The Next Chapter

Today is the day.

Today is the day I update my LinkedIn profile, Twitter, Facebook, blog and other professional bios with my new employer. After almost nine years, I am no longer an employee of Huber Financial Advisors.

Gasp.

Those of you who know me well, this probably comes as a shock. Quite frankly I was shocked when I learned that Huber Financial, the firm the developed me from a fresh college grad to the young professional I am today, was going away. More on that later.

I say some of you may be shocked because I often told friends and acquaintances that I was the anti-millennial, despite my age. Anti-millennial in the sense that I haven’t hopped around from job to job like the stereotypical millennial. I have made the comment on many occasions that I will likely be that weirdo that only works for one company her entire life because I am so passionate about my work and felt so lucky to end up at a firm that has always supported me and my professional endeavors.

I’m not going to lie. This was a very hard post for me to write but I want to share this big life update with those of you who have been along for the ride with me here on the Financial Fashion Planner.

Looking Back

I shared a little bit about my job and my career path with Huber Financial in this post but given this is the end of a big chapter in my life, I thought it proper to take a moment to reflect. To reflect on my time at Huber, the various positions I held and all the opportunities and support they provided as I grew into the young professional I am today.

It all started back in 2011, I was in my sophomore year of college studying finance with a minor in financial planning. It was the beginning of my first semester and the professors were already encouraging summer internships. As I shared in my personal story, around this same time my dad started working for Huber Financial as a wealth manager. My mom and dad were on campus for one of my diving meets that fall and I shared with him my goal of landing a summer internship in the financial planning industry.

Intern Years

I was given the name and number of the company’s president and was told ‘Good Luck’. I reached out, booked an interview and drove myself to Huber’s old office in Buffalo Grove for my interview. I was so nervous, I remember spending hours picking out my outfit for my interview. I remember events and periods of my life by what I was wearing. For some people they associate memories with smell or a song, for me its clothing.

I remember not having a “professional” winter coat to wear to my interview in the middle of winter so my mom let me wear one of my grandmother’s floor length cream wool coats. Carla, who greeted me at the front desk with a friendly smile, must have had a good laugh when I walked through the door. I can only imagine how awkward I must have looked in an over-sized wool coal, like a child playing dress-up.

I got the internship for the summer after my sophomore year and was asked back for a second summer after my junior year. It was incredible experience, I learned what it’s like to work in an office, how to interact with co-workers and build a strong rapport. My organization skills were activated by the various projects I was given (The Great Scanning Fiasco of 2012) and my love for financial planning was ignited.

At the conclusion of my second summer internship, I was presented with a full-time offer to join Huber in the summer of 2013 as a Client Service Director. They had a member of their team retiring which left a need in at the office that I was more than happy to fill! I stepped back on campus for my senior year with a job offer already in hand and excited to learn as much as possible about my future industry to help propel me into my career.

A Working Woman

I started as a full-time employee at the end of May 2013 after having a few weeks of “summer vacation”. By this point, Huber had already expanded into their Lincolnshire office. I couldn’t wait to have my very own cubical and be a full time member of this family I had already grown to love.

My first few years at Huber I was working as a Client Service Associate and supported two financial advisors. Two advisors quickly grew to three advisors as Huber continued to grow and attract new talent. It was during these years that I studied religiously for my CFP (R), learned how to be an advocate for my clients and experienced first hand the positive impact our financial advisors had on their clients. With the passing of my the CFP (R) exam, adding those three coveted letters next to my name, I also passed into a new role at Huber as a financial planner.

This next step as a financial planner was a big one, especially since I was going to be the first ever financial planner at Huber Financial. With the constant support of my advisors and our leadership team, I was able to work with everyone to create this role that was part of a bigger career path towards financial advisor. At the time of promotion, I was excited for my new role and responsibilities but equally excited for the talent that joined the Huber after me that would now have a clear and defined career path to follow.

During my time as a financial planner, I had the opportunity to present the plans I created in meetings and see first hand the relationships that form between client and advisor. It was during this stage that my planning technical abilities grew and I found confidence in delivering planning ideas and topics to the end client. This only left me hungry to be more involved in meetings and work even harder towards my goal of becoming a financial advisor.

That day came last June, I remember exactly what I was wearing when I was delivered the news of my promotion. It was a surreal moment, one that I had been dreaming about my entire career. I sat in the chair across from my mentors mentally telling myself ‘keep it together’, ‘deep breaths’ and ‘you’re not going to cry’ on loop the entire meeting. While I am proud to say I held it together, I’m pretty sure I ran into my dad’s office immediately after the meeting to share the good news and let out a few tears of joy. The day had finally come and I had been validated by my work family as a financial advisor.

I am still relatively new to this financial advisor role but have enjoyed every minute. I am in the middle of putting together a presentation I am giving in a few weeks at my Alma mater to students exploring career options in the finance industry and one of the topics the professors asked me to cover is the likes and dislikes of being advisor. I must admit that I am really struggling to identify things about my job that I dislike. Yes, there are challenges like networking, business development and facing rejection. But those are challenges not dislikes. I’ve learned to embrace these challenges and allow myself to be pushed out of my comfort zone. I’ve learned and experienced that growth comes from being uncomfortable.

For those of you who are still reading. Thank you. Selfishly, I needed a space to write down everything that has been circulating in my head the past few months. As I mention in other posts, self reflection is so important and allows for perspective and growth.

A New Partnership

So where am I going?

Earlier this year, Huber Financial announced that they were partnering with Savant Capital Management. This was breaking news in the personal finance industry especially within the Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) space. For those of you interested, here are some of the articles that were published on the merger in industry publications and by a wonderful investment blogger who happens to be my office neighbor (go follow @bpsandpieces!).

As of mid-February, the merger closed and all of Huber Financial’s employees are now employees of Savant Capital Management. Hence the employer change across the many social platforms.

While it’s bittersweet saying goodbye to the firm that shaped me into the professional I am today, I am excited and encouraged for this next adventure with Savant Capital Management. The sweet part in all of this is the ability to continue working my colleagues and clients. As Phil put it nicely in his post, it’s not about the name on the door it’s about the people inside. I am so grateful to continue on this journey with those wonderful people and look forward to meeting all my new co-workers. This “family serving families” is getting bigger and I see that as a positive.

Looking Forward

I am so excited for this next chapter in my career and am proud to represent the Savant Capital Management name. With this next step only comes a greater opportunity to serve my clients as a fiduciary.

Cheers to the next chapter!

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