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COVID-19 has swept across the UK and the world and changed the direction of life as we knew it. With any event, positive, negative or catastrophic, it prompts a moment to reflect on what is important in our lives. For me, my life is made up of my wonderful family, caring, inspiring and crazy friendships, my love of fitness and the outdoors and my very rewarding career. For the purpose of this blog, I'll focus on my career which changed direction four years ago. 
 
Pretty much since leaving school, I had worked in Financial Services. I qualified as Financial Adviser in 1997 and after providing advice to clients for five years, I was promoted into a Supervision/Sales Management role. I am so thankful for my twenty year career in financial planning and when I look back, I realise how much training, support and development I received over this time from some truly amazing people. 
 
When you become self employed, it's not so simple - no-one is there encouraging your self development or highlighting great CPD opportunities and time can pass so quickly when your focus is getting a business off the ground. One thing I would highly recommend to anyone embarking on a journey of self employment would be to surround yourself with people who think bigger and better than you - it keeps you on the right track and helps you become the very best version of yourself. For me, I had just changed career quite drastically - from financial planning to the law and gaining qualifications to support this transition was essential. I enrolled in the CILEx level 3 will writing qualification and found a real love for the law and in particular, Estate Planning. 
 
We've recently had some structural changes in the business, which again has been an opportunity to reflect on the business as a whole and in particular, how can we further demonstrate our commitment to providing our clients with outstanding advice and service? 
 
Due to my background - managing professional advisersin a highly compliant environment and ensuring our clients received the very best service, I wanted my company to embrace both of these aspects. You may or may not know but will-writing is unregulated and this has never sat well with me, so earlier this month I took the decision to become a full member of the Institute of Professional willwriters (IPW) and adopt their code of practice. I absolutely love the professionalism of this body and the support available to its members and as a result, the service we offer and the processes we use have really stepped up. 
 
The development of my team and supporting their career development and aspirations has also been incredibly important to me and so, with the restructure, it was a fantastic opportunity to sit down and discuss my office manager Sarah's thoughts. Sarah joined the business in October and has proved herself to be a fantastic and valued team member - she is as keen as me to provide outstanding advice and service and is now enrolled on the CILEx level 3 course to improve her knowledge and understanding of wills and trusts. 
 
And me? Well with the chaos created with COVID-19, now seems like the perfect opportunity to dedicate time towards improving my knowldge and skills and I've embarked on the STEP level 6 qualification in wills and estates. 
 
Life's changes are inevitable and I believe it is our ability to adapt and respond that will ensure a successful and worthwhile journey. 
 
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