Bob was an engineer for 20 years before he decided there were no more growth opportunities and he needed a change. He was always interested in financial planning, and he wanted to create a business that he could leave to his children. That’s exactly what he was able to do at Edward Jones.
“I graduated with an engineering degree and worked in that capacity for 20 years. The company I was with was downsizing, and though I didn’t have to leave, I was looking for a change as I didn’t see any growth opportunities there. I was interested in financial services, and I wanted to build something that I could leave to my children. That is what attracted me to Edward Jones.
“I saw an FA recruiting ad in The Globe and Mail and joined the firm in March 1995. I went through the financial advisor training in St. Louis and started building my business in July 1995. It was a high-risk transition for me. I wasn’t being laid off from my old company, but I also understood that if I did the FA work, I could be highly successful. I was surprised I was hired without experience in the financial industry, but Edward Jones offered robust training programs. What they needed were people who demonstrated success.
“Two and a half years later, I was asked to become a regional leader because I was able to grow my business tremendously. I became a limited partner a year later and joined the general partner ranks in 2001. I stepped out of the regional leader role in 2012 but continued to build my business.
“I have three children. My youngest daughter graduated from Ivey Business School. My hope was that she would take over, but she became a naturopath. My oldest daughter was not interested at all, and my son had gone to South Korea to teach English. He graduated with a degree in sports management but then took interest and got a diploma in financial planning. He was working at another financial firm.
“In 2015, he joined me in my office, and I transitioned some of my client relationships to him through an asset sharing plan. After that, I decided to move forward with the firm’s Retirement Transition Plan, which allowed me to transition my clients over a two-year period to my successors. Together, we managed a fairly large amount of assets at our branch. The Edward Jones’ Retirement Transition Plan allowed us to decide how many FAs we could share these assets with. I was able to transition up to one-third of the assets to my son. The rest was transitioned to other Edward Jones Financial Advisors in our community.
“I am nearing the end of the two-year transition and will retire soon. It’s the best succession plan I have seen because, unlike some other firms, I didn’t have to find someone to buy my book of business. My dream came true. My son took over a successful business I had built. That was one of the main reasons I joined Edward Jones.”
If you’re ready for a rewarding career as a financial advisor, you can learn more about the opportunity or find an opportunity near you to connect with a recruiter.
Andrea Andersen worked as a teacher before switching to Edward Jones. Her passion for helping others achieve their goals was one of the main reasons she felt Edward Jones’ client-centric approach was a good fit. With a young family at home and numerous priorities, she also knew things needed to change in order to provide more work-life balance for herself. The move to Edward Jones is what Andrea was looking for to achieve her personal and professional goals.
“I was a high school teacher. Most people are surprised by this fact because it is a big leap to becoming a financial advisor. When I decided I wanted to make a career change at 36, I looked at all of the skills I brought to the table – planning, problem solving and, most importantly, building relationships. Financial advisor was one of the future in-demand professions, and when I looked at what it took to be a good advisor, it matched my list of strengths.
“What drew me to Edward Jones? The client-first focus, the partnership with a branch office administrator and the flexibility to create my day and my future, as I had a 6-year-old at home. I am a hard worker, and I knew that with the great training support Edward Jones provided, I would make it.
“It took time and energy, combined with an investment model that focuses on partnering with people for life to help them meet their financial goals, to create the life I have today: meaningful days sprinkled with adventures, all while having milestone celebrations with my clients who were able to meet their life goals. Nothing could be better.
“Now I am a principal at the firm, my days are busy interacting with people I care about – clients and colleagues – and my son wants to follow in my footsteps. As a teacher, I used to send my students off to face an unknown future. For me, the best part of being a financial advisor at Edward Jones is being able to support our clients and see them reach their goals because we don’t say ‘goodbye’ at graduation.”
If you’re ready for a rewarding career as a financial advisor, you can learn more about the opportunity or find an opportunity near you to connect with a recruiter. Connect with Andrea on LinkedIn.
Blair Lukan worked in sales before switching careers to a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones. He liked the idea of running his own professional practice, while having the flexibility to accomplish activities outside of work and spending time with his family. Working with Edward Jones gives him the autonomy and empowerment that he had been missing.
“I’m a career changer. Prior to joining Edward Jones, I worked in sales. One day at my old firm I was called into a meeting to discuss compensation. I left that meeting disappointed knowing that even if I put effort into my work, ultimately I was not in control of my destiny. I started to ponder my professional future, which led me to Edward Jones.
