June 9, 2012


dream jobWhat do you want to be when you grow up?

When we're kids, we have big dreams. We might want to become actor, athlete, astronaut, dancer, detective, doctor, garbage collector, judge, life guard, painter, police person, singer, spy, ticket collector, time traveller, train conductor, truck driver, vet, writer, zookeeper. Maybe with a generous dollop of rich and famous.

I wanted to be a firefighter. You race around in a red truck, blast the siren, save lives and spray water from a hydrant. You're allowed to play with matches and eat lots of pizza. What's not to like?

In this video, children describe their dreams.


The question for children is "what do you want to be" not "what do you want to do". What we do becomes what we are. The opinions of others also matter.

Did you ever meet a child who wanted to become an advisor?

The financial sector lies in the low trust world. As a child, you'd lose friends if you said you wanted to help people borrow more money than they could afford and kick them out of their homes when they couldn't pay. Or to get paid well for investment advice even when your clients lost money and sleep.

Plan B

Reality often intervenes and dampens dreams.

Becoming an advisor is rarely Plan A (or Plan B). The reason might be
  • Plan N
  • Relocation
  • Parents

Plan N

Plan N comes from Necessity. Maybe you got laid off in a tough job market.

The barriers to entering the world of commissioned sales are low and the potential rewards are high. Maybe becoming an advisor may look enticing.


Maybe you're a dentist or engineer from overseas. That won't buy you a coffee here. You may find that you can't get work in your field. There are still bills to pay. You may have considered yourself above commissioned sales but now you're willing to try.

Besides, you're better educated than most of the advisors you've met. They're making money without even understanding the products thoroughly. Why wouldn't you do at least as well?


Maybe your parents are advisors and close to retirement. You might want to take over. You'll get training from people you (probably) trust and preserve the family legacy.

Maybe you tried something else first but don't get the success you expected. The family business may be a good option.


Do advisors exude real passion in their work?

Maybe that’s because they didn’t aspire to become advisors. Their passion might lie elsewhere in things like vacations, hobbies and family. Does that affect the quality of the work they do and their commitment to improve to serve you better?

Why did your advisor become an advisor? Ask them.


Podcast 172

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PS Not many children aspire to become actuaries. We can’t all become firefighters.


Anonymous said...

We cannot gauge how good or exciting a job is by whether or not we wanted to that job when we were kids. Some jobs did not exist when we were growing up. However, as a previous advisor I do believe that most people in banking or advising do fall into those jobs out of necessity. A certain personality type does tend to be able to stick it out and it those people who hide their real feelings about it.

Promod said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.