Scripting your own success story
Everyone has dreams. But it is what you do with these dreams that is important. Dreams, once you make the decision to act on them, can become reality.
Glynis Nunn, Australian Olympic Champion
There is no shortage of articles on the lack of women in the financial planning industry. Women seem reluctant to enter this still male-dominated career, and, it appears that when they do, the obstacles are numerous. In Wendy Phaka’s story here, you will read of courage, commitment and the care of colleagues, and how these transformed her challenges into opportunity …
I was 20 years old, and had recently completed my Certificate in Human Resources. I was full of hope for the start of a new career, but, the sad reality of South Africa is that, without any experience or contacts in the industry, finding a job seems an insurmountable challenge.
When my aunt, who worked at Chartered Wealth Solutions as a tea lady, took maternity leave, I filled in for her temporarily.
Some of the staff members – known affectionately within the company as the Chartered Crew – chatted to me about my plans for the future. As we got to know each other, they must have spotted something special in me – I like to think it is my commitment to doing whatever I do with excellence. I have also always held to the belief that I can improve my situation by working really hard.
Before I knew it, I was offered the opportunity to become part of a financial planning team as an administrator. This meant that I would be working with the team’s para-planners in attending to client queries, dealing with relevant companies regarding tax and penalties, and following up on queries with transactions.
I was both nervous and excited to be offered the position, but the practice’s team assured me that I would grow to be competent, with the right amount of mentoring.
When I started out, I was aware that I required some assistance in honing my skills. To begin with, I could not pronounce English words properly, my home language being Sepedi. Donovan Adams, CFP®, one of our financial planners, was willing to help. He heard that I lacked confidence when speaking over the phone. Donovan and I met three times a week to work on my pronunciation.
I, of course, also knew nothing about financial planning and its processes. Raquel Rodrigues, a para-planner, dedicated her time to training me in financial planning, our company values and goals – we spent two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoons every day going through what I needed to know. And the support did not end there …”
My future in financial planning has become more certain now that Chartered is funding my studies: I am studying towards a Certificate in Financial Planning.
With this foundation, I have hope of a bright future. I am honoured to be an employee at this company and am grateful for the opportunity I was offered. Without the commitment to mentoring me demonstrated by so many here, I would not have achieved the milestones that I have.
Wendy with one of the children at Tumi and Karabo Child Care Centre in Alexandra, a start-up business supported by Chartered in 2014.