“Since my GCSE work experience, I always knew I wanted to be a Graphic Designer, that was sorted. My career was mapped out in front of me. Having studied Graphics at college and completing a Degree in Graphic Design at university, I worked in publishing – designing magazines and adverts. All good so far… At times there were no adverts to design so suddenly we needed to sell some, so I did! I started talking to local businesses on the phone and I found that I really enjoyed building great relationships by helping them to solve their business needs (in this case, through the medium of advertising).
Fast forward 15 years and I’ve worked in advertising sales, publishing, events and then insurance. I realised very early on that it was actually talking to clients and providing a service that I enjoyed. When I saw the Client Relations role at Para-Sols advertised, I knew immediately that it was a company that was doing things differently, so I took the plunge and applied. My only experience in financial services before here was a period in insurance. The role at Para-Sols was very clear in that they were looking for someone to build relationships with their new and existing clients, a perfect fit for me! If I could deal with stroppy brides and rude tradesmen, I should be able to handle financial advisers!
My role at Para-Sols is really interesting as I enjoy engaging with new prospective clients and taking them on a journey where they can literally change their business and their way of working forever. It’s seeing them solve a problem and improve their processes that really makes the role worthwhile. From an operational point of view, you can see how our service can make our clients lives easier and add value to their businesses. As well as new clients, I’m also on hand to ensure the existing clients receive an excellent service and that everyone is happy! Having run my own business in events, I can identify with some of the challenges that advisers face from a business staffing perspective.
If you’d told the 22-year-old me that, when I left university, I would end up working in financial services then I would never have believed you. My view of the industry was men in grey suits in boardrooms, how wrong I was! I had no idea that there were roles in financial services that involved providing software demonstrations, speaking to advisers and offering them business support and providing services actually within the industry. It’s definitely not all grey!
You learn something from every role you ever have and it makes you more prepared for the challenges of your current role.