A Quarter-Century of Career Advice with Tonya S., SVP, Operations Risk Management
This week, we are excited to introduce you to Tonya S., Senior Vice President of Operations Risk Management at Freedom Mortgage. Tonya has just celebrated her 25th anniversary with Freedom and is a wealth of knowledge. Get to know Tonya and discover her advice for succeeding in the mortgage industry.
“Something that has been a mainstay in my career is: Don’t ask someone to do something that you are not willing to do yourself,” Tonya told us. “This has been my mantra and something that I try to exemplify. I think it helps you appreciate effort, recognize challenges, and celebrate accomplishments even more meaningfully.”
A second piece of advice from Tonya is: “Always be kind and extend the hand that you once needed. The kindness of patience and guidance that has been given to me by others has been the most valuable means for me to grow and continue in this career,” said Tonya. “Never losing sight that we all had a ‘Day One’ is paramount to being kind and patient.”
We asked Tonya, “What are the top five things you wished you knew at the beginning of your career?” She replied:
- Surround yourself with people who are smarter and know more than you, then listen and watch.
- Always be willing to ask questions about something you don’t understand. If you really want or need to understand, then keep asking until it makes sense to you.
- This industry contracts and expands, but it is a small world. Build connections, invest in relationships, and remember to always return favors.
- Not everyone is going to like you, but always give them a reason to respect you.
- Don’t stop until you are proud. No matter how big or small the matter, match your effort to your own standards and expectations.