The St. James’s Place Academy provides an exciting opportunity for individuals to build a career in financial planning and wealth management. Our fully funded and supported two-year career change programme enables people from a wide range of career backgrounds to retrain to become qualified financial planners, enabling them to achieve their career goals. Whether that is to either run their financial planning and wealth management business or become a financial adviser in one of our many successful St. James’s Place Practices.
One of our previous Academists, Hannah Brace was selected to join the Academy programme in October 2017 and graduated as a qualified financial planner in November 2019. Prior to this success Hannah worked as a teacher but decided to join the Academy after feeling the increasing demand on her unsustainable work life balance. The St. James’s Place Academy opportunity enables people to be in charge of their own diaries and work around the personal demands of their lives. With the added benefit of continual and ongoing support from both a dedicated Mentor and Business Development Manager, which Hannah received from day one.
Hannah’s Academy journey is briefly explored in this interview and perfectly captures some important aspects that we believe prospective Academists would be interested to know.
Why did you leave your previous job and join the Academy?
“I absolutely loved my job as a teacher, but I increasingly felt that, for me, the work-life balance was not sustainable. I was disillusioned with the changes that had been made politically within the education system and a lot of my morals and beliefs just didn’t align any longer. The Academy gave me a supportive environment to learn a whole new set of skills and acquire new knowledge. I wanted to find a career with flexibility, but still feel like I am making an impact on peoples’ lives.”
How have you found the transition experience to becoming a financial planner and wealth management adviser?
“It’s been a lot harder than I anticipated. It is a whole new way and style of working that is so far removed from my previous career that it has taken a bit of time to get used to. It’s a career of patience and resilience, especially during this transition period.”
What have you gained professionally and personally from the Academy?
“I’ve learned that it’s always okay to ask for help and that people are always willing to support you. Our Academy group keep in touch on WhatsApp and everyone is always pinging questions and asking for advice on the group.”
What has been your highest and lowest points of your Academy journey?
“For me, the high point of the Academy journey was the people and colleagues that I shared the experience with. We laughed together, studied together and sometimes even cried together. It was a supportive group and we continue to support each other today.
The lowest point of my Academy journey was after the main classroom part was over and suddenly, I was working from home. I felt quite isolated and lonely and have had to find ways to adapt to that. I’ve begun to go to co-working office twice a week to overcome this.”
For further information about the St. James’s Place Academy, please visit our website: www.sjp.co.uk/academy