I am a Business Executive in the financial services sector. I have been operating in this capacity for about 15 years.
I manage clients and help to create financial plans for new ones. My work includes creating financial plans for individuals and businesses. One of the biggest misconceptions about business executives is we are all lazy and fly private jets. Most of us are pretty average, hard-working wage earners.
On a scale of one to 10, I would rate my job satisfaction as a 10. I enjoy helping others meet their financial goals and working with new clients on a regular basis. I think a less demanding work schedule and a better work/life balance would allow me to unleash my full enthusiasm.
I have been in finance for as long as I can remember. I’ve always been interested in running a business, and I studied all that I could about the world of finance. When I started college, I knew I wanted to be a business executive, and I genuinely feel that it is my sweet spot in life.
One of the things that is unique about my situation is that I was not always on the track to working in the corporate arena. I originally wanted to be a small business owner and work in a local community as an insurance agent or . A summer internship was my discovery into the world of corporate finance.
I studied finance in college, and dug very deeply into the field of study. I took a summer internship at a large investment bank and learned everything I could about the field. If I could go back and do things differently, I would have taken a second internship and branched out into other areas of business management.
In this job, there are many hard lessons to learn. For one thing, nothing is guaranteed. I have found out the hard way that it is not wise to make promises to clients that you can’t keep. I lost a major client for the company when an expected transaction didn’t turn out the way we had promised.
The single most important thing that I have learned outside of school about the working world is that learning doesn’t stop when you graduate. You have to keep up with changing technology and new information or you will be left behind.
The strangest thing that has happened to me in this job was a prospective client who insisted on meeting me in his home to discuss his portfolio. It was definitely a departure from the norm, but we accommodated him. He turned out to be one of our best clients.
I get up and go to work each day to make a difference in other people’s lives. I really feel good or proud when I see my account executives working hard to make people’s financial goals come to fruition. With the economy’s challenges, it’s great to be able to help hard-working people get their financial lives back on track. It’s also a source of pride to help small businesses flourish and thrive in the community.
There are many challenges associated with the job. I have to deal with very high, pressure-cooker situations on a regular basis. Some factors are out of the realm of the company’s control, and it makes you want to tear your hair out daily. Market fluctuations, natural disasters, international events—there are many things that can affect your work and make it more difficult.
On a scale of one to 10, I would say the stress level of being a business executive is about a 10. There are all sorts of situations that need your attention, fires to put out and problems to solve. During some periods, I work 70-hour weeks. It doesn’t allow for a healthy work-life balance. The important thing is to be aware of when your stress levels are high and deal with them before they become a problem. It’s a high-stress position, but I enjoy every minute of it.
A rough salary range for the position I hold is around $250,000. The position also includes a generous benefit package, commissions and bonuses. The starting salary for my position is around $175,000 and increases with experience. I believe I am paid enough, and I am quite happy living within my means. I will admit it takes a lot of “paying your dues” to work your way up to my position, but our company definitely rewards you for your hard work. Many of our executives started off as interns, assistants and entry-level account executives.
I am allowed up to four weeks vacation every year. I usually don’t take all of my vacation days, especially during busy periods at the office. I know it is better for me to take my vacation time to recharge, but I find it hard to completely disconnect. Even when I am not in the office, I’m checking e-mail, sending out updates, and delegating tasks. Next year I plan to take a luxury cruise with my wife–and leave my cell phone at home!
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