Marks in checkboxes (Image: Thinkstock) What does it take to move to the next level of your career?

The CFP Board Center for Financial Planning has released a new guide, Financial Planning Career Paths: Building More Sustainable and Successful Businesses, which provides comprehensive workforce development best practices in the areas of recruiting, onboarding, training, career development and retention.

“Firms of all sizes and business models will benefit from these best practices to better engage and develop professionals, and prepare the next generation of financial planners,” said Kevin Keller, CFP Board CEO, in a statement. “This guide is an essential step in advancing the transition of financial planning from an ‘industry’ that delivers products and services to a ‘profession’ that is an integral part of society through improving consumers’ lives.”

The guide, developed with BNY Mellon’s Pershing, highlights the importance of clear and transparent career advancement to attract and retain the next generation of financial planners and advisors.

The guide identifies and examines five rungs of the financial planner career ladder — analyst, associate advisor, service advisor, lead advisor and partner — and describes the skills, experience and responsibilities necessary to achieve each.

“Career paths are becoming better understood and more standardized across the profession,” the guide states. “Interviews with 30 leading financial planning firms suggest that there are common steps to career development, each with a distinct set of responsibilities and skills.”

The Center’s Workforce Development Advisory Group provided key input on the guide, under the leadership of Mark Tibergien, CEO of Pershing Advisor Solutions and an Investment Advisor columnist.

“Developing clear career paths is crucial to the continued growth and development of the financial planning profession,” Tibergien said. “This publication will be an important resource for employers and a game-changer for the advancement of the financial planner workforce.”

CFP Board Center for Financial Planning Executive Director Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis also said that “top firms in the profession are utilizing career paths to secure a lasting competitive advantage and build sustainable organizations.”

Mohrman-Gillis said professionals can also utilize the guide as a roadmap for navigating the multifaceted career of a financial planner. The guide provides information on what to expect through each career rung, direction for self-development, and a step-by-step progression of skill development that ensures the right skills are learned at the right time.

— Check out The Growth Dilemma by Mark Tibergien on ThinkAdvisor.