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Employee Spotlight: Paul Carney, SVP and Director of Human Resources

Culture Posted on November 14, 2019

Senior Vice President and Human Resources Director Paul Carney set out to write a book to help people who feel like they’re stuck in their careers. Carney is excited to use the concepts from his book to improve human resources for around 1,000 employees at Carter Bank & Trust.

A Push in the Right Direction

“I was inspired by wanting to help people with their careers,” says Carter Bank & Trust’s Senior Vice President and Human Resources Director Paul Carney. “I went to lunch one day with a friend named Steve, who finally said to me, ‘Stop talking about it, and write your book!'”

It was the push Carney needed to get concepts down on paper that he had long seen in the marketplace and witnessed throughout his own career.

So he set out to write a book to help people who have been passed up for a promotion, haven’t heard back from job applications, or who feel like they’ve lost momentum in their career. The secret, he says, is to learn to speak the same language as hiring managers and HR professionals to get your career moving again.

Now at Carter Bank & Trust, Carney uses the concepts from his book to improve human resources for approximately 1,000 employees in 100+ locations throughout Virginia and North Carolina.

Move My What?

According to Carney, many people are left stranded in their careers, because they aren’t assertive enough in defining, growing and showing their value in the workplace.

“People need to take control of their careers,” says Carney, “and they shouldn’t wait for their boss, their company or the government to do it for them.”

So he laid out the solution to this problem in his book titled Move Your Æ (pronounced ‘ash’).

“I had spoken at a couple of tech conferences, and I was coming up with ways to help them qualify and quantify their career value,” Carney explains. “I started looking for symbols and found the Æ symbol, like in encyclopædia or Cæsar. It’s called the ash.”

Carney decided to use this symbol to represent “the encapsulation of everything about you: your knowledge, experience, strengths, weaknesses, successes and even failures,” says Carney.

He wanted to help his readers increase their value, or in other words, “move their Æ.”

On the Right Path

Carney came to Carter Bank & Trust at the end of 2018 ready to apply these concepts to human resources. “I wasn’t looking for a job, but a friend of mine thought this was the job for me,” he says.

Carney was drawn to our company because of the people. “It was about 1,000 employees, $4 billion community bank, but didn’t have a very robust HR department,” says Carney. “I asked myself, how did they get this far along without it? And I realized that the secret was the people, and that’s what brought me here.”

Carney is excited to bolster our Human Resources capabilities and tackle issues alongside other professionals here at Carter Bank. One way is to pull in concepts from Carney’s book to help employees who are already doing great work learn more about themselves and develop skills to take their careers to the next level.

“We may not be perfect, but we are working hard together,” says Carney. “Our goal is to make Carter Bank & Trust an employer-of-choice in the region, and I believe strongly we are on the right path to that.”

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