Since starting my role at The Art of Finance, I have been asked lots of times about how my career moved in this direction, and it’s something I wanted to share in the hope that it might encourage others looking for a new challenge to take the leap.
I have worked in finance since I was 20 and knew from a young age that I wanted to work in this industry, the main reason was because I really wanted to help people with their finances. In addition, I am also a bit of a self-confessed nerd and love knowing the ins and outs of things.
It was seeing my Mum struggle financially when I was younger that made me want to get into it, I did not want to be in that position and also wanted to be able to make a difference to people’s lives.
I started off in insurance, then banking and loved having meetings with clients and helping them understand their finances more but there was a sales aspect to it which I did not agree with. So, I then decided to make the transition over to wealth management. I researched the roles available and it seemed like there were 3 options based on my experience. Administrator, Paraplanner, Financial Adviser and I needed to start off as an administrator.
After years working for local wealth management firms, I had been an administrator, paraplanner and trainee adviser. I loved the client contact and loved the difference we could make to their lives but I was constantly finding myself feeling frustrated. I have lots of ideas and a lot of these ideas did not fit in with the traditional methods of the firms I worked for. In addition, I am really creative and apart from a small stint helping out with business development and marketing I felt like I had so much more to give but was being kept in my box and my sparkle was dulling.
I had followed The Verve Group for a long time and loved their fresh approach and ideas. I attended their ‘We are live’ event last year and came alive and felt excited about our industry again. I had to check the vacancies to see if they had any national roles available (I live 320 miles away from the office).
They did! I completed the most fun job application I had ever done. It was like it was created for me. I applied for the role of a paraplanner as felt that was the role that suited my skillset.
Cathi read me exceptionally well and said she felt the role of a paraplanner may not suit me fully and asked how I would feel teaching the R01 (Financial regulation and ethics) module, alongside a template creation role. I had never even considered training as I did not have the experience. But funnily enough I have always said if I had not gone into finance, I would have trained to be a history teacher. So, I agreed to give it a go with the right support.
Fast forward to now and I am now a full time course trainer here at The Art of Finance, I teach R01, R05 and R06 alongside supporting our students as part of our supported programmes and also create learning material and work within a brilliant supportive team.
This role ticks every box for me, It allows my ideas to be heard, I keep my own knowledge up to date, investigate all the nitty gritty bits and I get to pass on what I have learnt over my 13 years in the industry. I get to be creative in delivering the content and tailoring our study days to suit our students and I also get to help students that I care about pass their exams and be great at whatever role they go in to. The feeling I get when I hear a student has passed their exam, nothing compares to it!
I forgot to say, I am a bit of a talker so chatting away on study days suits me down to the ground too. The first time was a bit daunting but I now look forward to spending a couple of days chatting about a subject I love and helping shape the next generation of our industry.
It is safe to say I have my sparkle back, without being in an environment where people spot your strengths, I would never have ended up in a role like this. I would have continued working my way up to an adviser role not knowing there was something out there more suited to me.
If you too are a working in this industry, have lots of ideas and knowledge and are also creative this could be an option to explore. There are so many roles out there in finance and sometimes taking that leap of faith and trying something new can be the best decision you have made. It certainly was for me.
The Art of Finance are looking for another Financial Trainer to join the team – check out this role and all others across The Verve Group here.