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5 Reasons Financial Advisors May Hate Their Jobs

What's keeping you from feeling truly engaged?

Allyson Lewis, 03/29/2012

OK, I admit that "hate" may be too strong a word, but in a recent Gallup article, I was overwhelmingly shocked to read, "Seventy-one percent of American workers are "not engaged” or "actively disengaged" in their work, meaning they are emotionally disconnected from their workplaces and are less likely to be productive."

Then in bold letters in the body of the text, I read, "Highly Educated and Middle-Aged Workers Less Likely to Be Engaged." I had to stop and let that sink in. Could it really be true that 71% of all people in all jobs, regardless of the industry, the work, or the pay could really not be engaged by their work? I am now personally working my 30th year in the financial services industry, and I wondered why people would consciously choose to stay in a job where they were not engaged.

In my new book, The 7 Minute Solution, I write about the seven vital signs of finding meaning and purpose in daily life and work. Vital sign number 4 asks, "Are You Engaged?" This is an edited excerpt from the first paragraph of that chapter:

"Engaging in life is about connection. It means that you have chosen to involve yourself in or commit yourself to something or someone. When we are engaged, life moves like the gears of a smoothly operating machine; each connection ignites purposeful action. When we are engaged, we feel connected to the values and people that mean the most to us; we feel alive in our passions and our mission. So much of our lives are spent working. The structure of daily life revolves around the work we do. Are you engaged in your daily tasks? Are you challenged by your goals? Are you connected with the people you work with?"

Take a moment to read the Gallup article and to consider five of the common reasons I believe financial advisors may not be as engaged as they could be. I will also provide some proactive solutions to re-engage on a daily basis.

1. Lost the original challenge. Many of the financial advisors I know are born entrepreneurs. We were born with a unique drive, that special "fire in the belly," or what I often like to call the "'all that' factor." When you first started in this business, you had a very real vision of what you believed you could achieve. You had a very high level of determination. You felt a differentiating sense of passion. And you loved the challenge of working hard.

But now with years or maybe even decades in the same job, you may have simply lost your zeal.

Solution: Recognize that you may have lost the vision of your original challenge and set new challenges. Think about what made you so successful in the first place, then set new goals to do those things.

Allyson Lewis is the author of The Seven Minute Difference. She speaks about improving time-management, increasing productivity, and rediscovering purpose. Find out more about her new online video training program, The 7 Minute Life System, here. She also has a blog and a Twitter account.

The author is not an employee of Morningstar, Inc. The views expressed in this article are the author's. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Morningstar.

The author is a freelance contributor to MorningstarAdvisor.com. The views expressed in this article may or may not reflect the views of Morningstar.
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