Adventures of Rina Goldenberg LynchDirector, Legal DepartmentING Bank NV, London BranchEvery week we will feature the adve...
Through all this, I have learned that, often, change can be achieved via evolution rather than revolution. I have always e...
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Rina Goldenberg Lynch Director, Legal Department ING Bank NV, London Branch

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Mine is what you might describe as the life of a nomad: born in Russia, shuffled around a couple of other countries, to finally settle in yet another (where I graduated from school and attended university), only to uproot again for a move to London.

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Rina Goldenberg Lynch Director, Legal Department ING Bank NV, London Branch

  1. 1. Adventures of Rina Goldenberg LynchDirector, Legal DepartmentING Bank NV, London BranchEvery week we will feature the adventures of one amazing woman. We aim to celebrate the varied and colourful roles womenplay within industry and business. Experience inspirational, real stories by real women; Interested in being featured? Pleasesend your adventures to info@zarsmedia.com For previous adventures please click hereTHE JOURNEY OF A LAWYERA new beginning?Mine is what you might describe as the life of a nomad: born in Russia, shuffled around a couple of other countries, to finallysettle in yet another (where I graduated from school and attended university), only to uproot again for a move to London. Ibelieve I have finally laid down a more permanent foundation in London, but oh boy are my feet itching again! This time,however, I decided to satisfy my craving for change by pursuing new interests in my career. How will I do this? I figure I havethe next 20+ years to work that out. But this is where my NEW journey begins.We often end up in a career as a result of a random act.I spent my formative years in five different countries, being schooled in three languages, when (at the age of 17) I moved to theUS. At that time, my main agenda was trying to fit in. And although I was preparing to attend university, I had no idea what Iwanted to study. My mother, a banking assistant, and my father, an engineer, were not attractive role models in my own searchfor a meaningful career. So, having graduated university with a major in marketing and business administration and a minor inGerman, I took the first job that I was offered: a role at the very university from which I graduated – a safe and interestingproposition. It was not until several months into my new career that I had identified exactly what I wanted to do with my life.Attending a conference, I found myself drawn to a legal presentation. I used to think that the practice of law was aboutseclusion and research, reading and drafting documents, and not much interaction with others. This presentation was a differenttype of law: it was clear and powerful, and obviously of interest to a room full of people who appeared keen to hear it. Thepresenter was well organised and eloquent, yet casually friendly. The talk made me want to be that person standing at thepodium, delivering the presentation. It made me want to influence decisions, add value to others and to make a difference. Itbecame clear to me that I could do those things as a lawyer. And that is when I decided that I would go to law school.I started my legal career in Washington DC, working for the US Government. Five years later, I accepted a position in thebanking department of Clifford Chance LLP and moved to London. After another five years I embarked on my current role atthe legal department of ING Bank. As a senior banking lawyer, I’m involved in a choice of lending transactions, working bothwith internal and external banking clients in a variety of industry segments. The job gives me the opportunity to use theexpertise I have developed as a lawyer, working in a friendly, flexible and nurturing environment, in a company that recognisesand affords me the advantages of work-life balance!What else is there?I have now been practicing law for eighteen years and feel the need to do something different, a need to give back. I haveenjoyed being a lawyer, but believe that one linear career path may not always be sufficient for careers that span 3 or moredecades. ING provides an environment that values my input and offers me the flexibility of being a mum and a career-mindedwoman – all important considerations for a working woman. Fortunately, in addition to holding a versatile and stimulating legaljob, I have also been able to get involved in initiatives that matter to me, like chairing the employee representation body, beinga mentor in our mentoring program and, most recently, being involved in the gender diversity initiative. More and more, theseother initiatives provide an outlet for my quest for change. I have started making my mark on the company not only throughlegal transactional support, but also by speaking up and encouraging a culture change on issues that matter. The more I act onthese interests, the more I discover new opportunities for growth and development.
  2. 2. Through all this, I have learned that, often, change can be achieved via evolution rather than revolution. I have always enjoyedthe human angle of “lawyering” – the negotiating, advising and influencing aspects of the job. Now I want to use these skills totake my career to the next level and to give something back. I can do that by getting involved in other initiatives and byexpanding my remit and reputation not only as a lawyer but as a change agent. Taking a pro-active approach with my employerto diversify wasn’t as difficult as I had originally feared.So what is my message?My message is quite simply: If you are not fulfilled in your current role (as many of us might not be, for all sorts of reasons)then try to find something that satisfies you. We only get one chance at life, so it’s important we get it right.Change doesn’t have to be drastic or even mean the end of one career before another can begin. Career paths can run alongsideeach other, allowing us to gradually shift between the two tracks. Ask yourself, “What am I interested in? What matters to me?What else am I good at?” and the answer to these questions might lead you to embark on a new journey.At the age of 45, I feel that there are still enough career years left for me to begin a new one. I don’t have to move jobs orcountries to feel fulfilled again; I just need to shift my focus and find that one angle that energises me. So, while it may be thecase that I will remain a “nomad” all my life, I have found a way to reign in the wanderlust and to put its engine to better use.Rina Goldenberg LynchDirector, Legal DepartmentING Bank NV, London Branch

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