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My Job Explained: Independent Financial Advisor

My Job Explained: Independent Financial AdvisorJordan Batchelar is an Independent Financial Advisor at Northwood Symonds.

What is your job title and what does it involve day to day?

I am an independent financial advisor, so day to day, meeting with clients and giving advice depending on their situation. Then there’s a bit of administration, but most of it really is being sat in front of clients and then it’s different depending on each client’s needs.

How long have you been working at Northwood Symonds?

Just over four and a half years.

Did you know what career you wanted at 16?

Absolutely none. I didn’t even know when I came back from university.

What education path did you take?

I got 10 GCSEs and for A-level I went on to do English Lit and Language, Economics and Geography.

When I went to university I did a general business degree at Manchester Metropolitan. I got a BSc, with a mix of accountancy, law and economics.

Did your qualifications help or hinder you getting a job in financial services? Or do you think you would have been better doing something different?

I think it helped, but I don’t think I had to do what I did at university. I think university is more about educating you to a certain level and showing you how to do things so you can then apply yourself. What I did does kind of fit in to what I do now, but that was more by chance than anything else.

What did you do or where did you work before your current role?

After I came back from university, I did a bit of labouring and some personal training for people. Then I went and trained as a mortgage broker and did that for a couple of years. After that, I moved over to be an FA (financial advisor) at a bank, and then I came here.

Why did you want to work in the financial service industry?

I didn’t necessarily want to but it just kind of happened. I looked at the different jobs I could do but really and truly I wanted to earn money. I looked around and I thought ‘What sort of things would be interesting?’, but I fell into it more than anything. I don’t regret it, I’m happy about it – but when I was little I never wanted to be anything in particular.

What’s the best and worst thing about working at Northwood Symonds or your role in particular?

The best thing for me is flexibility, and I like and trust all the people I work with which is really important. I also like that I’m not necessarily stuck behind a desk all day: I go out and about and see people. It’s relationship building and I enjoy that. The worst thing? Trying to modernise a few things, like using technology a bit more.

What advice would you give to someone looking for a job in the financial service industry? Or someone who wanted to become an IFA?

Make sure you take all the exams as early as you can and make sure you’re qualified as highly as you can be. It’s quite hard to get into the industry as very few places do any training, so really the only way to become an IFA is to start somewhere doing admin or something and then slowly train up and move through different ranks. I would definitely say just go and get the qualifications. I did the exams myself – just paid for them, went and did them.

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