So you’ve made your career choice and you’re going to be a financial adviser. A noble idea, taking peoples finances, hopes and dreams for the future and making them a reality shouldn’t be derided as a career choice. It’s a difficult role to do successfully and one that more people, given the transparency engendered by the FSA, should be looking at as a viable career option.
To be a successful financial adviser you need various skills, including face to face people skills, sales technique, administrative capacity and mathematical ability. It’s a very difficult role to master and some financial advisers still claim to be learning the role twenty years into the job. In the UK particularly, heavy regulation and a leaning towards high levels of certification mean that it’s impossible to just jump into a financial advisory role. It has to be a considered choice as it takes a huge retirement planning advisor amount of time just to secure the qualifications required, let alone get a role as a financial adviser with very little experience. And therein lies the rub – how can potentially new financial advisers, newly qualified, degree educated and very intelligent guys and gals mostly, find a job when most of the companies in the UK financial services industry require financial advisory ‘experience’ as a prerequisite.
It’s the chicken and egg scenario. You can’t get a job as a financial adviser without the experience but you won’t get the experience without working in a job as a financial adviser. This is where the UK financial services industry fails dismally in attracting new blood. Whereas other career choices such as Nursing, Teaching, etc all have smooth career paths from college, University, placement in temporary work experience roles and onto secure positions – Financial advisers have a difficult transition from qualification to secure employment. Consequently Financial Adviser is not perhaps seen as a viable option when considering which direction you want your career to follow, which is a shame, successful financial advisers will have a very good standard of living, many earning six figure salaries and earning huge benefits, particularly in the banking environment.