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Warning that not enough people are considering financial advisor as a career, yet it offers good pay and flexibility – exactly what most people say they want from work.
Like most young men Rohan Sivajoti didn’t really think about the benefits of flexible working until he became a father.
Now he’s grateful he works in a job that fits so well round his family.
Rohan’s a financial adviser. He works three and a half days a week, giving the rest of his time over to son Harrison.
“You’re seeing roles changing in society,” he says. “It’s not just man at work, woman at home and as men spend more time with their kids they realise how incredible they are and want to spend more time with them. I get people looking for financial advice on how they can change their lives to spend more time with their children. I understand that because I feel the same.”
Rohan, from Darlington, followed his dad into the financial advice as a profession. “He juggled work with bringing up four children. My mum did a lot of the looking after but he was always a role model.”
Rohan was unusual in considering financial advice as a job early on. Octopus Investments has called for more people to think about it as a career after commissioning research among students that found only around one in 10 would consider it and around one in three didn’t know what a financial adviser does. The firm has pointed to a potential shortage of financial advisers in future as more retire than take up the profession. That’s despite the job offering decent pay and lots of flexibility – the two things most people say they are looking for at work.
Around the time Harrison was born Rohan actually took a staff job with a firm in Manchester but he quit that because he didn’t feel he was spending enough time with his baby. Harrison turned three last week and unfortunately Rohan is now separated from his partner but he’s sharing the childcare 50/50. “Flexible working has become a necessity now,” he explains, “the job helps massively with that.” But there’s an added bonus. “One of the things I’ve noticed since I separated from my wife is that my relationship with Harrison has got stronger. When you’re in a couple you’re dealing with each other and you can take it for granted that you have a child around the place, now I’m more focussed on him. It’s a good thing that’s come out of the bad thing of separation.”
The Octopus Investments research also found that many people who take up financial advice as a career are very positive about it. Rohan fits that description, he clearly loves his job with his firm Postcard Planning. “It’s so rewarding if you do it properly,” he says, “you have to understand people’s hopes and aspirations and you can help make them happen, help people spend on the things that are good for them and even help them retire early. You get a lot of mental wellbeing from helping people like that and it’s a job that compensates you well too.”
He reckons spending more time with Harrison has made him a better financial adviser too. “I’ve got a better perspective, it’s helped me understand life better and that means I’m able to chat to clients about kids and family and I understand grandparents who come to talk to me and who are going through it all again.”
But fatherhood has its drawbacks. Harrison was born on Rohan’s 30th birthday. “It means I spend all my birthdays from now on at a softplay!” he laughs.