Following on from Beth achieving her Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning, we organised a Q&A to discuss what motivated her to complete her Diploma in an ambitious timeframe, how her studying has helped her in her day-to-day role and what her long term goals are for her career in financial planning.

Congratulations Beth! You mentioned in January that you wanted to complete your Diploma by the end of 2020, which was an ambitious goal. What were the top things that kept you motivated and focused?

I found it really difficult to motivate myself to study after a day’s work, so I would fit an hour of studying in the morning before work as I find myself most productive first thing, and that meant I didn’t come home dreading having to pick up a textbook. It also helped that my last exam was during lockdown so I really didn’t have any distractions!

That buzz of excitement you get when you pass definitely spurs you on as well, and I found as soon as I had passed one exam, I was wanting to get another booked in straight away to keep the momentum up.

You joined AAB Wealth with no experience in financial planning. What made you realise this was the career path for you?

AAB Wealth really changed my views on financial planning and rectified any misconceptions I had. I always viewed it as a very number focused area, however it is so much more than zoning in on monetary values. We are focused on building meaningful relationships, looking at goals and lifestyles and ultimately giving the client peace of mind in their future plans. This is the aspect I enjoy and was what made me realise I had found a career that I can see myself in for the long run.

How have your skills and knowledge gained through studying towards your Diploma helped in your day-to-day role?

My day-to-day work gave me a basic awareness of the areas I was sitting exams on, however the knowledge gained through studying towards my Diploma means I now have a much greater understanding of tax, legislation and the products available to clients. It has also given me a better insight in to the rationale behind the recommendations we give to clients, and the future impact this can have.

You are Client Services Support Team Lead at AAB Wealth, how has your role changed since the start of the year?

The main change has been the slight shift away from client work and putting more of a focus on the upkeep of our income, preparing the KPIs for the AAB Wealth Board and the overseeing of tasks. Whilst I enjoy the client work, it is nice to take on more responsibility and to be involved in these side jobs adds variety to the day.

What is the next step in your career development and how will you prepare for this?

Trainee Paraplanner is the next goal in my career development. It is great to have the qualifications behind me, but I am now more focused on putting these in to practice, gaining experience on the job and developing my skills. Being a Paraplanner comes with more responsibility and a heavier technical emphasis, and whilst this is something we have an awareness of in the Client Services Support role, it is not the focus of our job, so it will be interesting to move to the planning side of the process rather than implementing the recommendations.

Do you have a long term career goal and how are you feeling about achieving that?

My long term goal is to continue studying and hopefully achieve my Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning and gaining the Chartered status. I am not going to apply the same pressure to achieve the Advanced Diploma in a set time frame like I did with my Diploma, however I am hoping to book in to my first advanced exam by the end of the year with a view to sitting it in April 2021. Whilst I am looking forward to when the time comes that studying is a thing of past, for now I enjoy having something to focus on and work towards!

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