“Further research into the firm led me to understand I could set my own destiny, I would be paid for my efforts, I would have my name on the door and be responsible for creating my business. The other major draw was that I would establish a location and stay there. The expectation at my old firm had been, in order to be promoted you had to relocate. So, in 2004 I joined Edward Jones.
“What differentiates Edward Jones? First is the flexibility. The financial advisor role allows me to accomplish a lot of activities outside of work. For instance, I opened a Business Networking International (BNI) chapter in Saskatoon that provides tremendous personal and business networking value to its members. I’m also a father of three boys who are heavily involved in football and in the many years of frequent practices and games, I can count on one hand how many of them I’ve missed.
“Second is the leadership development opportunity. Six months ago I was asked to take on a role of regional leader. Leadership training programs at Edward Jones are superb. The firm invests so much in the individual associates that want to grow. I like to call it a “human performance laboratory”. Over the years, I’ve observed that the firm recognizes and helps develop individual contributors who have the potential of becoming a leader. The firm invests training time, leadership time and a plethora of resources to develop you through a variety of programs. And now in my role as regional leader I get to develop future leaders, which I truly enjoy.
“I always wanted to be successful. I was looking for independence, ability to earn and freedom to create. But to discover this leadership development portion was a surprise. I can’t imagine working anywhere else now. I’m excited to come to work every morning.”
If you’re ready for a rewarding career as a financial advisor, you can learn more about the opportunity or find an opportunity near you to connect with a recruiter. Connect with Blair on LinkedIn.
We’ve all heard the expression, “The customer is always right.” The phrase is an excellent reminder to always keep customer service in mind, even if you don’t work with the public. Consistent and courteous customer service is a soft skill that’s becoming increasingly vital to the workplace, as the demand for more personal service continues growing. Take a look at a few reasons why.
It builds trust
Even if you don’t work in retail or the food industry, you still have customers. Those who interact with you daily, from your colleagues to your leaders, are customers of your personal brand and your professional offerings. By providing them with a pleasant experience every time you work with them, it builds trust in your name, meaning more people will rely on you for future tasks.
It builds reputation
People rarely forget a negative customer service experience. However, the same applies for a particularly exceptional experience. If you’re working with outside vendors or a partner agency, your words and actions are a reflection of your company’s brand as much as your own. Going the extra mile by adding a please and thank you, or following up without being asked shows others that you care and adds to your company’s reputation.
It reduces friction
When everyone works to create a positive experience, it creates empathy for one another and reduces the number of conflicts in the office. When your colleagues or partners know you practice strong customer service, they’ll feel more comfortable bringing their issues to you for resolution. This allows problems to be solved more quickly.
Whether or not providing excellent customer service is in your job description, it’s important to keep these principles in mind. Creating a better service experience will enrich your brand and may even lead to new professional opportunities in the future.
It’s a new year and that means a new opportunity to make changes to boost your job satisfaction and reach your career potential. As you’ve progressed in your career, you might have experienced the downsides of working in a cubicle. As a high performer, you may feel like you deserve an opportunity to earn your own space.
At Edward Jones, we agree. Our Financial Advisors operate from their own branch offices in the neighborhoods in which they serve. This arrangement offers many benefits over the traditional cubicle, including:
You are trusted to set your schedule, build client relationships, provide exceptional service and be the leader of your branch office. You decide how to best service your clients and community.
Collaboration NOT Competition
The independent branch office environment fosters collaboration between the Financial Advisor, a Branch Office Administrator who provides essential support services and other peers in the Financial Advisor’s network. The focus is on serving the clients with the full support of a range of resources. The only limitation is your own ambition.
No more monotony. Some days you may find yourself diligently working in the office, while others you are out in the community getting to know your existing and potential clients. Without the seclusion of a cubicle, the workday can be as interesting as you make it.
Ready to explore the Edward Jones Opportunity? Start here.
Jennifer Heal was a national account manager in the manufacturing industry before switching to a Financial Advisor career. She was interested in the opportunity to utilize her sales skills in order to provide more meaningful and personal services to her clients.
What do you like most about managing your clients’ finances?
“This role is much more important to people. For my clients, it’s educating their children, preparing to get their son or daughter married, or retiring. There’s a lot more meaning behind being a Financial Advisor.”
