With so many unknowns, starting a career can be a challenge for anyone. For new Canadians, it can seem even more daunting. Young and new to Canada, Juanita Gaona hoped to leverage her bilingualism to help her land a job. Through a combination of determination, mentorship opportunities, and constant learning, Juanita not only found a job but launched a career in asset financing and leasing. Learn about how she found her career match in the asset-based finance and leasing industry.
Moving Across the World
Juanita Gaona is a bilingual litigations manager at Blue Chip Leasing where she oversees the collection and asset recovery department. Her career in the leasing and finance industry started over 27 years ago when she moved from France to Canada. Acting on the recommendation of a former colleague, Juanita secured a role as a collections officer by taking advantage of a high demand for bilingual administrative people. Since then Juanita hasn’t looked back, working in departments such as customer service, claims, collections, and legal – all of which have given her valuable industry knowledge and expertise to excel in her career and rise to the senior ranks.
Career Progression and Growth
Since starting her career in the asset financing and leasing industry Juanita has worked in a variety of departments and roles. “I was very lucky to move around and learn all aspects of the industry,” Juanita explains that working across many areas has helped her gain a holistic view of the sector. This allowed her to gain professional development as well as find purpose in her career.
One of the perks of working in the asset-based finance and leasing industry is that you learn all the skills you need on the job. “In leasing you can start anywhere,” Juanita explains. Each of your moves within the industry will build on the knowledge you developed in your previous role. “I changed positions whenever they needed somebody,” Juanita says about her career. That eager and positive attitude has helped contribute to her success.
Through being exposed to different departments Juanita was able to better understand and develop her strengths within the industry. She was able to try many things, an important aspect to finding the right career fit. She did this all while learning how multiple areas of the business functioned and helping her to see the bigger picture. By working in claims, customer service, collections and legal, Juanita was able to see the industry from multiple angles, helping her gain a better insight into the industry and propelling her career forward.
Juanita’s Top Skills For Success
- Be adaptable.
- Be determined.
- Be flexible.
- Learn how to multitask.
- Learn how to take and give constructive feedback.
Empowering Industry for Women
Diversity and inclusion continue to be an area that the asset financing and leasing industry excels at and places a high priority on. “[There are] lots of women managers… in all levels,” Juanita says. An equal gender representation throughout the levels of the industry allow for young employees to be mentored by both male and female leaders within the industry. Juanita says, “I had three women managers who believed in me and helped me grow.” Having strong female role models believing in her, when she was just beginning to develop confidence in herself, really allowed her to dive in and explore areas of the business that were out of her comfort zone and defined her career.
Exposure and support from strong leaders early in your career can do wonders for your confidence and growth in a company or industry. Being in a gender-inclusive environment allowed Juanita to try new things and move around the industry without fear. This allowed Juanita to flourish and helped her recognize her full potential in the asset financing and leasing industry. Through all the support and guidance Juanita experienced, she was able to hatch a successful and fulfilling career.
Learn more about the egg-cellent opportunities in the asset leasing and financing industry.