The Impact of Helping Employees Pursue Their Professional Goals

For employees from DRW and Kalderos, the greatest growth resources are ones that help team members chase their professional dreams on their own terms.
Written by Olivia McClure
February 14, 2023Updated: March 16, 2023

There’s a reason why Jason N., a senior software engineer, has spent the past seven years of his career at the same company — longer than the average 4.2 years for his field. 

He said his firm’s focus on professional development is unlike anything he’s seen at other organizations. With access to an internal online learning portal offering instructor-led courses, he and his peers can continually build new skills and seek out growth opportunities on their own schedules. 

This prioritization of sustainable, continuous education is one of the main reasons why Jason N. has stayed at DRW. It has given him the skills he needs to oversee his team and collaborate on crucial projects. “Finding an employer like DRW has been advantageous to my career,” he said. 

 

BETTER LEADERS = BETTER BUSINESSES

Building a growth-oriented workplace isn’t just beneficial for employees. According to a 2022 article from Harvard University’s Division of Continuing Education, employers benefit, too: Giving people resources to evolve attracts better talent, increases employee retention and improves overall performance. The article quotes research from Clear Company that states: 94 percent of employees would stay longer at a company if it invested in staff development.  

 

Growth opportunities are critical for developing team members into talented, skilled leaders. Joe Bangit understands this impact firsthand. 

Upon participating in his company’s “Living as a Leader” program, Bangit was able to step into his current role — principal architect of identity and directory services — having acquired knowledge of numerous coaching topics. He considers this experience to be a reflection of Kalderos’ overarching investment in its people.

“Here, leaders lean heavily on your past experiences, but most importantly, they focus on the vision you have for your future,” Bangit said. 

Built In Chicago caught up with both Jason N. and Bangit to learn about their employers’ greatest professional-development opportunities and how these resources are helping them hone in and progress on their career paths. 

 

Jason N.
Senior Software Engineer • DRW

DRW is a trading firm that leverages modeling, technology and quantitative research to identify opportunities in the global markets. 

 

What are some of the greatest professional-development opportunities DRW offers?

I’ve been a software engineer for a decade, during which time I’ve learned how important it is to keep my skill set sharp as technology continually evolves. Finding an employer like DRW has been advantageous to my career, considering the company actively supports my career growth. Some of my favorite professional-development opportunities include access to interactive, instructor-led courses, such as DRW’s “Trading 101” and the “Leadership Program” courses. The trading course provides great insight into the markets from some of the best minds in the industry, while the program helps team members learn and interact with internal leaders across the organization. 

These courses are available through the company’s online learning portal, which offers employees access to self-driven coursework. Team members can take a diverse range of courses at their own pace throughout the year for free. As an avid reader of technical books, my favorite resource is the online library that offers unlimited reading materials across the entire stack.

 

How has DRW played a role in supporting and nurturing your career growth?

I’ve worked at a couple of startups and a large global organization, yet DRW is the only place where I’ve seen sustainable, continuous learning actively encouraged and provided for as a course of business. Quarterly check-ins related to career progression allow employees to re-engage with their long-term goals and share them with leaders. This also gives us the opportunity to take advantage of growth opportunities as they come up. For example, becoming a leader of an amazing software engineering team and growing my technical skill set by working on new projects are the result of these check-ins. The fact that I feel heard and supported is a key reason I’ve stayed at the company for the past seven years. 

The fact that I feel heard and supported is a key reason I’ve stayed at the company for the past seven years.”

 

Looking ahead, what new skills or competencies are you hoping to develop? 

Over the coming year, I aim to strengthen my leadership skills and begin making broader contributions across DRW's technical landscape. I'm currently hyperfocused on creating the next generation of compliance technology data pipelines and a modern user experience with a team of engineers in London, New York City and Chicago. Our internal course offerings will be crucial in enabling me to acquire more of these practical skills in UX and leadership while avoiding the hassle and rigidity of scheduling more formal coursework. 

 

 

Joe Bangit
Principal Architect, Identity and Directory Services • Kalderos

Kalderos’ drug discount management platform makes it easier for enterprises to identify noncompliance by connecting drug manufacturers, covered entities and payers. 

 

What are some of the greatest professional-development opportunities Kalderos offers?

Kalderos is incredibly intentional about providing professional growth opportunities. I’ve taken advantage of our “Living As a Leader” program, which is a comprehensive, 10-month initiative that helps managers establish a shared language while collectively gaining new skills and knowledge across important coaching topics. 

The company also offers a yearly education stipend, which teammates can put toward any kind of development resources. Many have used the stipend to strengthen their public–speaking skills or take courses in various topics, such as photography and cooking. 

 

How has Kalderos played a role in supporting and nurturing your career growth?

When I joined Kalderos, I was managing a group within the information security department. From day one, I saw how the leadership team recognized and supported the talented people they hired. The company gives team members a high degree of ownership in our field. I’ve been with great companies in the past, and for the most part, team members had a voice to move things forward. But at some point, that evolved into daily drudgery. Here, leaders lean heavily on your past experiences, but most importantly, they focus on the vision you have for your future. I’m energized by that level of ownership every day, always asking questions such as, “How can we improve?” 

Here, leaders lean heavily on your past experiences, but most importantly, they focus on the vision you have for your future.”

 

Over the past year, I’ve taken on a new role as principal architect. My managers trusted in my past experience, allowing me to help with designing and implementing future plans.

 

Looking ahead, what new skills or competencies are you hoping to develop? 

I’m eager to learn more about other parts of the organization in my new role. It will be helpful for me to understand how each team works cross-functionally as well as with our customers. Gaining knowledge about this collaboration will allow me to see where I can leverage my expertise to make things better. In turn, I get to know more about the business and how we positively affect the landscape of the healthcare industry.

 

 

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