Setting Your Compass and Driven to Success: Potential Career for Goal-Oriented Women

Unless you are born with a silver spoon, working is part and parcel of life for everyone who calls Singapore home. There is no way getting around it; Singapore has  reigned as the most expensive city in the world for consecutive five years.

If you are heavily acquainted with social media, you are likely no stranger to seeing your feed buzzing with local news on increasing daily expenses. Keyboard warriors across the sunny island do what they are wired to do best – making noise on the social stratosphere, and initiating calls to crusade for change.

Keyboard warrior or not, complaining on social media is not the most effective way to solve rising inflation. If something is not to your liking, the best thing you can do for yourself is to challenge and change your environment.

Whilst it might not be possible to uproot yourself and immigrate elsewhere, you could do better in terms of securing a job that allows for maximum control.

Singaporeans place high emphasis on looking for an ideal career to cushion the lack of control against the volatile economical environment. Like any relationships, we are willing to go through trial and error to discover “the one”.

It brings us to the next point.

What does an ideal career generally comprises of?

An ideal career must stir up the passion within us; a comfortable salary; ability to strike work-life balance; and lastly, having the right kind of environment to work in. Good benefits that come with the job is icing on top of the cake.

Throughout my course of work, I have interviewed more than 500 candidates, and majority are women. Many have told me that it is relatively harder for them to secure their ideal career, in comparison to men.

In this article, let us take a look the problems generally faced by the woman interviewed at securing an ideal career and the opportunities a career in financial planning can offer.

Problems faced by women

Problem 1: Workplace politics

In a bid to climb the corporate ladder, some people resort to taking the easy way out – sabotaging their colleagues. Be it spreading malicious gossip, taking credit for someone’s work, or currying favour with the management through unethical means, it can be very frustrating and toxic for the victim. Unfortunately, females do contribute to workplace politics too, and they perpetuate the sorrowful state of getting ahead in a rat race at someone’s expense.

Not every woman has the emotional strength to conquer this toxic monster that threatens to devour her. Wired to be softhearted and emotional, a shift in the workplace dynamics can easily affect their moods and eventually, their self-esteem and confidence.

Unless you can rise above the culture of workplace politics, most women would choose greener pastures where, they hope that, they can safely dwell in peace.

> How being a financial planner helps to avoid this:

Success is dependent on your performance. When there is no corporate hierarchy to conform to and aspire for, it eliminates the need to stir unnecessary office politics. Every budding financial planner has a mentor to guide them in their journey, and it is to their mentor’s interest to ensure their mentee’s success.

After all, individual sales do contribute to the overall sales of the company. Those who join financial planning tend to be driven and focused on their own goals, leaving no room for any workplace politics.

Problem 2: Lack of transparency in career advancement

71% of the women surveyed in Singapore encountered some form of prejudice in the marketplace, no.1 reason as to why women just can’t seem to break through and flourish. This holds true for women who wish to take on roles that are traditionally dominated by men, particularly in the area of leadership.

The lack of transparency in career progression does not help women either, often leaving them being passed over for promotions. Overtime, the practice has become normalized as part of the workplace culture.

Sometimes, weak interpersonal relations attributes to the lack of transparency. Personal achievement is hardly adequate to qualify for promotion in the 21st century; cultivating good relations with the boss is the key factor that elevates you.

Some female employees learn the hard truth when they discover their progression is directly linked to their boss’s impression of them, not their performance.

> How being a financial planner helps to avoid this:

If you’re results-oriented by nature, financial planning for clients is something that could be up your alley. Results obtained are generally pegged to efforts invested. There is no need to second guess as to why you are overlooked for the incentive trip, as results pretty much speak for themselves.

Financial planners are entrepreneurs in their own right. You get to make your own decisions, and be solely responsible for your own work and performance.

No more being deprived of control over your own destiny! Perfect for ladies who are go-getters!

Problem 3:  Lack of flexibility at work

A lack of flexibility at work usually affects women who are in their mid 30s to 40s. This category typically consists of women who are more or less settled down, with the responsibility to care for her young children or elderly parents.

Not every job can effectively strike a good work-life balance, or the option to work from home. As a result, women are often forced to sacrifice their careers that they have painstakingly carved over the years.

> How being a financial planner helps to avoid this:

Apart from exerting control over your income, you get to control over when, and where to work. This is one of the perks where autonomy is enjoyed by both genders.

No need to apply leave in advance for holidays, neither do you need to call in sick when you can simply just rest at home without feeling guilty.

Need to stay home to care for your child if he/she is down with HFMD but there’s still work to catch up on? No problem, there’s the option of working from home.

Hate being confined by the traditional working hours and space? Sure, you can come in later and go off earlier. You can even work at a hipster café while enjoying brunch.

With such high flexibility offered, women can balance both their work and family with ease, without sacrificing one or the other.

Problem 4:  Decent income, with minimum stress, maximum play

A comfortable salary is what Singaporeans are aiming for. Generally speaking, high salary comes with great responsibility. As with all managerial and leadership positions, the tendency to work over-time is higher, thereby eating into your leisure time.

Women are socially oriented compared to their male counterparts. It is one thing to desire a good income; it is another thing to willingly sacrifice their personal time for relationships in exchange for more responsibilities and stress.

> How being a financial planner helps to avoid this:

One of the perks of being a financial planner is having the ultimate control over your own career. How much stress and income you wish to receive is directly related. Women get to decide how much stress they can shoulder in order to receive that amount of salary (see solution to problem 2).

Problem 5: Mismatched career

I strongly believe in the direct co-relation of passion and longevity of a career. It is passion that sustains and drives us forward when we face a roadblock. Passion, at its very core, is a manifestation of our personality preferences.

For women who thrive on social interaction on the go, a desk-bound job will only stifle you, and your potential. When you place a candidate in a position that does not match her temperament, dissatisfaction will soon occur. At the end of the day, the unhappy staff will not be motivated to produce the results her boss wants, which in turn affects her appraisal and advancement. It is a vicious cycle that must end if women really want to gain control over their future career prospects.

> How being a financial planner helps to avoid this:

Being cubicle-free, this role is dynamic, and always on the move. Born natural social creatures, female financial planners are more likely to excel in this selling role. As the industry is erratic by nature, new financial outlooks will present learning opportunities. Every client comes with different needs, and calls for different ways of engagement. If you like the challenge of interacting and adding value to people from different walks of life, this career might be suitable for you.

UPCOMING COMPLIMENTARY WEBINAR 26 NOV 2020:
Being a Financial Planner – Is Consulting Work Suitable for You?

Click HERE to register for your seat

For some women, it’s all about being in the driver’s seat and taking control of the steering wheel. Being a financial planner endows maximum control over the volatile climate during the course of your life. If changing your natural environment is not feasible, the next best solution is to change your career environment – a greener pasture that provides suitable nutrients needed for individual growth in a financial planning career.

If you are keen to find out more about financial planning as a career, you can download this “Financial Planner suitability checklist for woman” to find out if you are suitable to join us in this career.

Article by Benny Low
Email: benny.low@gen.com.sg

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Benny Low
Head of Operation

GEN FINANCIAL ADVISORY

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