Los Angeles Office Manager, Douglas Pryor offered his advice for students and college graduates on planning for their future and career opportunities in the financial services industry.
What advice would you have given to your younger self when you graduated from college?
Really take some time to figure out what kind of job fits most of your strengths. You want a career that fulfills and challenges you on daily, monthly, and annual basis. It is very important to know that you’ll have weaknesses no matter what job you have. However, you’ll want to be sure you enjoy improving on those weaknesses. If 50% of your job is doing something you’re weak at and making yourself better doesn’t change that part of your job, it is OK to find something more suited for you. Don’t feel like your first job needs to be your last. It is alright to change careers when the current one isn’t what you thought it would be.
What is the most important financial lesson that young graduates should learn?
Stay within your means. Only use credit for things that are appropriate like a car, household items, or your mortgage. Do not establish monthly budgets so high that you need to borrow money for luxury items. If you can’t afford to buy a 60” TV with cash, don’t buy it on a credit card. Wait until you’ve saved the money first.
What advice would you give to students interested in a career in Finance?
Be sure to understand that being a financial advisor is about building relationships and selling products. If you do not like the idea of being a salesperson and being rejected on a regular basis, this will be a tough career choice. If you decide being a financial advisor is what you want, spend 80% of your time getting know people, and learning how to sell. During the remaining 20% of your time study available products and the markets. Most new advisors fail because they spend too much time studying the market and not enough time prospecting.
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