With the option to continue my service available, I came to the conclusion that it was time for me to take the leap into a civilian world, away from the incredible organisation I have been with since I was 17-years-old.
As I prepared to leave, it became clear that I wanted another career and not another job. Having seen other people leave the service at different stages, I knew the longer I continued in service, the harder it would be to carve out the successful career I desired.
Leaving now would provide another 20+ years to hone a craft. The problem was, what are my next steps?
During service, I had envisioned myself in financial services, and after deciding this was to become my reality I had to decide which pathway to take.
I soon realised that a financial planning role would suit my personality and professional goals.
Many colleagues had previously gone into military internships such as Barclays or JP Morgan, so I naturally started to explore these options, but I soon decided the extended commute for those jobs didn’t fit my family commitments. Besides, I felt the City banking side of financial services may limit my desire to have personal interactions with clients.
Speaking to other advisers with military backgrounds and starting to look into the R01 module, I soon realised that a financial planning role would suit my personality and professional goals.
Supporting families, maybe the military community, combined with the opportunities to grow professionally, maybe specialise in an area and become chartered, really gripped my attention.
My early years in the Royal Marines involved spending many months away from home, not being able to spend any money, which resulted in returning to a comfortable amount in the account.
Of course, like many young men, I wanted to enjoy my wealth, which included a nice car, but I also had a mum who has always taught me to save and do something useful with the capital I had gained.
This ultimately started my journey on the property ladder, something that all the ‘successful’ people in my circle had advised me to start as early as possible. This, unfortunately, led to me having all my ‘eggs in one basket’ and became extremely financially painful in the ’08 financial crisis.
I managed, somehow, to navigate through that and got to experience, first hand, the stress of being stuck in an illiquid asset, the volatility of markets, and the value of diversification.