My Education: Grove City College B.A. Albany Law School of Union University
My Prior Experience: Worked at same firm for 31 1/2 years
My Company: Provide tax and financial counseling to executives of Fortune 500 firms, as well as other wealthy individuals.
Job/Career Overview: Employers that are interested in making sure that their valued employees take maximum advantages of their benefits package hire our firm to assist these designated individuals with proper and effective use of these benefits.
We help people understand the advantages and disadvantages of electing certain employee benefits, we prepare tax returns for these individuals and we work with the individual's other advisers (insurance professionals, lawyers, estate planners, stock brokers, etc) to ensure that everyone is on the path in helping the client. If the client has a question regarding mortgages, real estate purchases, estate planing, college education funding, proper use of a deferred compensation plan, etc. we will work with the client to present the range of options from which the client ultimately can make the best informed decision.
Once a decision has been made by the client we actively implement the decision so that there are not any open issues. Making sure that the issues that can adversely impact a person's financial well-being are addressed, resolved and monitored are part of my daily activities.
More Insights: Work on your people skills, learn to be an excellent listener and focus on the things that your client's indicate are the most important things in their minds. These might not be the most important things in reality but until you convince people that you have addressed their concerns, and perhaps refocused their concerns, you will not be able to get them to appreciate that there are other issues and opportunities that merit their attention.
I rate this career 9 out of 10.
Being in the consulting business sounds attractive to many people but they fail to realize that your client's have a high level of expectation regarding response time, quality of work, maintenance of expertise and you often cannot control the timing and intensity of projects. It requires multi-tasking skills and the ability to have your client's confidence that you will perform the necessary tasks to your client's satisfaction 100% of the time. It is very satisfying, yet stressful, professional employment.
Read as many financial publications as you can, even the ones that you don't think are very insightful but which have a broad readership base, so that you are reading what your client's are seeing, which will give you some indication of where future questions or suggestions might be headed.
Attend industry functions for continuing education, working under the assumption that you are more likely to learn something by listening to your professional contemporaries than speaking on the topics that you are already competent in.
Embrace change, particularly in businesses that are subject to financial regulations and oversight, as there will be change and depending on the political party in power at the moment your regulator might be more or less intrusive than your former regulator.