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Ask a classroom filled with young female students what they want to be when they grow up and few, if any, will reply, "financial representative." Yet the career offers many financial, emotional and lifestyle benefits that make it an excellent choice, particularly for young women who typically seek careers offering flexibility, creative freedom and the opportunity to impact people’s lives.

In many ways, a financial services career combines the best of both worlds: big business and small enterprise. From an entrepreneurial standpoint, the business truly is what the individual makes of it. A financial representative starts with an empty slate, building a client base from the ground up. She is her own boss, in charge of her work and schedule, and there is no glass ceiling. Because earnings are based on hard work, the income potential is limitless.

However, as challenging as it may be to run your own business, it can be comforting to do so under the protective umbrella of a major corporation. A name like The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, a Fortune 200 company that is well-known and well-trusted, can open doors. And beginning representatives can benefit greatly from established training programs and veteran representatives with whom they can mentor and establish solid, successful business practices.

Yet even the biggest financial services and insurance companies typically give representatives enough leeway to develop their own practices and styles. Many women, in this process, discover a challenging and exciting career that suits them on every front.

In fact, once a financial representative has invested the time and energy to build a solid business, the career can provide the long-term flexibility that many women need as they juggle a multitude of roles. The job itself can also be rewarding. Much of a financial representative’s day-to-day responsibilities revolve around meeting with clients and helping them define and solidify financial goals.

Trust, which takes time and effort to develop, lies at the cornerstone of the relationship, as clients look to a financial representative for ways to make the most of their hard-earned cash. For many representatives, nothing is more satisfying than helping clients realize their dreams.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself if you’re wondering if a career as a financial representative is right for you:

Additional information, including a test that determines your suitability for a career can be found at careers.nmfn.com.

Above all, a woman considering the profession needs to be a pioneer of sorts. In many ways the financial services industry is one of the last great frontiers for women. Historically, few women made the financial decisions in their households, and even fewer women made a career of offering solutions to financial problems. Today, however, women are more independent and generally live longer than men; therefore, they need to be more financially self-reliant. For women willing to blaze the trail, opportunities abound…and the potential rewards at the end of the path are many. iBi

Article prepared by Northwestern Mutual with the cooperation of Josh Waite. Josh Waite is a Wealth Investment Advisor with Northwestern Mutual Financial Network based in Peoria, IL. Northwestern Mutual Financial Network is the marketing name for the sales and distribution arm of The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual)(NM), and its subsidiaries and affiliates. Financial Representative is an insurance agent of NM. CA License #OF56470. To contact Josh, please call 309-693-0800 or e-mail him at [email protected].

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