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The transition from electrician to financial advisor may not seem like an obvious career path. But it’s one that makes sense to Tyler McIntosh – and to his managers and mentors at RBC.

One of Canada’s largest employers, RBC, is in the vanguard of what’s being called a reskilling revolution. With its recent inclusion in the World Economic Forum’s Future Skills Alliance, RBC joins a community of employers, learning providers and others committed to adopting skills-first talent management practices. The objective is to give every current and potential worker a fair and equal opportunity to excel in the global labour market.

The pandemic, which prompted many to rethink their options and priorities, played a key role in the reimagining of the workplace.

“Employees are expecting more from their employers,” says Lisa Melo, vice president, learning and performance. “They want to work where they can develop new skills and grow their careers as a result.”

“More than ever, skills are the foundation of how people connect with relevant work and development opportunities, not just their previous job roles.”

That is certainly the case for McIntosh. Growing up in Kingston, Ontario, he didn’t know what he wanted to do when he graduated from high school. To earn a living while he figured it out, he took up the same trade as some family members and became a third-generation electrician.
It was a job and a way to pay the bills, but it wasn’t until McIntosh started serving on the executive board of the local electricians’ union that he found his true calling. His responsibilities as a pension trustee and then as a health and welfare trustee helped him develop financial acumen while also reaffirming his passion for helping others.

With that, McIntosh made the bold decision to leave his trade of 13 years and start over. The fact he didn’t have a university degree and would begin again at an entry level didn’t faze him.

“I’ve never been scared of taking on a new challenge,” says McIntosh, who joined RBC as a banking advisor in August 2021. “I know what it’s like to be an apprentice and I looked at it as another apprenticeship.”

He credits his managers with helping him achieve his goals by encouraging him and ensuring he received the internal and external training required for the next step in his career —becoming an accredited financial advisor in October 2023.

McIntosh now works in one of RBC’s new fully digital branches which allows advisors to work side-by-side with clients educating and helping them using digital tools available on site.

He says he’s able to help more people in person with in-depth financial advice than he once thought possible. The branch’s digital focus also has him pondering other opportunities.
“There’s so much potential to grow here,” he says. “RBC has so many different career paths to go down and my manager encourages me to see what else the bank has to offer.”

If McIntosh does decide to switch course once again, RBC can to help him with training programs and courses designed to meet evolving business and individual needs. LEAP, for example, is an immersive and structured social learning experience and a way to reskill or upskill alongside colleagues.

Melo says that in a fast-moving competitive world being able to continuously learn new skills is key to success.

“Always have a growth mindset, be willing to try new things and explore different career journeys,” she says. “Most importantly, work somewhere where you’re supported in your career growth, with leaders who invest in your success, upskilling, mentoring and experiential learning.”

This article was originally published in The Globe and Mail as part of RBC’s recognition as one of Canada’s Top Employers.

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This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subject matter discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.