Working only to earn money was yesterday. Today, working to find personal fulfillment is the more important goal. How would it be if you could go to work every day and feel a real sense of accomplishment? What if your job fulfilled you completely, and even made you really happy? That’s exactly what happens when you align your personal life goals the “big five” with your work, just like Kate Pohl, Head of Banking & Partner Strategy and Execution at Traxpay.
Why do you work at Traxpay?
I spent many years of my life working in banks. Then I started my own business as a freelance consultant and coach. But after three years, I missed being part of a company, being responsible for goals and results. As a consultant, you can pitch your ideas and hope that clients follow your advice. In an organization where you are part of the team – whether that’s a bank, a corporation or a fintech – you must deliver, but you also have the opportunity to implement your ideas and expertise directly. I came to Traxpay as an external consultant. My project was to develop a strategy for partners – especially banks. That was both exciting as well as inspiring for me. Markus Rupprecht, the founder and CEO of Traxpay, saw that I was all in, totally engaged and that I believed 100% in what he and the company were doing. I felt that I could contribute my ideas, my experience, and skills, and of course my contacts. When Markus asked me to join, I simply had to say yes! It was an offer I could not refuse, an opportunity to do a job that that would truly fulfill me.
Does the job make you really happy?
Honestly, it’s been great to be part of a company again – especially one that is as dynamic, diverse, and innovative as Traxpay. One of my lifelong guiding principles has been to stay involved in things I really believe in. I need to be truly passionate about my mission. Suddenly, I’m not alone, I’m part of an incredible group of people; I’m part of a speedboat, not a tanker. Traxpay is, of course, a lot smaller than the banks I used to work for, but with that said, it is also more agile. Also, we’re not just “Fin”, we are “Tech” as well. I love being involved in innovation and digital transformation, especially all things regarding new financial technology. You can see this by the fact that I work at a FinTech, Traxpay, advise other FinTechs and continue to produce a weekly podcast, “Digital Dump”, together with my partner Steven Batiste, CTO of TIS. In our podcast we try to demystify “TECH” and make the complex transparent and easy to understand – not only for experts, but for everyone.
What is at the top of your agenda?
The clear definition and execution of Traxpay’s bank and partner strategy is at the top of my agenda. In addition, it is important for me to set the right priorities for the next steps and the way forward. Of course, I started immediately and am in the process of implementing the goals we have set, with full power, passion, and dedication.
You come from the “big” banking world and are now with a “small” fintech. Is it difficult to convince the big “tankers” to cooperate with a “speedboat”?
I am very grateful for my career in banking and for the network I was able to build and maintain because of it. The big “tankers” often find it hard to implement change and, at times, embrace innovation. Much like the motto “we’ve done it like this for a long time now and it worked…” For banks, getting involved and working with a fintech also means relying on a product or service that was not developed in-house. There is still a certain “skepticism” about that. I am, however, seeing an increasing willingness to cooperate and many of our discussions are starting to bear fruit. This is, of course, part of my job and extremely important to us at Traxpay as a multi-banking platform. Banks and fintechs must leverage each other’s strengths, understanding that this will take time. Partnering is a formula for future success – for both sides!
What would you do differently in your professional life today?
I learned far too late in my career how important networking is! When I’m asked today what the key is to success, I would say that there are several factors. Some are within your control, others are not. For example, you can influence your situation through learning and education to gain new skills. You can experiment and try different angles to gain experience. But there are also things you cannot influence… like changes in the management structure. Networking is something that each of us can work on. It is extremely important as well as rewarding! Having a network of people I can tap for information, advice and support is not only a gift, it is vital to my success.