You might think you have to work for a non-profit organization or volunteer with a charity to help people.
But there are many career options in a variety of industries that help people from all different backgrounds manage the more challenging aspects of their lives.
Victor Ma, 24, combined an education in the arts and a passion to help others with an entry level career in finance:
“After working with Sun Life Financial and with clients, my entire perception of what an advisor does completely changed. It is a very rewarding job.” —Victor Ma, Financial Advisor, Sun Life Financial
He started working as a Financial Advisor with Sun Life Financial in Burnaby, B.C., in January after completing a degree in psychology from the University of British Columbia last year.
We wanted to find out how Victor and other advisors find their passions in financial advising – seriously, what does an “advisor” do? – so we asked him about his experience as a Financial Advisor with Sun Life Financial so far. Check out his answers below!
Q. What kind of work do you do as a Financial Advisor?
A. My job is to help people navigate through the confusing world of finance. My goal is to place them in a better financial position than when they first met and worked with me. The goal when going into my psychology major in university was to give myself the opportunity to help others; this job gives me that.
Q. Why did you choose to start your career as an advisor with Sun Life Financial?
A. I saw the potential in the job for me to execute the strengths that I feel I have and it also gave me the opportunity to work and help people, which is my passion.
Q. What was it like when you first joined Sun Life Financial?
A. There was significant support from everyone in the office for me to succeed and for me to learn the business. A lot of training was provided to help me get to the level I need to be at to succeed at this new venture.
Q. What has surprised you the most about working as an advisor with Sun Life Financial?
A. The biggest misconception that I have encountered is the thought that our job is to sell life insurance. In fact, our job is to help people in their financial decisions. After working with Sun Life Financial and with clients, my entire perception of what an advisor does completely changed. It is a very rewarding job.
Q. What has been your most valuable experience so far?
A. I had the opportunity to help a lot of people who were in need of getting the right advice and guidance to help them get out of a bad financial situation. This is a valuable experience because it shows me and others how an advisor can really help troubled clients in bad financial situations feel better by giving them a good comprehensive plan to execute.
Q. What do you think it takes to be successful as an advisor with Sun Life Financial?
A. The sky is the limit in terms of the amount of success you can have as an advisor at Sun Life Financial. This job does require you to be very self-motivated and organized. This is not your conventional 9-5 job. This is a job that is dictated and controlled by you. As my managers always tell me, I am the CEO, administration person, and the sales person.
Q. What advice do you have for students and recent grads?
A. Be positive and results will follow. Whenever you step into unfamiliar territory, there is an inevitable learning curve. Success does not come overnight. Work hard, focus, and you will achieve anything that you want. Everyone has a bucket list of things that they want to do, but how many people can actually check off every item that they write on this list? The answer is not very many. The reason why I say this is that with every passing day, you have the opportunity to make a difference and to do the things you want to do.
Go out there and do the things you want to do and find ways everyday to make a difference in this world. As an advisor at Sun Life Financial, I feel like I make a difference by giving myself the opportunity to help people every day, which lucky for me, is my job.