I am now qualified, what’s next?

Many people when they become qualified in their desired role believe that they can walk straight into their dream job. This is unfortunately not the case! In this blog hopefully, we will be able to give some practical and applicable advice on how you can obtain your desired role once you have gained the correct qualification.

  1. How to become a Mortgage Advisor when you have your CeMAP (or equivalent)

    When looking to become a Mortgage Advisor, in many cases, you will have a unique entry into the job. Some companies will offer a self-employed option whereby you will not earn anything for several months until you build up a pipeline. These roles can be a great foot in the door for budding Mortgage Advisors, offering fantastic earning potential to those who can successfully navigate through those tricky first few months. Alternatively, you may be lucky enough to find an employed Trainee Mortgage Advisor position that will offer training and support plus a salary to help you learn the ropes! Each proposition is unique from company to company so understanding what makes a good or great proposition is important for your personal life. Keep your eyes peeled for more in-depth content regarding how to become a Mortgage Advisor on our blog and YouTube.

  2. Why can’t you just get a job as a Mortgage Advisor straight away?

    In the U.K, to offer professional mortgage advice, “You must hold a qualification that is recognised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).” With CeMAP being the most widely held and recognised. In theory, anyone can do all of the exams to become fully qualified, but to provide regulated mortgage advice, you need to be appointed by the FCA, therefore you will need to join a regulated mortgage brokerage who can help you achieve this. If you are unfamiliar with CeMAP, we would recommend that you check out the content that we have provided regarding the qualification.

  3. How to become a Paraplanner when you have your diploma

    Although you don’t need your diploma (more about this in the next section) it is greatly beneficial to hold it and will make finding a Paraplanner job much easier. You want to keep your eye for Trainee and Junior Paraplanner roles as these are a great way into the Paraplanning role. Many companies will offer progression plans and training schedules to ensure you achieve sufficient progress to the point that you can become autonomous in your role. We recently covered how to become a Paraplanner in more detail on our YouTube channel and blog covering experience needed, personal qualities, qualifications and other useful tips.

  4. Why you can’t just get a job as a Paraplanner straight away 

    Technically, you can. Although the diploma isn’t a regulatory requirement like in Financial Advice, it is highly favoured and near industry standard for the majority of Paraplanning roles. The Personal Finance Society detail in their “Getting you started in Paraplanning” guide:

  5. How to become a Financial Advisor when you have your diploma

    Many roles in the Financial Services market require you to be “Diploma Qualified” and you may be confused at the vagueness of this statement. In short, the two main diplomas are DipFA and DipPFS. Which we have covered extensively here at Premier Jobs UK both on our YouTube and on our blog. Getting your diploma is a key part in starting your career as a Financial Advisor in the U.K. however it does not mean that you can provide professional Financial Advice. Keep your eyes peeled for more in-depth content regarding how to become a Financial Advisor on our blog and YouTube.

  6. Why you can’t just get a job as a Financial Advisor straight away 

    GOV.uk explain “Firms and individuals must be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to carry out regulated financial service activities and offer credit to consumers.” In order to be authorised by the FCA, you will need to undertake extensive fit and properness checks and prove your knowledge and skills. By joining a financial planning firm, they will be able to help you during this process. Whilst you could set up your own financial planning business, being on your own will be a very risky approach as you will be in danger of falling foul of the numerous compliance rules and regulations. And provide a list of ‘Regulated financial activities’ for Financial Advisors these include but are not limited to:

    dealing with investments (buying, selling etc) or offering or agreeing to do so, and in the case of insurance contracts, carrying out the contract

    arranging investment deals

    asset administration and safekeeping

    investment management and advising on investments

General Advice for Mortgage Advisors, Paraplanners and Financial Advisors 

Identify your personal stepping stones

Mortgage advice is a career commonly transitioned into from people outside of the industry and can be accessed much more easily than when compared to a role such as financial advice. Your stepping stones will inevitably vary depending on what prior experience you have, what company you are applying to and more. The most common requirement for Mortgage Advisors outside of CeMAP is targeted sales experience. If you meet this requirement, in addition to CeMAP, you may be able to increase your chances of obtaining a Mortgage Advisor roles. This would be different if you have no CeMAP and no sales experience, it is still achievable it is just the path to get that first job will be different. Every individual circumstance is unique, so it is hard to give a path that is absolute as this does not and cannot exist. Another factor that will significantly boost your job prospects when seeking a role as a Mortgage Advisor, is having the ability to self-generate business. This could be from friends, family or your personal network. This would be an attractive quality to businesses, as it helps to derisk their investment in you, as you will be helping to generate new business opportunities!

Paraplanners can expect to serve as some form of Administrator before progressing into Paraplanning. Whereas for Financial Advisors, this can have a few more steps. The process usually begins at the Administrator stage and then progresses into a Junior Paraplanner / Paraplanner role. This will then progress into a Trainee Financial Advisor / Financial Advisor role.

By creating your career stepping stones you have something to work towards in your career which can help with motivation and shows determination to employers or prospective employers. 

Contact a specialist recruiter 

A great tip when looking for a first job in any industry is to contact a specialist recruiter, a topic we have covered previously on our blog, to summarise:

  1. Guide you through the recruitment process
  2. Utilise the Recruiters niche industry knowledge
  3. Save time using a Recruiter 
  4. Recruiters provide interview preparation
  5. Recruiters negotiate the best deal for you

And it’s free if you’re job seeking!

Know what you are looking for when using job boards 

The most common way people will look for a new role is through online job boards the most common being Totaljobs, reed, CV-library and indeed. It is a good idea to make a list of your prerequisites and set realistic expectations when looking for a role. You will likely be looking out for junior or trainee roles as these accommodate the more entry-level Paraplanners, Mortgage Advisors and Financial Advisors. This is a far superior strategy when compared to going in blindly and applying for any old role that you happen to see and a strategy that should see higher response levels from employers / interviewers.