Setting goals is an important part of any client’s financial plan, but the benefits aren’t unique to clients. They’re equally relevant for an advisor’s own career development plan. If you are an Associate Planner with your sights set on a Lead Advisor role, here are ideas to help set and achieve your goals:
1. Take on managing the internship program for your firm. Depending on your own career development, you might not be far removed from the student/intern stage, so this task can be a natural fit. This will free up others’ time and hone your leadership and communication skills.
2. Choose one technical skill you want to sharpen. This might be dictated by the clients your firm serves and the services offered. For example, if your firm deals with younger clients, study up on student loans, college planning, and disability insurance.
If your firm works mostly with retirees, learn more about estate planning, long-term care insurance, Medicare and retirement distribution planning. There are hundreds of resources to gain additional knowledge, and a long list of post-CFP designations to pursue. Once you decide, check with your professional membership organizations for discounts before utilizing any outside vendors.
3. Free up time from the Senior Planner you work with. This could be achieved by simply moving from second chair on an established or new client, to the first chair. Work with your Senior Planner to determine one or more clients who can be comfortably and fully transitioned to you.
4. Perform trials of several different financial planning software programs to ensure what your firm uses is still best in class. With the speed new technology is entering the financial planning profession, you should be doing this each year without being prompted.
5. Develop new prospective client relationships. Consider attending conferences such as Leanstartup, Hustlecon and others that are geared towards younger entrepreneurs.
6. Run for a leadership post with FPA NexGen and/or NAPFA Genesis. These groups are great for networking and building relationships with the up and comers of the profession, and you can learn a lot along the way. Attend leadership training and learn to manage, mentor and delegate. If you can learn to be a leader with volunteers, you should not have as many difficulties with paid team members.