Anonymous 10 Sep 2017 at 1:54 am
I work in personal banking at the branch level writing loans and advising on mutual funds.
My branch manager doesn’t know what the CFA designation is or entails and where it can get you. When I first got hired I made it clear my goal was commercial banking/credit analysis eventually.
The manager now wants me pursuing certain banking certificates like the PFP-Personal Financial planner or CFP-Certified Financial Planner (you can find them on http://www.csi.ca) which are great for staying within the personal banking side and you can learn a lot about bank instruments and investment procedures but that’ll steer me away from my goal.
I really want to broaden and ultimately deepen my knowledge and understanding of finance which is one reason I’m pursuing the CFA designation.
There’s one colleague who mentioned to the manager about studying for level one and the manager blew it off and told the colleague to go for the CFP instead, and has been a bit less supportive of the colleague in their current role at the branch … Guess caused a bit of friction….but the colleague’s goal is commercial banking/IB as well.
I have my quarterly review in a while and I really want to disclose to the manager I’m pursuing the CFA exams…. It would just take a load off my shoulders but I’m really concerned it’ll back fire.
The manager keeps bringing up these personal banking certificates and courses but it’s not my path…
I have been networking with people within my institution in the commercial/IB departments who are charter holders and really support the pursuit…yet the Manager wouldn’t like the fact I’m investing time into it and I have the feeling they would use the excuse that I’m putting too much time into ‘activities outside work’ or something like that.
Has anyone experienced anything like this before or know someone who has ?
I’ve done the CFA where it wasn’t super relevant – at the time I was in advertising. I managed to convince my boss’ boss that it was a good idea though, even got them to pay for it.
If you’re sure that the reaction from your manager isn’t going to be good, there may not be any benefit in bringing it up. If your manager isn’t going to be happy with it, you’re unlikely to get support anyway.
Is speaking to a mentor (one that ideally is ranked higher than your manager and can see your side of things) possible?
Anonymous 10 Sep 2017 at 9:56 am
@Zee I’ve contacted a couple of people so just waiting to hear back from them. They’re higher up but just in different departments, who already have the charter.
May be better off not bringing it up.
By the way, pretty stellar you got the employer to pay for it and move forward with you even though it wasn’t necessarily part of the role!
Hey Deleted User,
Everyone has personal goals and aspirations and its always a good idea to do courses/certifications that can add value to your resume and long-term career prospects. Its not necessary to get support or approval from your Manager or someone else, but taking an opinion from a mentor or independent professional is a good idea. The Manager would encourage courses or personal development programs that are in-line with the company policy and that is his/her job. Even your employer/company would not support or sponsor a program that does not benefit them (so no free lunches buddy -:)). You have to invest in yourself to get what you want.
I personally did several certification courses in the past but became aware of CFA later and postponed my CFA plans for long. Later I realized that CFA is more valuable and how it can add value to my career or future prospects. The passing rate for different levels is low, which means clearing one level itself puts you ahead of 50% of the candidates. Having said that CFP and other courses are relevant and valuable in a different sector/industry. BTW lets also understand that getting designation will take 3 years or more, and completing one level doesn’t ensure you will get a job in desired field. Its all a part of the preparation to gradually move in to core-financial/managerial career in the long-run.
I don’t want to go in to CFA vs. CFP debate. However, if you are in banking/financial services there is no harm in getting qualified in PFP or CFP to maintain/advance your career/job in that field assuming you already have experience and knowledge that is good enough to help you prepare and pass the exams. Regardless of what your Manager says or thinks, if you can leverage both programs it would help accelerate your career. These two areas are not completely unrelated.
Remember, the competition is so high that you need to get the three letter designations because every tom, dick and harry has MBA. I guess its going to take a few years for you to probably move in to credit analysis or commercial banking because new employers will expect prior experience in those areas. So although its nice to do CFA to get in to credit analysis or investment banking, the path towards these may not be so easy or straight-forward. In any case you made a decision to work in personal banking to build experience although it was not your main goal, so continue with it until you achieve your long-term goals.
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