Manulife (Singapore) Pte Ltd

Jonathan Teo Wei Ting

Financial Planner

Jonathan graduated with Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from National University of Singapore (NUS).

I was approached by my current manager at a career fair in 2015. Through our initial conversation at the career fair, I gained a better understanding of the work of a financial planner. After careful consideration and research, I decided to go for the interview and proceeded to clinch the role.

About my role

My day-to-day responsibilities include taking care of my clients’ financial portfolios, ensuring all their questions are answered, and enabling them to better understand their financial situations.

To ensure the best interest of my clients, thorough fact-finding is always conducted as I strive to understand my clients’ personal and financial goals. I would then recommend products and features best suited to my clients’ needs.

Motivations and challenges

What I like most about my job is the interaction I get to have with people from all walks of life and building trusting relationships. Providing good financial analysis goes a long way in helping individuals understand their cash flow and cultivate better habits.

I enjoy helping others and it really motivates me when my clients thank me for the services at the end of each meeting. Every act of appreciation just serves to spur me on further.

Of course, I also face challenges such as reaching out to new clients and handling rejection, but these challenges can be resolved with experience and maintaining a positive attitude. Time management between different tasks a day and handling a certain amount of stress when it comes to achieving my goals are also part of the challenge. I would say none of this has been easy, and I am grateful to my mentors for their constant support.

Essential skills

Most technical skills are learned on the job. Of course, hard work and the willingness to learn is of top priority. Interpersonal and listening skills are also essential as this job is all about communication.

Other skills to focus on include time management and the ability to network and establish relationships with clients. I would advise fresh graduates to keep an open mind and seek to understand more about this line of work, should they be keen to pursue this role.

Work-life balance

The working culture at Manulife fosters a ‘work-hard, play-hard’ attitude that promotes work-life balance through flexible working hours. The workplace environment is also very supportive, with friendly colleagues and seniors who are more than willing to share their experiences.

This career has also given me multiple opportunities to travel the world to attend seminars by qualifying for convention trips. After working hard towards my goals for months, it is always great to plan trips with my family and friends for a well-deserved break.

Advice for graduates

Graduates should understand that the core of this industry is about relationships and providing sound financial advice. We do not just focus on sales. Our job is to share financial concepts to increase the public’s financial awareness and wellness.

My advice to graduates who are interested in this job: It is of utmost importance to find meaning and passion in this career before embarking on this journey. After all, we share a responsibility to take care of our clients throughout their life journeys.