Christina Ragsdale On Promoting Growth and Powering Opportunity

Knowing what path you want to pursue makes driving your career journey a little easier, but it always helps when you have a leader in your corner supporting you along the way!

This is Christina Ragsdale, Director, Head of SoFi’s Financial Intelligence Unit. Christina has been with SoFi for 3 years overseeing SoFi’s Financial Intelligence Unit (“FIU”) in the Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”) department. Last year, she saw several employees move from and into her organization. Through connecting with her, we were able to learn more about how she supports and promotes internal mobility and career development in her organization.

Q: What do you think is important as a leader to do to support career growth? 

Christina: As a leader, you must work to build a foundation of trust with your team members to support their development. My own experience has helped to drive my philosophy — you are your own worst critic. I have been very fortunate to have leaders that recognize a strength or skill that I have, that I cannot see in myself. Using that foundation of trust, we can have authentic and honest conversations about my growth or career aspirations. This makes the “difficult” feedback on my performance feel like a form of encouragement that is pointing me in the right direction so I can do better next time. Knowing they have confidence in me, reassures me that they are there to support me when I’ve been tasked with a stretch project or another task that is well outside of my comfort zone. 

Q: What steps do you take to ensure your team feels enabled to drive the career journey?

Christina: The first step is always the most difficult - make time! Understanding the path or direction that someone may like to go or the aspirations they have, starts with making time for each other. I also have found it impactful to have an open and honest dialogue on what they do or do not like about their current role, field, profession, etc. If you don’t like ‘X’ about your job, and ‘X’ is going to be your primary function in a potential next role, are you going to truly get that satisfaction or growth experience you may be looking for?

Q: How do you implement effective practices when preparing your team for internal career transitions?

Christina: Focusing on business continuity with a clear transition plan, transparent communication, and paths of escalation. Additionally, whether someone new is joining or someone is moving to another department, give them a warm welcome and/or send-off, and make sure you maintain the connection with their former teams!

Q: What does our company value of ‘Helping People Grow’ mean to you?

Christina: We can whittle what we do down to human capital (numbers, widgets, quotas, etc.), but that does not embody our value of “Helping People Grow”, which states that our “...people are our greatest differentiator.” Regardless of the outcome or the journey we take, I am here to support them. I care deeply about my team and my peers; they are not just a number or line on a spreadsheet - they are a person who is valued. I like to think knowing that care and comradery openly exist and drives all of us a little bit more to be that much better the next day.

Q: Okay now for something fun: if you could have an unlimited amount of anything, what would it be?

Christina: My knee-jerk reaction is to say “money,” but I am still convinced I will buy one of those billion-dollar lotto tickets! This is a really difficult question to answer. I would probably like to have unlimited time - especially with friends or family who have passed on too early. Time is a finite resource and you cannot predict when it will be gone. Life can feel like a rat race when you are chasing after that “one thing” that always turns into another, and another, and another. You’re never going to get that time back again.

Your leadership and support for your team is undeniable. Thank you, Christina for sharing how you build trust and commitment in your teams by harnessing growth and creating a continuous environment of support. You exemplify what it means to Help People Grow! 

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The individual featured is a SoFi employee. Their personal experiences, obviously, do not take into account your own specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. Results will vary.

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