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Dylan Buls - Grow. Grow. Grow.

Being able to step outside your comfort zone and take chances is a trait that many of us wish we had. For others it is natural, for some it is difficult, and for some it is a necessity. I met Dylan Buls 5 years ago as a mentor to a group of CRASHERS. Dylan had not found out what he wanted out of a career at the time, but he was determined to push himself, network, and grow until he found out. To say he was one of the most motivated people I have met would be an understatement. Dylan takes what he does very seriously, from a personal aspect, to his career. He has made several moves within this 5 year timeline and we were fortunate to catch up with Dylan and pick his brain on what pushes him, lessons learned, and the challenges young professionals face today.

You have been involved directly with credit unions, then moved over to corporate banking and now are on the processing side. Tell me what you’ve learned along the way and how you operate your day to day.

Thanks for following along my journey so far. It is honestly a continued evolution to learn more about the industry. I started as a teller and moved to branch manager of a small credit union before a merger exposed me to a different aspect of the financial world. After several promotions and many years of still wanting to see more I decided to uproot my life and move to Arizona and took a job in the corporate banking world to see if the grass is greener. (And quickly found, it was NOT). I continued to develop my skills until I found a challenging position in financial software development working remotely. Along the way I learned that you truly get the most development by the amount of effort you put into anything you do. You will continue to learn along the way. There are times you will fail and that is OK, as those are just learning experiences.

As young professionals, everyone is looking for the next task, the next role. I am guilty of this from time to time as well. As a result, the young generation entitlement factor was born. What you really need to do is master the task or role you currently have so you can showcase your skills for the next role. Becoming a master in something while performing your day to day tasks. Making yourself visible to executives will also make a name for yourself. For myself this has been achieved through internal groups, executive mentorship programs, conferences, and LinkedIn. As I continue my journey, having someone as a mentor has helped me become ready for my next roles. Mentors don’t always need to be someone you work with, they can be, but really someone who can see your potential and your growth. Chris, you’ve helped me so much throughout the years and I am grateful.

Today, I operate through a very autonomous evolving environment. Change is a good thing and it means you and the business is growing. I understand the business and what needs to be accomplished to fulfill the strategic plan. I set short- and long-term goals, I reflect on the daily work, and I continue to push my own boundaries. Holding yourself accountable and not being afraid to fail are things YP’s struggle with from time to time. Wow, thank you for that Dylan, I saw a ton of potential in you and I have learned more from you than you probably have learned from me. The moves you have made and way you have grown over the years is impressive. What advice can you give other YPs who are wanting to make a move but might be hesitant?

Follow your heart! This was one of the toughest things I went through for 2 years of wanting to move personally and professionally. I have always saw something bigger than where I was at. I had many long talks with myself about my goals and aspirations until I finally found it to follow my heart. Change can be the most difficult if you are comfortable where you are at. The thing I reflected on the most was the ONE chance I have to change the course of my life. Sit down, write out pros and cons, what are your goals and aspirations, what will make you truly happy, and in your current state, will you achieve that. If your answer is no, then it’s time to make moves.

Great advice, new career paths can be difficult especially working remote. What have you learned so far and how do you stay on task and or not overwork yourself?

Working remote and being able to travel was on my list of things I wanted in my next career. Working remote does have challenges from: technology, time zone differences, setting a routine, conference calls, miscommunications, and even having human interactions. I have learned the first thing you need to do is set a routine and follow the routine, which will set good guidelines moving forward. A few other takeaways from working remote is being upfront if you don’t know something. You don’t have anyone next to you to ask for help.

Have a good working relationship with your team and setting up a go to person for questions (making sure they are OK with it). Taking a few minutes away from your computer to de-stress is very much warranted. Using your calendar is 100% needed to stay on task, set deadlines, and achieving goals. One thing I do to not get overworked is enjoying coffee shops while working. I usually go a few days a week and it helps by getting away from your home office, enjoying being around people, and helps work not feel like work.

You are very self-motivated, where else does your motivation come from?

I listen to a few different podcasts that help motivate me. The podcast vary from working out, finance, entrepreneurs, and friends that have “made it”. A few podcasts I have readily available are The MFCEO Project, Mind Pump, Black With No Cream, BiggerPockets Real Estate, and TED radio hour. The other thing that really motivates me is working with people that force you to step out of your comfort zone. Those are the individuals that want to see you grow and will push you to be a better version of yourself every day. From a personal aspect, what motivates me is exploring, hiking, and working out. Find your hobby which helps you expand your mind personally and professionally.

I need to check out a few of these podcasts, thanks for sharing. This has been extremely knowledgeable and its been nice to reconnect a bit. What is next for Dylan?

I really haven’t thought about that in a few months. I was starting my new job, mapping my new 90-day journey but really haven’t had the opportunity to think about that. It is the start of 2020, time to set new goals. I will continue to learn the role I am in as a digital business consultant and business analyst. I work in a very fast paced environment so I will not only learn that role but will learn all about technology and beyond. My goal is to become a mentor for someone looking to move, get into fitness, grow within their CU organization, or internally at FIS. Anyone reading this feel free to reach out if you are interested. A long-term goal I have is to become an executive consultant to help retain and grow the business.

CUltivate is people helping people with our mission to spread the word, connect the people, and give an outlet to share your stories. Know someone in the industry we should interview? Drop us a line at


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