From the June 2017 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

4 Ways Young CFPs Can Balance Passion and Practice

Young planners should be proactive in pursuing satisfaction at work and home

Professional and personal growth are important to millennial advisors. Professional and personal growth are important to millennial advisors.

Many millennials are adamant about succeeding in the workplace while also figuring out a way to spend time on things that fuel their passions. For many of us, that means finding a profession and company that can help us meet those needs. For others, it means having a profession that offers the flexibility to make our personal lives more fulfilling on our own time. The financial planning profession can fulfill both of those desires, provided you are in the right firm and have negotiated the right situation.

If we find ourselves in a firm that does not allow flexibility to pursue our passions in different ways, there is a high likelihood that we will not stay there long. The key to achieving high job satisfaction is to figure out what will bring you joy on a daily basis and how you can incorporate that into your job.

Take Control of Your Career Path

Our profession attracts people who are bright, driven and entrepreneurial. We appreciate the transparency on the direction and philosophy of our employer to ensure it jibes with our viewpoints. Furthermore, we want to work at firms that value and take a collaborative approach to the fresh perspectives millennial talent can offer. At some firms, this may require new methods and the tearing down of some barriers to attract and retain young financial planners.

It can be difficult to admit when something is missing from a position you once loved. However, recognizing what you want enables you to look for ways to incorporate that missing element in your current position or future jobs.

Open a Dialogue With Your Firm

If there is something missing in your job fulfillment, getting that satisfaction requires creating an open dialogue with your supervisor about what you want. Make sure your boss knows what you are thinking so he or she can help you move in that direction. After all, replacing talent costs both time and money. There is currently a shortage of young financial planners, and the hiring of new professionals in the field is not keeping pace with the rate of advisors retiring. As a result, firm leaders really want to keep their top talent.

Talk with your manager about your desire to participate in outside activities, continuing education or industry associations and conferences. The firm's investment in time and money for training or volunteering pays off in a more satisfied, loyal employee and potentially in contacts and opportunities that will lead to more business.

Negotiate a ‘Yes’

Our industry is changing, and outdated business models and means of communication are beginning to change with it. We can help ensure other things change, too.

Realistically, your supervisor or firm could reject your requests. Always ask for clarification and see if there is a way to compromise. It could be a budgetary issue, the timing of your request or a misunderstanding of what it entails. Discussing why you cannot do something will help you find mutually satisfactory alternatives.

Making a Change

If your current situation is not meeting your needs, don't be afraid to make a change. Keep in mind that the first step to look for a new position is always the hardest. It may take a little time, but you’ll be glad when you find a firm that feels right for you. In order to find the right fit, make it clear from the beginning what some of your passions are. Find out if the firm has a volunteer program or educational opportunities. Then, determine if the culture is right for your needs. It might not be, but the compensation could make up for it. Likewise, the compensation might be low and the flexibility high. An open dialogue up front allows you to make an educated decision.

Millennials are an optimistic generation, and we want to make a difference in our firms, in our profession and in the world. It's important to find a firm that aligns with our core values. To do this, we must make sure we are in an environment in which we can thrive, contribute to our firm and help our clients thrive, too.

--- Read Job-Seeking Students Have Much to Learn on ThinkAdvisor. 

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