Moving outside your comfort zone

Sandy-Lee de Klerk, a treasury sales assistant at Bank Windhoek, took a leap of faith to move beyond her comfort zone.

20 November 2020 | People

Staff reporter

Sandy-Lee de Klerk has the amazing ability to find beauty even in the seemingly worst of situations. “My favourite part of my life is definitely where I am right now, but that was the same for yesterday, last year and even 10 years ago. I can find beauty in even the worst situations and am at peace with my life and my decisions – I believe everything has a season.”

De Klerk lives by the quote of John Lennon that everything will be okay in the end. “If it's not okay, it's not the end.”

De Klerk’s driven and motivated nature is greatly influenced by her son and the example she wants to be to him every day.

“I married my husband in 2009 and in 2016 my son was born, and it’s important for me to continue striving to be someone he looks up to I want him to reach his full potential, so I am inspired by knowing that my decisions today determine his tomorrow. In my spare time, my family enjoys camping around Namibia, relaxing with friends and we spend many weekends travelling to the coast to visit my family. I also enjoy party planning and am a keen amateur photographer,” De Klerk says.

De Klerk was born in Walvis Bay in 1985, completed matric in 2003 at Duneside High School, and moved to Windhoek after completing a diploma in marketing and business management.

De Klerk started working at Bank Windhoek in 2007 at the international banking division, initially as a secretary, then working her way up to the processing division and eventually becoming a forex consultant.

“In 2015 my application for the position of assistant of treasury sales was successful and the next step in my career could be made,” De Klerk adds.

“My job entails keeping our corporate client’s forex needs met, be it with incoming or outgoing SWIFTS, buying and selling of currencies for their transactions, opening of and transacting between their onshore accounts, or any queries they might have. I assist in the dealing room with whichever requests the dealers need done and keep the background administration up to date,” she says.

After many years in the IBS division, moving from her ‘comfort zone’ to the treasury department required figuring out how to be part of a new work culture, how to be heard and be a valuable member of the new team.

“I strived to continue working efficiently, showing the team what I was capable of, and the rewards were reaped. In 2019, I was nominated for the Bank Windhoek MD awards for service excellence and won the departmental prize for treasury. This year, I proudly completed the Capricorn Group New Management Development Programme presented in conjunction with the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB-ED),” she says.

De Klerk encourages others to work on maintaining their true self, to never stop learning new skills and to remember that emotional intelligence will help you greatly. “Learn what value you can bring to the team. If you know who you truly are, and not only what people expect you to be, I feel you will be better equipped to make the correct decisions for a fruitful career and not just sit in a job because it pays the bills.

“But also, very important is that when your career takes off, remain humble. Money and corporate success don’t make you a better person than the cleaner in your building.”

The first item De Klerk intends to tick off her 2021 to-do list is completing her ACI Dealing Certification.

“One thing I wished I knew how to do is ride a motorcycle – I’ve had my eye on a Harley-type bike for what seems like eternity, even going as far as calling my dogs Harley and Davie.”

De Klerk is a strong and motivated woman, but she admits that one of her fears will always be the dentist. “Besides that, I fear life-threatening diseases that will take away my opportunity to help provide for my family and be a valuable member of my team and community,” she says.

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