What qualities do you think make a successful Financial Advisor?
“You should be good with people, able to listen and ready to make recommendations based on what clients discuss with you. You have to be a hard worker and be motivated. There’s no one standing over your shoulder telling you what to do, so you need to be self-driven in order to take next steps yourself.”
What advice do you have for someone with a sales background considering a career as a Financial Advisor?
“You don’t have to have a financial background. Some of us have sales backgrounds, but some of us were teachers or engineers. I think that as long as you’re willing to work hard and have the resiliency to get through the hard times, you can be successful.”
Thinking about a career change? See how your sales skills complement a new career as a Financial Advisor and why a career risk may not be so risky.
Mark Audet worked as a director of analytics in the banking industry before switching careers to a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones. He liked the idea of running his own practice and being able to take control of his long-term success, both professionally and personally. Working with Edward Jones gives him the autonomy and empowerment that he had been missing.
What were some of the factors that led you to explore a career change?
“I realized I was putting in so many hours at work in my prior role, but it wasn’t really impacting my family in a positive way. That wasn’t the work-life balance I wanted long term.”
What were some of your initial hesitations before you started as a Financial Advisor?
“Stepping away from an income level, and knowing that it could have been a lifestyle change for my family. But I welcomed it because of the long-term potential right around the corner. With the unlimited income potential, it was much more of an upside.”
What can a new Financial Advisor expect in his or her first year?
“Starting in the business is not easy, and no one should tell you that it is. So when you make the commitment, you have to prepare yourself for several years of really hard work. It’s a numbers game. If you’re driven and make the contacts you’re supposed to make, you can be successful.”
Thinking about a career change? See how your business skills complement a new career as a Financial Advisor and why a career risk may not be so risky.
Considering a Financial Advisor career with Edward Jones? Hear from some of our current Financial Advisors about the position and the career path they took to build a successful practice.
Floyd Gantt worked as a financial manager in the aerospace and building industries before switching to Edward Jones. He felt that his previous company lacked compassion, and he never felt looked after. Edward Jones was an attractive career destination for Floyd because of the firm’s in-depth training and ongoing support for Financial Advisors and their practices.
When did you decide it was time for a change?
“I never felt like I was making a difference in my previous career. Every day that I woke up, I did not feel happy. At that time, I believed that I needed to go find something different.”
What were you looking for in your next career?
“I wanted the ability to grow my own practice and have freedom. In corporate, you’re only as good as the boss you work for.”
What stands out the most to you about being a Financial Advisor?
“Since I am in the community, I grow strong relationships with people. I see growth and help someone buy a new car, get through school or retire. At Edward Jones, we are not in a building with 50 other Financial Advisors.”
Thinking about a career change? See how your business skills complement a new career as a Financial Advisor and why a career risk may not be so risky.
Successful sales professionals can leverage their diverse array of skills into a successful career as a Financial Advisor. Both career paths use similar relationship management techniques to meet the needs of clients and discover new opportunities to help them reach their goals through a portfolio of products and services. Consider how the following skills relate when deciding if a career in financial services is the right fit for you:
Top sales professionals are subject-matter experts.
In order to sell a product or service to a client, salespeople must speak intelligently and coherently about what that product is, how it works and the benefits to the consumer. Financial Advisors also develop a masterful understanding of their subject matter: their clients. They take the time to discover details about client lifestyles, wants and needs. This helps them recommend financial solutions that fit the clients’ needs.
The best sales people don’t sell – they listen.
Knowing about products and services helps, but it’s better to know your audience. Sales professionals discover new ways to satisfy consumers by simply taking the time to listen and evaluate what the customer is telling them. Financial Advisors are able to empathize with the client and apply solutions in each case based on an understanding of what the client is looking for.
Effective sales professionals make a habit of conducting themselves with a high level of integrity and honesty.
Ethics are at the core of their business practices and play a foundational role in building relationships with clients. Financial Advisors understand the role they play in some of their clients’ most important decisions.
“It’s a great source of pride as well as both personal and professional satisfaction,” says Edward Jones Financial Advisor Michele Olshanski. “It’s most rewarding when my clients actually get to retire or to send a child or grandchild to college because of what we have worked to accomplish together.”
The reality of transitioning from a career in sales to a new opportunity in financial services may be easier than you think. Both careers require adaptability, honesty and a high level of expertise in order to successfully meet and exceed the expectations of the client.