3 Reasons Why We Will Need More Certified Financial Planners

3 Reasons Why We Will Need More Certified Financial Planners

In the following article, Lewis Daidone discusses the reasons why becoming a Certified Financial Planner could be an excellent career choice

One of the fastest growing professions within the world of financial services is the role of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP). If you’re a charismatic go-getter with a gift for numbers, this might be the career for you. Here’s why CFP services are going to become increasingly valuable.

The population is aging.

People are living longer, and the need for stable finances throughout retirement is going to increase. One of the biggest worries of soon-to-be retirees is running out of money as they age. There are millions of seniors who will need solid retirement, insurance, tax, and estate planning advice, and the numbers are only going to get bigger.

College degrees are essential, but the costs are increasing.

Even though it is generally agreed that a college education is crucial to finding skilled employment, paying for college is a bigger challenge than it was even 20 years ago. Parents need to set up funds for their children’s educations, and they need the help of CFPs to assist them in determining the best strategies.

Children are caring for diminished parents.

Although people are beginning to outlive their ability to care for themselves, a disturbingly large percentage of the population doesn’t plan for the possibility of physical or age-related cognitive decline. In addition, a shocking number of elderly folks experience some kind of financial fraud. While children might do their best to help their elderly parents, many simply don’t have the time or the financial/accounting acumen to make the appropriate decisions or prevent the predatory practices of criminals preying on the elderly. As a result, having the requisite skills to assist people with a limited ability to understand their finances and provide valuable guidance and support as it relates to protecting their assets will be in high demand as the population ages.

Lewis Daidone is a Certified Public Accountant and a consultant to technology companies and financial services firms.

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Have you had Multiple Jobs in a Short Time Horizon? Here’s How to Address the “Job Hopper” Characterization

Have you had Multiple Jobs in a Short Time Horizon? Here’s How to Address the “Job Hopper” Characterization

In the following article, Lewis Daidone discusses how you can not only overcome the potentially negative perception associated with job hopping, but how you can use it to your advantage.

The past ten years have been tough—a crushing recession, dramatic company downsizings, and job scarcity. As a result, long stretches of unemployment weren’t unusual. However, what about too many jobs? While a person who’s had more than five jobs in the previous decade may seem perfectly capable of finding employment, what does it say about that person’s commitment? Employers have a term for this: “Job Hopper.”

Unfortunately, employers can be a bit skittish about hiring job hoppers. Why should they take a chance on someone who’ll just move on after one or two years? If you’ve had numerous jobs in the past few years, here’s what you can do to make yourself appealing to potential employers.

Emphasize the positive reasons for your moves.

Did you move into a more senior role with expanded responsibilities? Was your current company experiencing financial difficulties, or was there a limited career path? Did you move to a more prestigious firm? These are all very valid reasons for moving on and should not only be stressed in your cover letter but during the interview as well.

Stress your adaptability.

Job hoppers can adapt to different company cultures with relative ease, and they can also learn quickly. You’ve amassed a wealth of knowledge about best practices, new technologies, and the competition. Demonstrate to your prospective employer how you can leverage your diverse skill set – and contacts – to their benefit.

Be honest about what you’re looking for.

If you’ve job-hopped strategically, let your prospective employer know what you had hoped to achieve, and if you succeeded. Many top-performers find that it’s actually easier to move to a different company for more money or better opportunities, than it is to do so within the same organization. If the company offers the kind of opportunities you’re seeking, don’t hesitate to let them know it.

Job hoppers used to get a bad rap, but they can be immensely valuable to companies. You have to have tremendous skill, ambition, and initiative to successfully adapt to different organizations and cultures, and an increasing number of companies are recognizing that fact.

Lewis Daidone is a Certified Public Accountant and a consultant to tech companies and financial services firms.

How Not to Quit Your Job: Advice for Leaving Without Burning Bridges

How Not to Quit Your Job: Advice for Leaving Without Burning Bridges

In the following article, Lewis Daidone discusses the professional way to leave your place of employment.

We’ve all had them. Job experiences that were so miserable that the thought of quitting once and for all made us dance with unbridled joy. Even though we might desperately want to blast the song “Take this Job and Shove It” as we leave the building, we should nonetheless control our emotions and exit professionally. Of course, “professionally” means different things to different people, so here is what you definitely shouldn’t do on your last day.

