It was a late Sunday evening about a month ago. I couldn’t sleep and out of boredom went on reed.co.uk to check out what else is there. I guess I was having a crappy day as well.
So I thought I send my resume off to 3 job ads. I quickly updated my resume with my qualifications and job info and a few minutes later it was done.
Somehow I fell asleep.
First thing in the morning I applied to another 4 jobs… mostly because the previous day I thought I wasn’t good enough but in the morning I was happy to apply. Or maybe it’s the case that the morning isn’t as wise as the evening. It’ll remain a mystery.
The first phone call from a recruiter happened at 7:50 AM. I had a quick chat with the guy and then started towards work. It was a 40-50 minute walk to work. During that stroll I received another 4 phone calls from recruiters. Once I got to work I had to put my phone on silent because I was being sneaky and didn’t tell anybody about my plans to jump ship.
Throughout that day I received another 20+ calls, a bunch of texts and emails from recruiters. It felt good to be in demand, very good.
The ones I called back told me that their interest was high mostly because of my quick progression with industry exams. I was glad all that studying was starting to pay off.
My inbox was full of job opportunities. If I was interested I replied “interested”, otherwise “not interested”. Oneliners seemed like douchy replies but I had so many emails to go through.
I had three job interviews that week. I didn’t like the first one – the managing director pretty much insulted me right to my face. He said that I would never be able to advise British clients because I’m Estonian and therefore can only have Estonian clients and there’s not many of them around… I think he didn’t realize what he did so he just continued talking. Anywho, I wasn’t interested in working for that asshole.
The second company seemed nice at first but as the interview progressed I gradually realized how dodgy of a firm they were. For example one of their advisers wasn’t even level 4 (the minimum requirement to legally give financial advice in the UK). Another thing: the list of responsibilities kept getting longer and longer as the interview progressed. Red flags everywhere. No deal.
The third company was a “good” firm. There are a couple of them in London. This Chartered Financial Advisor had a very good reputation in the industry. However, the interview was the shortest in my life. I shared my opinions on financial markets, cashflow forecasting etc and got into a bit of a debate with the director who interviewed me. And then he said “I’m going to stop the interview now.” He said that he doesn’t want people in his office thinking like me. That came as a surprise. A minute later I found myself on the other side of the building’s front door.
I had an exam on the following Monday. This was the R06 (Financial Planning Practice) exam which I failed back in January this year. I had my fourth job interview 2 hours after the exam.
Now this company was fancy as hell. The interview was on the top floor of the building with a fantastic view over London. Its location was nice and central. It was beautiful.
I had a one hour “structural” interview followed by a 50 question multiple-choice knowledge test. I didn’t even know they were going to test me, so I had no prior preparation. I knew my test wasn’t my best and felt a bit crappy about it when I handed it over. I thought, “oh well, I tried”.
After that interview I had a second interview at the dodgy company. Another guy from the firm wanted to have a chat and I was in the area, so I figured I might as well meet him. The red flags remained. I got a better understanding of how their team worked. It was a small company and I guess you need to cut a few corners when you’re small and growing. Otherwise the interview went really well.
Next day I went to work as usual. I had a crapload of work to do because things just pile up when you’re off work “studying for exams”. I ignored my phone and email throughout the day.
I had a few missed calls but didn’t call back because Tuesday was salsa and bachata day. I was too busy to care and needed a bit of time off from everything.
Wednesday was very similar to Tuesday at work. However on the train onroute to London (Wednesday is zouk day) I got a phone call from the recruiter who got me the interview at the fancy company with the nice view over London. He said that they were very pleased with me and that my test went very well. He wanted to let me know that the fancy people wanted to get me onboard. I accepted. The offer was too good to say no.
Now I’m one of the fancy people and just finished my first week there. I’m required to wear a suit and a tie. Except on Fridays. Fridays are barefoot Fridays 🙂
Here’s a pic of me just being nervous me on my first day (I didn’t know I needed a tie):
My new manager told me that my test score was the highest she’s seen anyone get. Looks like I know a thing or two about financial planning.
Speaking of tests, I passed the R06 exam as well. Now I’m only one exam away from the Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning. However I won’t get the title “chartered” until I get 5 years of industry experience. I think it’s still worth getting the exams out of the way.
Now I’m living and working in London. The first week’s been very busy but good. I’m enjoying it.