7 Career Tips for Financial Planners

Author: Michael J. Walker, Vice President & Head, Mutual Funds Distribution & RBC Financial Planning
Read Time : 4 minutes

Michael J. Walker, Vice President & Head, Mutual Funds Distribution & RBC Financial Planning, found a home for his career at RBC nearly 30 years ago. As leader of RBC’s team of Financial Planners, Michael drives innovative products and experiences for clients – such as MyAdvisor, RBC’s new digital investment advice experience. As part of our Best Moments series, we continue our conversation with Michael with a focus on Career Tips for Financial Planners.

Tell us about your approach to career planning – and advice for others?
While crafting a career roadmap for myself, I wanted to make sure I was “walking the walk” while “talking the talk.” With that in mind, here are my 7 Career Tips for Financial Planners.

1. Set Big Goals
Even though the world of financial planning offers limitless potential, I often see people setting goals that don’t often reflect the breadth of possibility. Choose an organization that enables you to THINK BIG!

2. Have a Plan for Your Career
After setting big goals, create a specific career plan of action aligning your personal, professional, and financial goals. Be specific about what you’re looking for when considering a career decision. As an example, don’t simply plan for a career in finance — do plan for a progressive career in an investment team at a financial institution that offers continuous learning and support to help you reach your short- and long-term goals.

3. Understand the Internal and External “Forces of Change”
Change is inevitable — rather than trying to predict change, equip yourself with the necessary skills and knowledge to prepare for change. Continuous learning and staying connected to current events can truly differentiate you from everyone else.

4. Make the Right Career Choices
Remember the 3 pillars of every career: The Role, The Team, and The Leader. When considering a career decision, make sure you’re aligning your values with your role, your team’s ability to collaborate and build momentum, and your leader’s understanding of what it takes to be successful.

5. Always Add to Your Balance Sheet
Your balance sheet is more than just 1’s and 0’s. Your IQ (Intelligence Quotient), EQ (Emotional Quotient), and AQ (Adaptability Quotient) need to be maintained and replenished through ongoing learning and a healthy dose of work/life balance. As the saying goes: “You can never get enough education”. This is especially true in areas outside of our industry.

6. Stand Out
Simply “doing a good job” won’t cut it in today’s work environment. While working to exceed your own goals, stand out from the crowd by supporting your team at the same time. Find ways to collaboratively solve business and team problems, and drive big opportunities. Also, don’t forget to get involved: events like RBC ICON are built to facilitate meaningful conversations between like-minded professionals at similar points in their career.

7. Get a Mentor
Above all, finding a mentor is of the utmost importance. Regardless of your place in work or life, we all need someone to give us advice along the way. 

Ready to experience your career’s Best Moments? Join our Financial Planning team at jobs.rbc.com/FinancialPlanning

Michael J. Walker is Vice President & Head, Mutual Funds Distribution & RBC Financial Planning, and has worked at RBC for almost three decades.