Don’t make a scene.

As satisfying as it might seem to quit a terrible job in a memorable way, it’s never wise to make a spectacle of yourself. For one thing, it’s possible that you could unknowingly violate an HR policy if your antics are extreme, and even if you don’t, your behavior would effectively eliminate any future possibility for references – and you want to avoid that all costs. Frankly, although it may seem temporarily appealing, you never want to be characterized as the bitter person who danced to Kanye West on YouTube.

Don’t tell your coworkers what you really think of them.

If you despise the people you work with, keep it to yourself, and definitely don’t commit your vitriolic feelings to email. You might feel as though you’d rather die than ask them for anything (like a recommendation), but the time may come when one of those people on the receiving end of your venom may be in a position of influence.

Don’t just disappear.

It is not professional and it causes disruption. It may even cause concern for your well-being.

When you quit your job, make sure you follow all the proper protocols: Give two weeks’ notice; write a letter of resignation; and do your best to provide proper training to your replacement. The basic Boy Scout campground rule applies here: “Leave it cleaner than when you found it.”

Lewis Daidone is a Certified Public Accountant and a consultant to tech companies and financial services firms.

Stuck In A Rut? How You Know When It’s Time To Leave

Stuck In A Rut? How You Know When It’s Time To Leave

In the following article, Lewis Daidone discusses recognizing and interpreting signs that you’re advancement opportunities within your current organization just aren’t there. Lewis Daidone is a Certified Public Accountant and a consultant to tech companies and financial services firms.

Have you been languishing in the same role within your company for several years? Is it because your performance has been competent, but not stellar? Or have you just reached the limit to where you can ascend to professionally within this organization? In the first instance, you’ll want to have a frank discussion with management about how your performance meets expectations. It is not easy to self-assess and listen to criticism, but do your best to be objective and open minded. If there are no performance issues then you need to determine it’s time to make a move. In fact, if you notice the following signs, you might want to consider accelerating your job search.

Your duties have been essentially the same for a number of years.

If you have truly done your best and you have no indication from management that you have performance issues, this could be a sign that the firm is not financially sound; particularly if your colleagues are in the same boat that you are. Clearly this is a situation where you would need to make a change.

Your company has merged with another firm, and there is staff in place whose core responsibilities mirror your own.

This can be an alarming situation, but don’t lose your cool. It will take time to determine the new hierarchy and how redundancies will be resolved. Unfortunately, senior management may not be very forthcoming during the decision making process, so you’ll have to keep your eyes and ears open. During this transition period you will want to always put your best foot forward in terms of your work ethic and productivity; but you should also hedge your bet by researching opportunities outside of your firm.

Management is interviewing outside candidates for a position you thought would be a good fit for you.

If you’ve made it clear that you were interested in taking over the position, this is an especially poignant sign that you’re probably not on a track for advancement.

Remember, the important thing is to find a position that not only offers you the opportunities you currently want, but also provides you with a long term career path for advancement. Whatever you do, make sure your decision is well thought-out and deliberate, take your time because the choice you make today will impact your career for years to come.

Are You Using Social Media Effectively? 3 Ways Accountants Can Optimize Their Social Media Presence

Are You Using Social Media Effectively? 3 Ways Accountants Can Optimize Their Social Media Presence

In the following post, Lewis Daidone discusses how accountants can make social media platforms effective tools for working with clients and establishing thought leadership. Lewis Daidone is a Certified Public Accountant and a consultant to tech companies and financial services firms.

New graduates certainly aren’t unfamiliar with the broad spectrum of social media platforms, but many are nonetheless failing to use it to their professional advantage. If you’ve primarily used your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages for posting pictures of food and flower crown selfies, you’re missing out on important business opportunities. Here are the first steps you must take to build an effective, strategic, and professional social media presence.

Specify your target audience.

It isn’t enough to simply make your Facebook page less juvenile; you have to have a content strategy that speaks to a particular segment within your industry, and you have to exploit the appropriate platform. Of course, it is essential to have a consistently active LinkedIn page, but you also want to use the same channels that your ideal clients do. If you target clients in the fashion industry, for example, photo-sharing sites like Instagram are more likely to have the kind of reach you’re looking for.

