When attending industry events, you often hear that people find their way into the financial services industry by mistake. But all accounts, nobody plans to go into insurance/financial planning; at least that is the prevailing message.
However, what if this changed? What if people chose to embark on a career in the financial services industry? If they asked for your opinion about whether their personality is suited to the industry, what would you tell them?
We recently came across an article on:stuff.co.nz, which originally appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald , that provides a five point checklist which will tell you whether you are on the right career path.
Try the hell yeah! test
Your career choice is just as important as your partner choice. Ultimately you are going to end up married to your job, day in day out, year after year.
You wouldn't marry just anyone, so you shouldn't just accept any old career either. When you are getting married, people will ask, do you really want to do this? If you don't answer hell yeah! then you probably shouldn't.
The same is true of your career. If you ask yourself do I really want to do this? and the answer isn't hell yeah! then you are probably heading in the wrong direction. Be sure to ask yourself what would need to change for it to pass the hell yeah test.
Get clear on where you're going
It's hard to reach a target or goal that you can't see or isn't clear. You need to continually assess and review your career goals.
Are you making progress? Or are you just in a J.O.B? Do you have something to focus on that keeps you interested and engaged? What's on the horizon in the next 90 days, the next year and where do you want to be in three years' time?
Years go by quickly and if you don't have a plan, you will find yourself doing the same old stuff.
Learn, learn, learn and then learn some more
Commit to lifelong learning. Take on different responsibilities, roles and tasks. Do a course. Always be upgrading your skills, looking for opportunities, and finding ways to get better.
If your intention is to move ahead in the company you're currently in, or you want to make yourself attractive to a company, you need to demonstrate that you're a mover and shaker; someone flexible dynamic and adaptable.
Many companies look past general qualifications and note things such volunteer work, coaching a sports team, supporting a charitable event, or learning a new language. It all contributes to the body of evidence of who you really are.
You never know when opportunities will open up, so make sure that you keep your resume updated. If you happen to be somewhere and someone offers you the job of your dreams and says to forward your resume, you don't want to be saying, "Can you give me a few weeks?" You'll lose the momentum.
The other great thing about being prepared is that you are reminding yourself of your abilities and the evidence you have that backs this up. So always be adding, expanding and updating your body of evidence.
Don't be afraid to put it out there
It doesn't hurt to know what opportunities exist, even if you are as happy as you can be with where you are right now. We live in a rapidly evolving world with rapidly evolving markets.
There is a theory that most of the jobs of today may not exist in 10 years and a lot of the companies may not either. So ask your friends, search the ads, read the careers section of your paper to be across what's going on. You don't want to be the last one to know.