Like most college undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs across the country in financial planning, Kansas State University (where I got my degree in financial planning and now teach as an adjunct professor) offers a great career class in which students build their own practices. They pick a target market, design a appropriate service offering, write a marketing plan, identify the software they’ll need, decide how and what they’re going to charge, and wrap it all into a 10-year business plan.
As a result, when they graduate, KSU financial planners, like many other graduates around the country, are well-trained and more than ready to go start their own firms.
The problem is that most graduates get very little training in how to be a good employee and how to create successful careers in someone else’s financial planning firm. That’s unfortunate, because in today’s financial planning industry, the vast majority of people, young planners and career changers, begin their careers in an established planning firm.
I can tell you that in my experience working with all types of employees of planning firms over the past 10 years, there’s a whole lot more to learn about being a successful employee and having a successful, fulfilling career making a substantial impact and salary in someone else’s creation.
So when AdvisorOne Editor Jamie Green asked me to write a blog about careers in financial planning, I couldn’t have been happier. It will give me a chance to give all of you the same time-tested advice I’ve been giving my clients’ employees–and my clients themselves–all these years.
In this blog I will be talking a bit about how owner advisors can smoothly make the transition to other careers beyond financial planning, when the time is right for them to move on. Mostly, though, I’ll focus on what financial planners need to know to be great employees, and someday, great partners in their firms, tackling topics from looking for a job, to negotiating the right salary, to how to dress for success in a professional job, and how to create a career plan, that will take you where you want to go (after we talk about how to figure out where that is). Of course, more than a few upcoming blogs will cover mistakes; as in, what not to do (believe me, I’ve seen a whole hard drive full of those).
I’m excited about sharing with you how I have learned and taught graduates, employees and owners how to make the most of their financial planning careers. I hope you’ll get as much out of my up coming blogs as I will writing them. Don’t forget to leave a comment or drop me an occasional e-mail to tell me how I’m doing, about your experiences, and what you’d like to know more about.
Most of all, I hope you enjoy your career adventure and hopefully this blog will make it more fun for you.
Let’s get started,