Professional Hindsight

5 Executives Share Wisdom for Navigating the Working World

Hindsight is 20/20, and when looking back on one’s career, there’s probably plenty of advice you’d like to share with your younger self. CityScope magazine asked five area executives what they would like to have known early on in their professional lives, and their sage words for better navigating the working world.


Donnie Hutcherson (Above)

Managing Partner, Henderson, Hutcherson, & McCullough

I should have spent more time in the quest for recruiting talent. A person’s job satisfaction will be firmly based on what their expectations are when accepting a position and whether or not those expectations are met. When we find that a person is not a good fit for the job for which they were hired, don’t give up. We rarely make bad hiring decisions, but sometimes our placement is a bit off. With patience, we can find the right position to allow a person to shine and achieve a high degree of job satisfaction.



Ronna-Renee JacksonRonna-Renee Jackson

Executive Director, Chattanooga Technology Council

Sometimes careers are chosen with strong influence from parents and scary headlines about employability. My advice is to accept that a career choice can be made for what is best at that moment. You don’t need to graduate from college, get a job, and think that’s it for the rest of your life. Approach your career as a portfolio of experiences and don’t be afraid of moving on to the next experience. People often choose security over happiness, and I think that’s a prescription for compromised health and long-term dissatisfaction.




Jim VaughnJim Vaughn

East Tennessee Region President, Suntrust Bank

In our society, change is inevitable. The one thing you have control of is how you adjust and adapt. Always follow your core purpose to ensure you are doing the right thing. As a banker with many roles and responsibilities, I have experienced much industry change over the years. My purpose has always and continues to be to help my clients achieve financial well-being.





Craig HolleyCraig Holley

Chairman, President, CEO, Capitalmark Bank & Trust

As a manager, model the behavior you expect. You can communicate more powerfully with your behavior than you do with what you say. Employees rarely treat clients better than their boss treats them. Never ask others to do something you are not willing to do yourself. Be approachable and get the best out of others by cultivating empathy and trust. People don’t pay attention to what you say—they remember how you made them feel.





Chris HolmesChris Holmes

President and CEO, FirstBank

I often advise our new associates to manage their career like a marathon because it typically spans a 40-year horizon and has many peaks and valleys along the way. It’s easy to burnout early on and lose sight of your true objective. Take time on occasion to step back and refocus so you make decisions that guide you to your ultimate life and career goals.


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