When I first started flicking through career guides and thinking about what path to take, I wanted to make sure my job gave me flexibility, the ability to travel and the opportunity to meet people.
After researching it, I realised a career in financial planning could tick all these boxes and, so far, my experience has been nothing but encouraging.
Everyone has their own desired style of working. Some prefer a team environment, whereas some like working alone. I like a little of both, and being a planner gives me the opportunity to work in a team back at the office but also to go out on the road and direct myself.
Some may think that, because financial services has historically been a male-dominated arena, a female adviser might find it hard to succeed. But this has not been my experience at all. In fact, some clients even tell us they prefer female planners because they are seen as more trustworthy and have better listening skills.
Similarly, I had some trepidation at the beginning of my career that my age may in some way influence my clients’ trust in me. But this has also never been the case. I know now that it is personality that will instil trust, not the year you were born. Regardless, my training equipped me with all the skills I need to make sure I get the best outcomes for clients.
People from all walks of life can become a good financial planner, so I find it odd there is a dearth of young female planners in the industry. Planning is a golden opportunity for any ambitious young women looking to progress and increase their earnings.
Perhaps it is that many young people want to feel they are making more of an impact in this world than just making money and working their way up the ladder? Financial planning may not be on the same plane as working in the health or charity sector but people do not realise just how rewarding a career it can be.
A recent example of this came from my work with a client who had severe hearing issues and would struggle with advice given over the phone. To travel and meet these kinds of clients, then help them reach a solution to their financial problems is incredibly fulfilling and makes any hard work completely worthwhile.
For whatever reason, becoming a financial planner is not on the radar for young people at the moment. But the routes in are getting clearer and I believe this will bring many positives to the profession.
Gabriela Strug is financial planner at Old Mutual Wealth Private Client Advisers