Vanguard midlfe careers start

3 tips from my midlife start at Vanguard

Are you ready to return to work after being a full time parent or caregiver? Or are you looking for a new career? Do you like to help people? If you answered yes, then please listen to my story about my midlife start at Vanguard.

I joined Vanguard 10 years ago, and had been a full time mom and part time worker and volunteer before that. Joining Vanguard was a big jump for me, but the time was right for this move—my kids were approaching high school and their school days were longer, so I had the time. Although I was ready, I was still scared.

Vanguard midlfe careers start

Don’t be afraid of…the exams

I interviewed for a few positions after applying online and interestingly enough, the one that most appealed to me was the Client Relationship Associate position, an entry level job that was client-facing. I was offered the position, but I had two securities exams to take before I could start serving clients. Vanguard offered support, at-work study time, and classes to ensure that I passed. Despite this, I was still scared—I had been out of school a long time—and how could I, at age 45, memorize financial formulas?

Luckily, I had majored in Psychology in college and remembered how memory works. So, although the usual study strategy is to do all the reading, then study for and take the practice tests, I recalled that older or busier minds work differently. They need to start the self-testing sooner—the in and out of information commits it to memory better. Cramming doesn’t work in midlife! My mind was already juggling too much—kids, eldercare, grocery lists, volunteer work, etc. It was painful to score a 10% on the first practice test, but I hadn’t finished the reading yet so I kept going, and my score kept increasing. I passed the securities exams and started my job on time. I used the same strategy to pass the CFP® exam at age 49.

Don’t be afraid of…starting over after a gap.

Although I had been out of the workforce for some time, I had a decade of experience before I started my family. And, I really appreciated the structure of the Client Relationship Associate role. It allowed me to return home at the end of the day without work in my briefcase, and I could be present for my family at night. No logging on to do work at midnight—my job was done at the end of each day.

Don’t be afraid of…reaching for the next level.

After two years in the Client Relationship Associate role, my kids were in high school, they were more self-sufficient, and after school sports kept them longer at school, so I applied for a Sales Analyst role supporting high-net-worth sales executives. I got the job and haven’t looked back. In my 10 years, I have worked in sales, new account onboarding, and in IT testing new web pages. My current job is as a Financial Advisor, and I love advising my clients. My kids are now out of college and on their own, and I have a fabulous job that I love. And it all started with braving that first exam.

-Polly A.

Vanguard midlfe careers start

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