I've been with J.P. Morgan for 34 years, and I'd work another 50 years if I could. I consider working to be a great privilege, and I'm proud of what I've accomplished here. But with the satisfaction of reaching a certain level in my professional pursuits comes a responsibility to give back to the firm that has granted me such tremendous opportunity. For me, that's an added benefit of my job.
Most of the young professionals who come through our firm look to senior leaders as people to learn from and study under, viewing their career paths as the ideal blueprint to follow. I'd like to think there's something I offer to the folks that work for and alongside me that is so much more: the ability to find true enjoyment in coming to work every day. Teaching others how to balance seriousness with spirit is the most satisfying way to shape others' success and reflect on my own.
Our business is demanding and competitive, and necessitates you come to work every day ready to work hard, make mistakes and better yourself. I find the first thing I tell many young professionals is to learn how to be honest with yourself and take feedback. This is necessary for both professional and personal growth. But once you have that down, the rest you can laugh about.
No one is more competitive than I am, but I never take myself too seriously. Finding a way to keep things light and fun makes work all the more enjoyable. I see so many young men and women struggle to balance their personal lives when undertaking such a challenging career. Bringing your personality to work and infusing humor into your everyday not only helps you stay positive, it tends to get positive reactions from others.
I sometimes wonder if we hire funny people or if they become funny after they are here. It seems our culture is defined by it. Whether it's lightening the mood on tough days, celebrating the good times or simply encouraging others to be funny around you, laughter and lightheartedness can go a long way. We work in one of the most highly regulated and serious businesses, but being able to put a heart on a note to a client or laugh with people allows you to get closer to them.
Beyond finding the balance of acting serious and allowing for humor, I think one of the most important things for the young men and women that come through this business to understand is that they must be sincere. I always say, "You can tell a fake in a minute."
I've found the best way to show the importance of these qualities is to teach by example -- and that's what I call success. There is nothing more satisfying than giving back to those who have made my job such an enjoyable one, and enlightening those who look up to me to see how they can make their careers both rewarding and fun.
This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post in conjunction with our women's conference, "The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money & Power" which will take place in New York on June 6, 2013. To read all of the posts in the series and learn more about the conference, click here. Join the conversation on Twitter #ThirdMetric.