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Viewpoint: Changing my job during Covid was a big decision

23 November 2020

Moving company brings with it a feeling of trepidation, not least during Covid, says Rebecca Tuck, paraplanner with Paradigm Norton Financial Planning.

This article was first published in the November 2020 issue of Professional Paraplanner.

When I made the decision to leave Magenta Financial Planning it was a big one for me. I had been with the firm since it was formed in 2016, and I had been involved in pretty much everything, helping to set up the proposition and the processes – I knew it inside and out.

It was a fantastic role and gave me huge experience, but it was a broad one, and I came to realise that what I wanted to do was refocus on the part of the role I really enjoyed – paraplanning . Once I’d decided what I was looking for, the next challenge was to find it…

Being the sole paraplanner at Magenta during the early days, I learned the importance of a good network. So, when I decided to move, I spoke with a few people for advice. One of those was Dan [Atkinson], who had recently moved from a company he had been with for many years to join Paradigm Norton, so I thought might be well placed to help me get started on my search. By chance, Paradigm Norton had just signed off on a paraplanner vacancy, which seemed to be just what I was looking for!

The interview process was carried out remotely and was very thorough – they put me through my paces. I spoke to several people before the interview process began, and the formal process included a technical assessment, a couple of presentations and an interview. Paradigm Norton takes a team approach to recruitment, involving a range of people, but that way I got to meet a lot of the team and get a real feel for the business.

Happily, I got the job and started in August, working predominately with Tommy Watson as part of the London team. Living in Wales, I will mainly be working from home, but I will go into the London office two days a fortnight (local lockdowns permitting) and hope to show my face in Bristol every now and then too!

The main changes

To say I was nervous about my new role is a huge understatement. I was leaving everything I knew to work with new people, in a new way, with systems and processes I had absolutely no experience of. It’s a vital part of growth, but it doesn’t make it any less nerve-racking!

The biggest change I found was getting used to new technology and systems. Working remotely, it would have been great to spend my first few days in the office, to meet people and properly “bed in”. Obviously, that’s not possible at the moment, but the induction was excellent – with a large part of my first two weeks spent on Microsoft Teams meeting as many people as possible, including Barry Horner the CEO.

Communication is key to working remotely – particularly during Covid. Company-wide we have regular weekly huddles, with personal and work updates from various team members, which help give a real family feel. The cakes sent to everyone for the recent team day were a much-appreciated touch, too! Within my smaller London team, we have a catch up every morning to check workflows, and there is always a handover discussion between Tommy and me so that I know about the client in more detail before I start a piece of work, or meet with them for the first time.

And that is another big change for me; I now attend client meetings. The Paradigm Norton way of working is a group approach, so the clients know the team working for them and the paraplanner is a visible part of that team. Meetings are virtual at the moment, but I’m now an advocate for that way of working. You can make things so much more personal and pitch the suitability report in just the right way when you’ve spoken to the client and heard from them directly, gaining an understanding that’s almost impossible to replicate with a meeting note.

Now that I’ve been here a couple of months, I’ve just about found my feet, and I’m really enjoying the role. Although there was a lot for me to learn, there’s been a good opportunity to provide some input too – there’s a drive at PN to continually challenge how things are done and to make improvements where possible, and it’s been nice that my thoughts and opinions have been welcomed in the same way as more long-standing team members.

Professional Paraplanner