24 February 2016

The Finite Field

Some exciting things have been happening professionally for me this month.

I received an award for Excellence in Action from last quarter. It's typically a peer nominated, boss decided award, so it's an honor to be nominated and to have won. Each quarter, each team gets one of these awards for Excellence, and it can be given for a variety of different categories (own the outcome, tell it like it is, put the client first, etc.). With it comes a shiny plaque and $300, which is cool. I've won it 3 times in the 12 quarters (3 years) I've been with the firm, while on 3 different teams. Surprisingly to you who know me, I've never won for the category 'tell it like it is.'

On the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, February 11, I also had my 3 year anniversary at the firm. While this isn't that big of a deal usually, for me it means I officially have 3 years of industry experience. I submitted my transcript,  my background check, my job descriptions over the last 3 years and got an email from the CFP Board authorizing me to use my CFP letters. This means that I am now officially Brittany Anderson, CFP®.

Also, I found out last week that I got the promotion I was up for. I beat out 5 other candidates and I start my new job on Monday. I will still be working with clients who work for non-profits (doctors, professors, etc.) but now I will be working with them as they get closer to retiring and have more complex financial situations (as opposed to when they're just starting out saving). This is a HUGE accomplishment for me, as the job description "requires" a minimum of 5 years of industry experience and prefers at least 7-10. I do believe that the 14 months of weekends I put into the CFP gave me the boost I needed to stand out among my peers to get this job which, according to the job description, I am not qualified for. I'm looking forward to doing more complex planning, and it doesn't hurt that the job comes with a 25-50% pay raise depending on my performance.

I'm reading a book by Suze Orman, who is a "personal finance guru" according to her website. I was gifted one of her books, The Courage to be Rich, so I'm diving right in. She's kind of like Dave Ramsey in the eye of the media, I suppose. I think it's important to read popular personal finance books because this is what kind of financial literature (if any) my clients are exposed to. I'm about 50 pages in, and so far all she's talked about is our attitude towards money. I think it's important to consider, albeit a bit "fluffy."

One of the comments she made had something to do with the finite field of finance. (Try saying that ten times quickly.) That phrase hit me hard. As a part of the Church, we're told (and I'm convinced) that one could spend a lifetime studying Scripture, the Catechism, the Magesterium, Church History, the Art of the Church, and most especially God Himself and never be finished. (See Saint Augustine's vision of Heaven, when He was convinced that all of his writings barely scratched the surface and was tempted to burn them all.) In college, I was pre-med for two semesters. I think that medicine (while not an infinite pool) has similar characteristics. One could spend a lifetime learning about healing the human person and never reach the end. So why did I choose finance?

When I was a missionary, it felt like my work was never done. In the work of evangelization, it never is. There will always be more we can be doing, always new people to meet,  more sins to conquer (in my own heart), more prayers to pray, etc. One of the things that I tell people that I love about my job is that when I leave work, I'm completely done. I don't bring my laptop home, I don't answer client emails from home. I work when I'm at work, and  I don't when I'm not. For someone Type A like me, I think the distinction is nice. One of the things I've found though, is that I get bored quickly. Starting Monday, I will have held 6 titles in 3 years, and I have always been exceedingly ready for the next promotion by the time it comes around. Perhaps this is because my field truly is finite.

Remind me to write another post on the benefits of a leave your work at work mentality, and the idea of not being fulfilled by one's 9-5.

St. Joseph, the worker, pray for us.

Signing off,

Brittany Anderson, CFP®
Director, Retirement Planner

(new letters + new job title because I'm prideful and I like the way it looks.)


  1. I am so proud of the way you've used your gifts and personality to excel at your job AND loving and serving the Church!

    I think work/life balance is important (even AS a missionary!!!!!) because no matter what your job title, you are not defined and fulfilled by it, like you said. I look forward to what you have to say about it further!!! Lately, in my house we have been talking a lot about how what we do, etc should and shouldn't factor in to our identity (lots of talk about Vocation, indelible marks, motherhood, etc) so we should talk about that sometime because its been intriguing!

    So proud... you've EARNED this! You are loved... this you don't have to earn!

  2. hi Brittany! i can't even remember how i found your blog now, probably through another FOCUS missionary....but i've been reading along for a few years (minus awhile in a convent) but i think if we lived in the same state we'd be fast friends :) congratulations on your certification and promotion! i love your observation that finance is finite and that's why you like it. i work in marketing and recently started a new job working in marketing for a catholic university - i thought it would be soOOOOoo fulfulling doing something kind of secular (marketing) but for a catholic institution but turns out it feels pretty similar to my corporate america marketing job - haha. anyway - looking forward to a post on the leave your work at work mentality (that didn't work out in my first job but i'm shooting for that now!) and finding fulfillment outside of 9-5.

    God bless you sister!!