Last week I was juggling new client meetings, my sister’s Baby Shower and preparing for a presentation I had to give on Tuesday in London. It was busy!
Within the presentation I had been asked to talk about my background in Financial Planning and how I got here. It made me really think about the great opportunities I’ve been given over the last 15 years, how important it is to grasp opportunities that present themselves to you and to make the most of them.
Looking back, I realise I was fortunate that someone took a chance on me (when I had no experience or relevant qualifications) and that equally, I had the sense and drive / determination to make the best of that opportunity.
It’s certainly not the career I ever thought I would have, or an industry that I was particularly interested in. Friends who knew me growing up still don’t really understand why I have chosen this as my career. Mainly because they associate Financial Planning with Maths – and that most certainly was not my strength at school, instead I loved anything arty (and still do).
The truth is, Financial Planning is less about maths and money, and more about people, listening, good communication skills, trust, empathy, organisation and commitment. I think most people who know me would agree have these attributes.
The ability to speak to clients openly, honestly and with an enquiring mind and equally have the ability to listen… to problems, concerns, wishes and dreams. To then be able to understand what is important to them and what they wish to try to achieve throughout their life, so that I can help build a personalised Financial Plan to better their situation and ensure they remain on track.
Of course, we do speak about money and sometimes I have to use my calculator (although I still call my brother if complex algebra and formulas come up!).
It’s been a real trip down memory lane, remembering old colleagues and friends, the good, bad and the ugly. It’s also made me realise how much I love the job and profession.