Going from an assistant role to Financial Advisor can be a life altering experience, but you must tread lightly and even carry a big stick.I spent 10 years as a registered sales assistant and when I became a Financial Advisor my whole life and future changed for the better. When I accepted the position, I was excited about the opportunity and was determined to succeed; yet I knew I would experience some unusual challenges along the way.
Going from an Assistant position to a full- fledged Financial Advisor can be challenging for reasons beyond what you would expect.
As a National Training Officer for the Smith Barney, I spent 3 years helping many young female advisors learn how to create a smooth and effective transition from assistant to Financial Advisor. It wasn’t just about cold calling and managing money, I knew these women would be walking a fine line between their old and new life; I knew they needed an insider’s perspective and advice.
Follow these simple principles and you will create a smoother and more effective transition.
1. Change your look, hairstyle and wardrobe; I’m not kidding:
When you make a physical change, it helps those around you remember that you have made a professional change as well. It also shows that you are very serious about this new position; updating your style and presenting yourself as a woman who can manage millions. Everyone will be watching you. When you earn their respect, which doesn’t always mean friendship, you will feel better and confident about yourself in your new position.
2. Learn to say NO; “Not my job now”:
You have been in an administrative role for years; it’s almost a habit for those around you to fall back and rely on you for administrative duties. They will think what they are asking is just a small favor, but from the beginning you must remind them that you are not there to push papers, but to bring in new assets. Be willing to say “I’m sorry but I have some calls to make, why don’t you ask….” then walk away.
3. Step out of your comfort zone and stay out:
The role of a Financial Advisor is NOT easy, but it is well worth it. There will be times when even YOU will want to fall back to your administrative role, as this IS your comfort zone (or was). As a Financial Advisor, if you are NOT uncomfortable chances are you won’t succeed. You will not get new clients or raise assets by fulfilling administrative tasks. Step out and Stay out.
4. Hire a coach; and I’m not just saying that:
You need to learn how to develop your new role and identity as a female Financial Advisor. If you continue to rely on those around you, odds are you will end up adapting to their methods, denying yourself the ability to be unique and add more value. Don’t try to do it alone, it will take you a heck of a lot longer and cause you a lot of unnecessary stress. Using a coach that understands women can truly escalate your ability to achieve success more quickly.
5. Know not everyone will like you:
Women are still learning how to support each other in the workplace. Don’t be surprised if you begin to sense some noses out of joint simply because you don’t have time to chit chat like you used to. At the same time, you don’t want to alienate those who were formerly your peers and even friends, it’s important to win them over but not let their sometimes jealous nature create a hurdle or roadblock to your progress. Be friendly, humble, and appreciative, but totally focused on your new role. Win them over and you will create internal raving fans.