By Joseph R. Stemmle
People spend most of their college career refining networking skills, perfecting their resume, and completing mock interviews. But once they start their career, professional development can take a back seat to day-to-day work and life responsibilities.
Whether just starting a career or having over 25 years of experience, you need to increase your skills to succeed in your role and ultimately advance your career. Here are some of professional development tips to stay competitive and promote your career growth.
Update Your Resume
When was the last time you took the time to update your resume? You should update your resume every six months to delete non-pertinent information and highlight new skills and roles.
You never know when the next career position or scholarship opportunity will arise and you want to make sure your resume accurately reflects the things you have accomplished and who you are today.
Recruiters spend on average six seconds viewing a resume so you need to find out how to stand out. Having an expert review your resume will help you with the overall appearance and hopefully give you a leg up against the competition.
New Planner Recruiting is the leading recruiting firm in Financial Planning for entry level financial planners and could be a great resource to review your resume.
Find A Mentor
The role of a mentor is to encourage the personal and professional development of a mentee through the sharing of knowledge, expertise and experience.
If your company doesn’t have an in-house mentoring program, consider looking for someone in a local Financial Planning Association (FPA) chapter to assist you.
FPA also has the MentorMatch program which is an online networking and career development tool that helps you connect with professionals right down the street or on the other side of the world.
Looking to sit for the July 2020 CFP® exam? Enroll in the CFP Board Mentor Program which is designed to help you stay on track while studying for the July exam and provides various resources throughout the four month program.
Build Your Network And Follow Up Regularly
The willingness to reach out to someone you don’t know is crucial to the art of networking. But what good is networking and making connections if your paths never cross again?
One of the most important attributes to networking is keeping in touch with people you have met over time. The ability to check-in on a regular basis or provide a value add resource is important to building long-term relationships.
Create a re-occurring task to reach out to your connections or reserve a specific time during the week or the month to follow up with your network. Want to get out of the office? Coffee, Lunch, or Happy Hour can allow you to explore your city and build meaningful connections at the same time.
Create A Professional Development Plan
A professional development plan is a list of actionable steps for achieving your career goals.
You not only have the opportunity to reflect on where you want to be in the future but you come up with an action plan to accomplish the goals in 1 year, 3 years, and 5 years.
Start with a self-assessment of your interests, current skills, and personality. You must know where you are now before you can figure out where you want to go in the future.
The CFP Board completed a comprehensive guide to offer guidance on career development for financial planners. Unsure of the skills and experience required for your future career aspirations? It provides a detailed picture of each rung on the financial planner career ladder, including the skills, experience and responsibilities necessary for success in each position.
Do Something That Makes Your Uncomfortable
A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. – John A. Shedd.
Trying to work on your independence? Go on a trip by yourself. Scared of public speaking? Join Toastmasters or speak to a group about financial planning. Want to improve your fitness? Try a new activity like yoga or rock climbing.
Our greatest growth can come from a place of discomfort so put something in your professional development plan that scares you. At first, it will most likely be a real struggle. Eventually, the uncomfortable feeling will stop or decrease and will start to get easier.
Joey is a financial advisor with Riverstone Wealth Advisory Group in Midlothian, Va. Joey graduated Magna Cum Laude from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance. Joey serves as the President-Elect of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) of Central VA and on the Board of Directors for the Financial Empowerment Board for the City of Richmond Treasurer’s Office. Joey also serves as the Program Director for the VCU CFP Board Registered Financial Planning Program and an adjunct instructor in the Finance Department.
FPA NexGen, a community of the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®), aims to provide support and collaboration for those professionals new to the financial planning profession. With more than 2,500 like-minded young professionals, members of FPA NexGen are ready to share their experiences and further the future of the financial planning profession. Learn more about our engaged community and join the conversation on Twitter.
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