Somewhere around the age of 40, many professionals start questioning whether they want more out of life and their career, says Sara Gilbert, founder of Strategist Business Development in Montreal. While launching a new career has its challenges, your previous experience can boost your profile within the field.
“Advisors that enter the field later in life are definitely more committed,” Gilbert says. “They want to spend the time to learn the ropes and invest in their business.” As a result, Gilbert often sees senior advisors choose advisors for whom the field is a second career to take over their books of business.
Here are three tips for starting a second (or third) career as a financial advisor:
1. Adopt an entrepreneurial attitude
A major challenge to starting out as a rookie in mid-life is accepting a major pay-cut and loss of stability, Gilbert says. The salary in the first year or two as an advisor is often lower than what you may have been earning in a previous career.
Keep in mind, however, that the process is one step backward and then five steps forward, Gilbert says. With hard work and endurance, the transition will pay off if you invest the time and energy. You will have more liberty to boost your business, Gilbert adds, especially if you embrace the entrepreneurial nature of the work.
2. Leverage life experience
The 40 to 60-year-old demographic is not the natural market for millennial advisors, Gilbert says, so second career advisors will be better equipped to connect and build relationships with these older clients, who also tend to include more high-net individuals.
“It’s really about perception,” Gilbert adds. “It doesn’t mean that older advisors are more knowledgeable than a younger advisor, but in terms of perception, age plays in their favour.”
If you position yourself as an advisor who has left a previous field (such as law, engineering, or medicine) to pursue your true passion, your obvious dedication and reliability will improve your standing with potential and current clients.
3. Call on your network
If you’re a second career advisor, you likely won’t need to go and build a network from scratch if you’ve made strong connections in your previous profession. “You can position yourself right from the get-go within a niche market or two,” Gilbert says.
“[Second career advisors] already have a Rolodex of potential clients and potential centres of influence, as well as knowledge of potential events, seminars, trade shows, and associations they can approach.”
For instance, many advisors who have switched over from a former profession start a niche practice based on their expertise. If you previously worked as a doctor, you can easily connect with other doctors by relating to their needs and demonstrating your unique value as an expert in both medicine and finance.