Ad­vice: Build your skills to build your career


This week’s an­swer comes from Thomas Dob­son, Vice Pres­i­dent, Fi­nan­cial Plan­ning, RBC Wealth Man­age­ment.

am a 25-year old in­ter­na­tional stu­dent pre­par­ing for my In­vest­ment Funds in Canada exam. I don’t know what to do next. How should I pre­pare my­self and gain some prac­ti­cal knowl­edge in my new field?

Rest as­sured that tak­ing the exam is a great first step. In wealth man­age­ment es­pe­cially, a good rule is to ‘al­ways be learning’. That means that once you’ve com­pleted IFIC, build your skills by tak­ing cour­ses, like reg­is­ter­ing for the Cer­ti­fied Fi­nan­cial Plan­ner® cur­ricu­lum.

Most pro­grams re­quire real-world work ex­pe­ri­ence as a key step to be­com­ing cer­ti­fied. That means it’s im­por­tant for you to get into your first job in the field as soon as pos­si­ble. Don’t shy away from en­try-level po­si­tions, ei­ther. They’ll give you the ex­pe­ri­ence you need and be­gin to lay the foun­da­tion of what will be a re­ward­ing career.

You also may not be able to get a job in wealth man­age­ment or fi­nan­cial plan­ning right away, but as long as you’re in a po­si­tion to see it in ac­tion you’ll be well po­si­tioned. Think about as­so­ciate, an­a­lyst or as­sis­tant to ad­vi­sor roles, for ex­am­ple. Re­mem­ber that there are many po­ten­tial career paths for where you want to go, so don’t be afraid to ex­plore all of your op­tions.

To start, look at the career pages of fi­nan­cial ser­vices com­pa­nies. It’s also a good idea to call pro­fes­sion­als in the field to ar­range an in­for­ma­tional in­ter­view. They can help you iden­tify your per­fect fit.

It can seem daunt­ing, but when you take care of de­vel­op­ing new skills, find­ing work ex­pe­ri­ence and buildin­ganet­work,you’ll­be­tak­ing­care­o­fy­our­futureaswell. Do you have a ques­tion about the fu­ture of work? Sub­mit it to fu­ture­ and we will do our best to an­swer it here in Star Metro.

When it comes to a career, a good rule is to ‘al­ways be learning’ – build your skills by tak­ing cour­ses and im­mers­ing your­self fully in your in­dus­try of choice.

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