Develop content that establishes your subject matter expertise.

If you have well-thought out ideas and innovations, create content that showcases your enthusiasm and dedication to effective accounting practices. Is tax season coming? Post snippets of advice and moderate questions and discussions. If you have a knack for audio/visual technology, film video clips of yourself offering advice and tutorials for students or prospective clients. Make yourself accessible, engaging, and available.

Scrutinize those metrics and set benchmarks.

You’re probably no stranger to key performance indicators, so set some for your social media accomplishments. How many shares, likes, comments do different posts receive? How many should they receive? These metrics can help you develop your long-term strategy, and ensure you’re hitting your targets.

Accountants aren’t widely known for their social media savvy, but if you execute your outreach strategy with the same analytical acumen you use for accounting, eventually your efforts will pay professional dividends,

Nailing the CFO Interview Part 3: After the Interview

Nailing the CFO Interview Part 3: After the Interview

In the final post in this series, Lewis Daidone discusses the importance of conducting the job interview follow-up effectively. Lewis Daidone is a Certified Public Accountant and a consultant to financial services firms and tech companies.

 You might think that nailing the CFO job interview is the final hurdle of the process. Here’s how you can continue to give your prospective employer a fantastic impression of your abilities right up until your first day at the office.

Send one follow-up email, and make sure it makes an impression.

Do not bombard the CFO with follow-up questions and calls. Send your thank you message 24 hours post-interview, and then back off.

Your message should contain a reference to a subject that was discussed during the interview. If you have a book or article recommendation, make sure to mention it. Also, if you want to follow-up on an interview topic, or if you want to elaborate on something that was said, the thank-you note is a good vehicle for additional information. Just don’t make it overly long. Three paragraphs maximum.

Do not try to connect with the CFO on social media.

After a successful interview, you might be tempted to connect with your interviewer on LinkedIn. Resist this temptation. It might be seen as presumptuous or invasive. (If the CFO requests a connection from you, however, that’s a great sign!)

Keep the details of your interview off of your blog/social media.

Once again, social media can be a job application trip wire. Don’t mention your interview in any respect, and definitely don’t complain about the interview or the company.

If you have other job offers, don’t use them to strong-arm the CFO into making a decision. However, if you decide to go with another company before you are offered the position, make sure you notify the CFO . If the CFO was on the fence regarding your hire, it could reinforce your value since another company is willing to commit to hire you. Also, it may prompt the CFO to stop dragging his feet and make a decision. In either case, if this was your position of first choice it could work to your benefit!

Turning the Informational Interview into a Job

Turning the Informational Interview into a Job

You don’t necessarily have to wait for a job opening at your dream company. In the following article, Lewis Daidone offers strategies that will help you get ahead of the competitive curve through informational interviews. Lewis Daidone is a Certified Public Accountant and a consultant to financial services firms and tech companies.

 Do you dream of working for a particular company? But there aren’t any current open positions that fit your skill set and/or experience. You may still be able to meet with company representatives through informational interviews. Showing initiative and interest in a company will go a long way towards putting yourself in the best position for future opportunities .

Although not very common, these question-and-answer sessions are fantastic tools for introducing yourself to executives and corporate decision-makers, as well as getting a good idea of the company’s culture. Here are a few tips for scoring valuable informational interviews.

Research multiple organizations.

Since informational interviews aren’t necessarily a standard process for most companies, make sure you research these organizations thoroughly before reaching out for your interview. Sites like Glassdoor will give you an idea of how employees feel about the company and whether or not it is managed by the kind of team that would welcome preliminary interviews.

Prepare yourself.

This isn’t a traditional job interview—in a sense, you’re the interviewer. It is crucial that you prepare your topics and questions in advance. Make sure that you are well versed with the company’s products and/or services and can intelligently articulate how your skills and experience can benefit the firm. Thoughtfully prepare your resume and/or CV with this company in mind; highlight experience that would be of interest to potential hiring managers.

Follow up

Send everyone you spoke to a thank you letter or email the day after the interview. Highlight the value of specific suggestions made or other important information conveyed during the interview. It not only demonstrates that you were engaged in the conversation, but reinforces your genuine interest in the company.

You don’t have to wait for specific job opportunities to fall into your lap—you can create great opportunities for yourself!