Jonathan Bell Lovelace believed that fundamental research is essential to achieving superior long-term investment results. The small company he founded in 1931 has grown into one of the world’s most respected financial institutions.
Life at Capital Group
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Alissa Dodson is a career development star. The Los Angeles Office Services program manager has made it a practice to learn, explore, question, try, and reach for new positions during the course of her career with Capital Group. Here, she discusses the various roles she’s had and how she made her career moves, and shares her tips for staying passionate about one’s work. We think you’ll feel inspired!
Tell us about your first role at Capital after joining in 2005.
I was a client services representative hired between training classes. This means I rotated through different departments, such as Administrative Services, HR and Office Services, to help out during the weeks before my own training. I made some great connections with people. When you deliver mail, you get to meet everyone!
The first few changes I made were inspired by my senior leaders. They said, “Alissa, we think you might be terrific for a team manager intern role.” I was new and hadn’t even thought about anything other than doing the job in front of me and learning it really well. So I was a little nervous. But I said, “I trust you, so why not try it!”
I worked as a team manager intern for about 18 months and then the market changed and I was asked to step into my previous position. Shortly afterward, another opportunity popped up. This time it was a rotation in the group that reviewed feedback from the online resource used by our service associates. That enabled me to really learn more about the business.
I learned about the opening from my carpool partner and felt that working in Office Services would be a great addition to my tool belt.
Get to know your current role—and the one you’d like to pursue. Be passionate and curious! One of the things that inspired me to change roles was an article on our intranet about an associate who shared things to do if you want to advance your career. Some of the recommendations were so daring: like “consider working in another office.” At the time, I thought, “Never.” But taking that chance when the opportunity came up has made a huge difference both personally and professionally.
Carve time out to focus on your development. Schedule 30 minutes per week to do research. Learn more about Capital and what we do by having a meeting with someone outside your team. Ask for an informational session or go get coffee together!
Finally, be open. Even if a proposal might not fit your idea of the rest of your life, just toss it around…and take a chance! Normally, the people who suggest new ideas for you have your best interests in mind.
We all get burnt out whether it’s regarding our eating routine, workout routine or job routine. Find something that makes you happy in your role and focus on that. Once your passion and enthusiasm are seen by others, they’ll look at you differently—and it inspires others to show their excitement as well. And that creates a fun working environment.
Continuous improvement is something I’ve always enjoyed as well. I’ll say to myself: “This is what we’re doing, but can we do it better? Something about the process seems clunky.” Even in my first role, I’d sometimes find something a bit strange and pull the thread and then discover it was an issue affecting many of our investors! Then I’d work with various groups to assess the situation, and see how we could improve it.
I bound out of bed every day inspired by my new mantra, “rigorous innovation.” The opportunity to partner with Office Service associates globally to identify and implement business process solutions is an honor.