Irish novelist and poet James Joyce once said, “A man’s error’s are his portals of discovery.” While I agree with Joyce in concept, in reality, we all want to make as few mistakes as possible – particularly as they relate to our careers. Especially during this time of uncertainty, with many firms imploding and others consolidating, it has become even more important for advisors to carefully consider career moves. Fortunately, with enough knowledge and counsel, there are ways to navigate the career path minefield and learn from the mistakes and missteps of those who have gone before us. Sometimes, though, that’s easier said than done.
Take Fred, a $5 million wirehouse advisor who runs a primarily international business on the West Coast, and is extremely unhappy at his firm. For the past eight years, Fred and I have spoken about his business and growing frustrations related to the firm’s changing culture, increased bureaucracy, and limits on doing his business. He has done some due diligence in fits and starts during that time, but gets overwhelmed quickly with the process and life’s complexities. He decides to put on his blinders once again where he is, despite many of his colleagues leaving for greener pastures.