To some, finance can seem like a man’s world—but Fidelity Investments is helping to set a new standard. The multinational financial services company is already pacing above the industry average and has made it a priority to attract more women to financial services (Interested? Apply here!). Together, we’re highlighting women who are thriving in finance, to hear their experiences in the industry, and get their best career advice. Below, Katie, a Financial Consultant at Fidelity Investments with 5 years of industry experience tells us how she “fell in love with finance.”

What is your favorite part about your workday or role?

I have the honor of learning the most intimate/exciting/scary moments of people’s lives as a financial planner, and my favorite part of the day is getting to meet new people. Everyone I meet with has a different story, and I usually walk away gaining a new perspective about life and what’s actually important.  

You work at one of the world’s largest financial services companies. What is one common misconception people may have about working in the financial services industry?

One of the biggest misconceptions is that financial planners are in “sales.” To me, sales means you are trying to sell someone a product for the purpose of receiving compensation. In reality, working in the financial services industry means you are providing solutions that clients need in order to meet their personal goals. The misconception that you must be “salesy” to succeed, I believe, is one of the largest reasons people do not pursue finance as their career. What separates a good advisor from an extraordinary advisor is someone who knows the difference and puts the client and their needs above all.

What’s the best and worst professional advice you’ve ever been given?

The best professional advice I have been given is to be great at your current role, so that you never have to interview for your next role. The worst piece of advice I have been given is to focus solely on self-improvement. In any work environment, you are only as good as the weakest link on your team. The way to truly seek self-improvement is by collaborating with your team, sharing best practices and being motivated to help those around you.

For our readers out there who are trying to land their dream job at a company like Fidelity Investments, what are your best interview tips?

When interviewing, I think it is important to remember that employers want to know that you possess qualities that aren’t easily taught such as how you handle feedback, how motivated you are to do the job well and your ability to adapt to the work culture.

Networking is incredibly important in every industry. What are your best tips on finding a mentor and networking?

The first step in networking is having open communication with your manager about what you’re interested in learning, so that they can provide you with resources and with the names of potential connections. Once you’ve been given names, reach out, set up a meeting to get to know them, and learn more about their role. The best thing you can do to network is to put yourself in a position where you are visible to people with seniority in the company.

How does the culture at your company empower you to blaze your own trail?

Unlike any other employer I have ever had, Fidelity provides every employee with resources to learn and grow. Through all of my roles here, I have had coaches, managers and mentors who have taken the initiative to get to know me and my goals, and have provided me with a path to achieve them. Fidelity also does this by providing an open forum to learn about other careers at the firm, including their “Career Day,” planning town halls with our leadership team and finally, by helping employees achieve their personal professional goals.

What does work/life balance mean to you?

Work/life balance means not having to sacrifice one for the other. It is the balance between having the support to do your job well and the support to know that you have the flexibility to do what you need for you and family. Work/life balance allows you to mentally, physically and emotionally separate one from the other, so as to achieve satisfaction both at work and at play.

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