of a trapeze artist, the high risk and adrenaline rush as you perform your best maneuvers on the grandest of stages, all while having the safety net to support you in the event you fall. I cannot think of a better illustration of the trust this firm places upon its employees to leave others in awe and wanting more. I was recently promoted to Managing Director, where my impact on the business continues to increase, as I have moved from a Financial Service professional, to people leader, now to a leader among leaders. As I reflect back on how I reached this point, I cannot stop before crediting all those leaders who have provided me the encouragement and safety net along the way. Now I am in a position to help shape our current leaders to ‘pay it forward’ and be a personal influencer that I am proud to say I have always had at Schwab. Why do I do what I do? It is not a title, it is not an office. Rather, I am in a position to do what I love, to do what I do best: Helping our leaders, our employees be afforded the same opportunity that was provided to me. I am providing a belief in others that they too can have an impact on the lives of others that will last a lifetime.
Finally, I am proud to say the investment in me only continues and now impacts the future of my family. In July of 2016, I was honored with the opportunity to move from Indianapolis to the Dallas/Fort Worth area to help launch our Texas site expansion. Leaving the only place I have ever called home to move my young family to a new state was not a light decision. Yet I reflect back on this experience as the best decision I have ever made both professionally and personally. To know I was entrusted to be a ‘culture carrier’ for Schwab in a new location, empowered to bring my knowledge and strengths to help create something special, has been the ultimate vote of confidence this firm has ever provided me. One word: opportunity. Schwab continues to provide me with the opportunity to forever pave my own path in this career journey while affording me the opportunity to provide the best life and experience for my family.
Schwab has not simply been my career, my only profession since entering the workforce, rather this firm has become family. So, you may be wondering: What did bring you to Schwab? For the record, I was referred by a family member. While I am forever indebted to him for introducing us, I can safely say Schwab has provided more for me than I ever feel I will be able to repay. But you will forget that piece soon after reading this blog, but you won’t forget this: Why do I stay at Schwab? Easy! I am encouraged to be myself, challenged to be my best, encouraged to grow, stretched to be bold, supported when I fail, and believe once all of that is done: We will ALL be better off for the journey we have taken together! Now I challenge you: Find your reason to stay!
Click here to learn more about Charles Schwab’s career opportunities and culture.