Tuesday, April 2, 2013

My Walkaway Power

One avenue that the road to financial freedom has led me to has resulted in a thorough examination of my career path. Roughly five years ago I took the first job that I could find after transplanting from New York to Chicago. That decision lead me into what is now a five year career in finance. I was a Communications major in college and struggled horribly through upper division mathematics in high school, so the 18 year old in me is quite impressed with where the (latter) 20 something version is at career wise.

Since that time however I have learned to master my money habits and am finding financial peace. When I first started working for my employer though a lot of my energy and focus was on the paycheck. The money came in and I wandered through my earnings without a fiscal plan. Now though I spend every dollar on paper before the start of every month and follow through. As a result I write to you today debt free and moving towards prosperity on a middle of the road income.

Consequently my views and attitudes towards work have shifted as well. At first I was the gerbil on the wheel needing my employer more than they needed me. Now my wife and I can live on roughly $20,000 a year without impacting our standard of living, and we are in a strong (and disciplined) enough position where our employers need us m ore than we need them.

 I could walk away from my employer today and find a new job that pays half of what I make now and our household could still thrive financially because of our mad budgeting and low cost of living skills. It has been quite an experience walking through my employer’s doors, once needing them to pay off debt, to now where I walk through because I want to be there.

But the entire ordeal has caused me to re-evaluate where I want to be in my career. Essentially I am asking, “What’s next?” in regards to my career. Don’t get me wrong though, I do enjoy the work I currently do and I enjoy the company of my colleagues, but deep down inside of me there is just something that has been driving me to want more fulfillment, more passion, more gusto if you will. I’ve mentioned here before that I would love to work as a financial advisor servicing middle income households. And last week I took the first step in seeing what this dream would look like in reality.

I met with some of the great people over at Morgan Stanley to learn about their financial advisor training program. I can confidently tell you that the meeting went really well and Morgan Stanley has a ton to offer. Their training program is rigorous, thorough and honestly was extremely tempting. During the first 3 years the training program includes learning all you can while obtaining pertinent licenses, job training in New York and an excellent pay package that includes a generous base pay that slowly phases out after 3 years as the advisor moves to commission based pay.

So what’s the hang up? Why isn’t the title of this post, “My New Job?” Because deep down, at the end of the day, this particular move wouldn’t have been a long term fit for myself, and it would not have been a good fit for Morgan Stanley. At the core of the issue is that the company’s performance expectations and standards for its financial advisors skew the advisor to pursue high net worth clients with significant investable assets. I plan to work with middle income households with little to medium investable assets, and help turn them into high net worth households with significantly high levels of investable assets J!

So I’m keeping my cards close to me. Jon Acuff would be proud to hear me say that I’m keeping my No’s open. I am working in a job that I have fallen in like with, while I scan and search for the perfect fit that will lead me to my dream job. So for now I’m keeping my ears and eyes open for just the right opportunity and keeping my walkaway power intact.

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