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5 Best Career Development Tools for Financial Advisors

At some point in your working life, you’ve probably found yourself thinking about career development – about where your job is heading and where you want to be in a few years.

When it comes to financial services, it can often be a bit overwhelming trying to figure out how to develop your career because of the sheer amount of information available: particularly, if you’re aiming for a career in financial advising.

We’ve selected five of our favourite career development tools to help you enhance your financial advisory career.

1.   LIBF Membership - Best for accessing knowledge, opportunities and improving your reputation

The London Institute of Banking & Finance is one of the world’s oldest professional membership bodies serving the financial services industry. The institute was founded in 1879 to improve the skills, knowledge and expertise of financial professionals in the UK and its remit hasn’t really changed that much in the 140 years of its existence.

Professional membership bodies like the LIBF offer members a whole range of benefits that are invaluable when it comes to pursuing a career in the financial services and finance advice fields. To join one, you’ll have to meet certain eligibility criteria and apply formally to the body. Most professionals who are serious about pursuing a career in financial advice and who meet the entry requirements will be accepted though.

There are a wide range of membership levels that you can join the organisation at, depending on your specialism.

Member of The London Institute of Banking & Finance (MLIBF)

This level is suited to people who are at the start of their careers or who are in a very specialised career role. It will give you access to the full range of online and career development services.

Certified Professional in Financial Advice (CPFA) 

This membership status is available to members of the LIBF and who hold a Statement of Professional Standing (SPS) with them.

Associate of The London Institute of Banking & Finance (ALIBF)

This status is aimed at professionals who are at an intermediate level in their current career and who are aiming for Chartered Status through further study.

Chartered Associate of The London Foundation for Banking & Finance (Chartered ALIBF)

Awarded by The London Foundation for Banking & Finance, and administered by LIBF.

Chartered status will raise your professional profile and help you advance in your career.

Fellow of The London Institute of Banking & Finance (FLIBF)

Fellowship status is one of the most senior membership levels available in the LIBF. It recognises accomplished professionals who are widely respected in the industry. Fellowship status is open to people who have over 20 years relevant experience of banking and finance and who meet the Associate status requirements. It’s incredibly distinguished.

Professional Reputation

Membership of LIBF shows employers that you respect the body’s Code of Ethics, proving that you work to the highest professional standards. As you have to meet specific professional requirements to join the body, it allows employers to benchmark your skills and shows them that your attributes have been verified by a respected industry body.

Personal and Career Development

The LIBF mentorship scheme is well suited to financial advisors who are in entry level roles and are looking to develop their career and move further up the ladder within the industry. The LIBF offers a dedicated mentorship scheme that matches you with an experienced professional who shares your interests and has previous experience relevant to you. The mentorship scheme can help you gain an idea of the reality of working within particular roles and the skills, experience and attitudes that you’ll need to thrive in them, whilst also providing skills development, professional guidance and a brain to bounce ideas and questions off of.

Continued Professional Development Scheme

If you work as a financial adviser you’ll need to complete a set number of hours of CPD each year. The LIBF offers a comprehensive CPD offering that will help you structure and record your learning, meeting all of the FCA requirements.

Access to industry publications

As an LIBF member you’ll enjoy a free digital and audio subscription to Financial World – our journal, published in association with the Centre for The Study of Financial Innovation (CSFI).

Financial World brings together thought-provoking research and commentary on the structure and development of the domestic and international financial services sector as well as the wider economy.

You’ll also get instant access to hundreds of ebooks, journals, news articles – as well as company and market data – through our e-library, KnowledgeBank.

Woman At Laptop

2.   LinkedIn - Best for Networking

Okay, you’ve got us. LinkedIn is technically a social media platform focused on jobs, not a specific career development tool – it wasn’t designed specifically with the development of financial advisory careers. But, that said, it’s probably one of the best tools that you can use for career development: specifically because it helps you build essential connections with others in your industry

Think of LinkedIn as a combination of Facebook and Twitter, with a specific focus on everything to do with careers. You build a public profile that lists your career history and professional interests, add other professionals that you know or with similar interests to your professional network and share content related to jobs and career development.

LinkedIn is an immensely powerful tool when it comes to networking and job searching – the act of building connections with other like-minded professionals in your industry. The more people you know, the more opportunities you’ll hear about and the more knowledge and expertise you’ll be able to benefit from in your professional practice. When you’re looking to find your feet in the financial services industry, networking can really help you to build your reputation and to find mentors that you can learn from.

The platform is also a great knowledge resource, with lots of content being posted daily about career development, getting on in the world of work and other issues related to employment and growing your skills.

3.   eFinancialCareers - Best for finding specific job vacancies

Whilst the name might sound a bit 90s, eFinancialCareers is a very versatile job vacancies board that could potentially help you find your next role.

Focused on curating the most relevant careers in financial services, it’s a specialist site that allows you to view and apply for thousands of roles in areas like financial services, banking, crypto and fintech around the world.

The site itself is split into several sections, with a jobs board, news and advice sector and also a companies search, letting you find specific organisations. The news and advice section is particularly useful, with a huge array of content for a range of roles across the financial services sector that’s updated daily.

A range of coins from currencies on a table

4.   Khan Academy- Best for Brushing Up on Mathematics Knowledge

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your interests!), you can’t be a financial adviser without having some knowledge of mathematics and an awareness of the basic principles.

For most of us, the last time we used any detailed mathematics skills might have been when we were back at school. As a result, there’s a good chance that your knowledge could be due for a bit of revision.

Skills in mathematics form an important part of a financial advisor’s role. Whilst you can probably get by in the role with minimal maths skills, having an understanding of the essential principles will enable you to develop your career much more successfully over the long-term. With demand for professionals with math skills soaring amongst employers, developing your maths skills could be the thing that clinches your next role for you.

Khan Academy is a learning resource that’s recommended by LIBF. It’s an online, not for profit educational organisation that offers a variety of free, short courses in a range of subjects, including key mathematics ones. Most of the courses come in the form of short videos which are easily digestible and come with written exercises for you to complete to aid your learning.

The platform is completely free to use but it does ask for a small donation, if you can spare it. As far as free resources go, it’s a useful way to top up your maths skills and refresh your understanding of a topic that can often overwhelm us.

5.   National Careers Service

The National Careers Service is a UK Government resource that provides information, guidance and help to people who are looking to develop their career. It can help you make informed decisions about learning, training and career development, aiding your overall career development.

The service provides a lot of resources available for free online, like:

  • Skills assessment to help you match your skills to the right career
  • Course finder to help you find a relevant course or training opportunity
  • Careers Advice resource hub, providing guidance on a huge range of career development questions

Whilst this is obviously a more general resource, not aimed specifically at financial advisers, it is a really useful resource for career development.

The National Careers Service also offers a range of in-person services to people who live in England, like help with creating a career action plan.

Develop your career with a financial services qualification!

Often, one of the most efficient ways to develop your career is by studying a dedicated course. The LIBF Level 4 Diploma for Financial Advisers is one of the industry standard qualifications that are widely respected by employers across the industry. It’s designed for financial advisers who are at the start of their careers or who are looking to develop the specialist skills to advance up the career ladder.

Have these resources given you a good idea of the type of things that you can use to aid your career development? We hope so. Put them to good use and you could be celebrating achieving your dream job faster than you think.

Build the career of your dreams with a professional qualification in financial advising. Download your free LIBF DipFA course guide today.