Whether it’s down to unsuitable working hours, a lack of benefits or a dubious potential for earnings, it’s not uncommon for people to suddenly find themselves working in the wrong business or sector.
As British property sales strengthen in the post-recession market, more and more people are considering careers as mortgage advisors and signing up to training courses for the qualifications they need. The good news is that many of the job skills and attributes people pick up elsewhere are transferable to a career offering advice on home loans.
Here are four areas in which your current job could support your aspirations:
As anyone already working within a busy sales environment will know, such a role demands an outgoing, confident personality, and the ability to read and respond to a customer’s train of thought. Therefore, experience in sales will help you in your quest to become a mortgage advisor; for one, although you’re impartial and acting in the best interests of your client (which isn’t always the case in other sales positions), you’re also trying to get them to choose from among the deals you’re offering.
A keen awareness of how the customer is responding to the mortgages being discussed, and the ability to alter your approach on the fly, will stand you in good stead.
Working to targets
While some lines of work allow people to operate at their own pace and have their tasks assessed purely from a qualitative standpoint, this isn’t the case for the majority of us. The heavy planning and forward-thinking approaches demanded by some career paths can set people up for strong starts as mortgage advisors, who are expected to keep an eye on sales targets and ensure that client meetings are amicable and honest, while maintaining speed and efficiency.
Willingness to work outside of office hours
While not strictly a ‘skill’, being prepared to come into work on a Saturday or of an evening is essential in most mortgage advisor jobs, and it’s not an attribute that many people in full-time positions share, especially outside of the retail or hospitality sectors.
Normally, a working week for a mortgage advisor stretches between Monday and Saturday and encompasses some evenings, although the exact hours will depend on the employer. Coming from another job that covered unconventional hours or weekends – or a willingness to demonstrate that such patterns can be shaped around your lifestyle – will work to your advantage in an application for an advisory role.
It goes without saying that you need great communication skills to be a mortgage advisor. Not only are you speaking regularly with customers on a face-to-face basis; you’ll also be explaining aspects of the property market and loans that the average homebuyer won’t understand in full (which, of course, is why they’re coming to you for advice in the first place). Therefore, being able to take difficult topics and present them in an easy-to-understand, non-condescending way is an absolute must.