"The career move that imbued my work with purpose."
As a young, bright-eyed rookie at a large multinational bank, Jesleigh bin Johari returned to Malaysia after the bank’s international graduate programme, choosing his home country over the allure of overseas opportunities. It was a decision that would set the tone for his career, reflecting his desire to give back to his community.
Sixteen years on, he had become a seasoned banker, building his career at the same bank he started out at. One day, Raja Ahmad Muzamir, Director at Robert Walters Malaysia, got in touch about a compelling opportunity.
“Muz and I first got in touch three years before. Fast forward to 2021, I got a call about this role for Chief Operating Officer and he encouraged me to give it a try,” explains Jesleigh.
Moving from a global banking giant to a mid-sized local Islamic bank might seem like a downgrade to some, but not to Jesleigh. He was particularly taken with the prospect of steering a young, ambitious organisation through its growth years. He also felt aligned with the bank’s mission to make a positive difference in the environmental and economic health of the communities it operates in.
What’s special about finding this platform I now have is that after all those years, Muz never buried my profile under a pile. He simply kept it on standby for the right opportunity.
So, he decided to give it a shot. “Muz’s guidance, coaching and advice gave me the confidence to tackle the interview, which was held over two sessions,” shares Jesleigh. The bank’s leadership, too, was charmed by his passion and they welcomed him onboard.
Two years in, Jesleigh’s calendar is brimming with meaningful projects and activities. He frequently visits branches across the nation, working on solving issues and improving ways of serving bank customers. On top of that, he tries to spend as much time engaging with staff whilst participating in Corporate Social Responsibility programmes. To date, the biggest highlight of his career is the successful launch of a product that not only drove the bank’s asset growth but also contributed to a national agenda within an exceptionally tight timeline.
By focusing on giving to others, Jesleigh has found his life and career enriched in return. “There’s no shortage of action here. Every day, I discover more about how I can be a better leader,” Jesleigh says. “What’s special about finding this platform I now have is that after all those years, Muz never buried my profile under a pile. He simply kept it on standby for the right opportunity.”
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