Is Financial Planning a Good Career Choice for You?
If you become a financial planner, you may expect great career growth opportunities, as jobs in this field are expected to increase by 30% from 2014-2024. Before choosing this career, however, make sure you have the skills and interests you'll need to succeed. Start by answering these questions:
|Do you have strong interpersonal communication skills?||Yes or No|
|Is math one of your best subjects?||Yes or No|
|Are you comfortable with self-promotion?||Yes or No|
|Do you think analytically?||Yes or No|
|Are you interested in banking?||Yes or No|
|Does the law interest you?||Yes or No|
|Is time management one of your strengths?||Yes or No|
|Do you consider yourself competitive?||Yes or No|
|Are ethics important to you?||Yes or No|
|Do you manage stress well?||Yes or No|
What Do Your Answers Mean?
Do you have strong interpersonal communication skills?
Financial planners must be able to establish and maintain relationships with clients. This requires empathy, great listening skills, patience, and the ability to make complex financial matters easily understandable.
Is math one of your best subjects?
To perform financial planning duties, such as calculating potential earnings on investments and helping clients budget for the future, you will need to excel at math and enjoy working with numbers.
Are you comfortable with self-promotion?
To gain new clients, financial planners must be comfortable marketing their services, qualities and achievements within their communities.
Do you think analytically?
In developing financial plans and providing advice, financial planners need to analyze many factors, including investment options, a client's income and financial obligations, and market performance.
Are you interested in banking?
To provide sound advice to clients, successful financial advisors keep abreast of developments in and outlooks for banking and financial markets around the world.
Does the law interest you?
Because tax and investment legislation greatly impacts short- and long-term financial plans, you should have an interest in and knowledge of the laws that regulate the financial industry.
Is time management one of your strengths?
Financial planners work with multiple clients, each of whom expect full attention and prompt responses to questions or concerns. In this career, you will need to be extremely well organized and have exceptional time-management skills.
Do you consider yourself competitive?
As a financial planner, your salary may be based on commissions. To maximize your earnings, you will need to enjoy competition, and have a healthy dose of ambition and confidence.
Are ethics important to you?
As a financial planner, your clients will rely on your integrity to believe you are working in their best interests. You will need to adhere to strict ethical standards to obtain and maintain that trust.
Do you manage stress well?
You will need to be able to work well under pressure and maintain the life-work balance necessary to mitigate the stress inherent in making decisions that decide the financial security of others.
Determine Your Next Steps
If the answers above describe your traits and qualities, financial planning is a good career option for you. You will need at least a bachelor's degree in finance, economics, business, accounting, or a similar field. Upon graduation, you may want to highlight your knowledge and skills by earning optional certification from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.