In Focus: Vulnerability  

It's okay to admit you're vulnerable

Simoney Kyriakou

Simoney Kyriakou

For advisers and paraplanners, for whom this is a 'people first' industry, not being able to see people in the flesh has been very hard.

Your own health, as well as that of your clients, is naturally also a concern. Some of you may know of people in your close circle who have contracted Covid-19. 

Mental and physical ill health is not just something that happens to other people or to your clients. And it is okay for you to acknowledge that you are not supernaturally impervious to such circumstances. You're human, and vulnerable and there's no shame in admitting it. 

Therefore despite good news about the Covid-19 vaccine and the great strides taken in terms of technology to allow us to work from home and avoid unnecessary travel, it is perfectly justifiable for some advisers to feel as vulnerable as their clients. 

"But they rely on me to be strong for them; what if I cannot be strong for myself?"

I hear you. I've said the same thing too about my own family and my team. "I have to keep going, regardless."

But actually, we don't. We need to stop and find ways to care for ourselves, too, this year.

We are all potentially vulnerable and yet we bottle up our fears and worries. But this doesn't help us, and eventually will not help others.

Be open with someone. Find a support group or accountability triangle of peers you trust. Be open about your fears and talk these through with people going through the same thing as you. Learning from each other's experience is a great support mechanism. 

If you need a break - take one. You are allowed to have a long weekend to recharge your batteries or to take time out to recalibrate your business plans. You are allowed to admit vulnerability. 

And tell us what you would like us to focus on: what areas might be helpful and supportive to you in 2021. How can we best listen to what you need and help you with? 

Hopefully most advisers will feel positive about 2021 but for those who need some support, talk to someone. There's a lot of truth in the airlines' safety rules: "Fix your own oxygen mask before helping others". 

Here's to the New Year, and may it bring health and happiness to you and yours.

Simoney Kyriakou is senior editor of FTAdviser