Changing careers changed my life

From law to finance, how a bold career move made my life more rewarding and fulfilling.

I started my financial planning business because I want to create a better world, one person at a time. That might sound idealistic but I strongly believe that we can only achieve fulfillment in our careers if they are closely aligned to who we are, what we want to achieve, and how we want to contribute to the world.

My desire to give back to the community has always been there. But it was amplified when my father was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) at the age of 55. At the time I was working in a profession that I thought was right for me. Being a high profile lawyer and making lots of money – what else could you want in life, right?

Dad’s diagnosis made me take stock. As much as I enjoyed the human interaction of being a lawyer, I was experiencing the worst office environment of my life.

I took some time out to be with my family and reassess my future.

I vividly remember sitting out the front of a coffee shop in Auckland with my Dad. We were looking out across the bay to Rangitoto Island and chatting about how his claim on his income protection policy had been accepted. This meant he would receive a payout that would provide him with an income for the next 10 years, allowing him to focus on his health. Every detail of that conversation is etched in my mind – the stainless steel table and chairs, the chilly breeze on my face – because that was the moment I knew I needed to sort my own finances out. It was also the start of a new beginning for me.

I kicked into action reading all I could on money. The classic Robert Kiyosaki Rich Dad Poor Dad books that I’d owned since my student days were taken off the bookshelf and devoured. As I read and learned and read again, I started talking to others around me. I realised there was so much about this world of finance that people just don’t know.

That’s when my mission in life changed. I no longer wanted to be a lawyer.

I didn’t want to go back to that terrible office. I’d found a new purpose – helping people with their finances. And a new mission – to help people understand the small changes they could make that would change their world and their future self.

I started studying and applying for jobs. It certainly wasn’t easy, I was a 30-something-year-old woman with no experience in the industry. I sent out 300 CVs and attended a handful of interviews before one man took a chance on me. He saw something that no one else did and I am eternally grateful that he gave me a go. I started working in the finance world and I loved every minute of it.

With each passing day my life’s purpose became clearer.

As my journey progressed, I formed more and more connections with clients, becoming integrated within their lives and families. I became a confidante and a key member of their support network. When they were hit with the unexpected, like when illness struck, I was one of the people they called.

Looking back to my time as ‘Nicola the lawyer’, I know I made the right choice.

I have no regrets in changing my life’s purpose. The fulfillment I get from helping people live better lives goes way beyond what I ever expected.

In addition to the support I provide through my business, I also make sure I give back to the community through pro bono work. As a member and board director of the Pro Bono Financial Advice Network (PFAN), I provide financial advice and support to individuals, their families and carers in their time of need. I am honoured to be collaborating with PFAN’s board to prepare and present a series of webinars targeted to individuals with MS about the benefit of obtaining financial advice. Following my Dad’s diagnosis, this is and always will be a cause very close to my heart.

It’s been seven years since I started my new career in the finance industry and my entire world has changed. I started with no experience at all and yet in the past seven years I’ve done more to give back to the world than I ever did during my 10 years in law.

Reassessing your life and realising that where you’re heading isn’t where you want to be, is tough.

It takes guts to make a change. It takes grit, determination and a large serving of humble pie to start from scratch. But it is so, so worth it.

I know I am doing exactly what I set out to – changing the world, one person at a time.

I love sharing the story of my career change and inspiring others to transform their passion into a profession. If you’re looking for a captivating speaker for your next event, I am available to speak at national and international events. Find out more.

Nicola Beswick is a financial adviser, mentor and confidante based in Melbourne, Australia who empowers people to create a financially certain future free from stress and uncertainty.

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General advice disclaimer: This article has been prepared by FMD Financial and is intended to be a general overview of the subject matter. The information in this article is not intended to be comprehensive and should not be relied upon as such. In preparing this article we have not taken into account the individual objectives or circumstances of any person. Legal, financial and other professional advice should be sought prior to applying the information contained on this article to particular circumstances. FMD Financial, its officers and employees will not be liable for any loss or damage sustained by any person acting in reliance on the information contained on this article. FMD Group Pty Ltd ABN 99 103 115 591 trading as FMD Financial is a Corporate Authorised Representative of FMD Advisory Services Pty Ltd AFSL 232977. The FMD advisers are Authorised Representatives of FMD Advisory Services Pty Ltd AFSL 232977.