Why A Career In The Military Makes For A Successful Financial Advising Career

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Service before self is a motto that extends from the military to everything that a career in financial advising should embody.

It’s about prioritizing others.

Here at Consolidated Planning, financial advisors follow our planning philosophy that is based on just that. Others. Prioritizing your clients and what’s in their best interest.

Making the decision to transition from a long-time career in the military to a career in financial advising, or any career for that matter, is a big decision. Here we will help you learn what existing skills you can leverage and how you can begin building a strong professional network outside of the military, all to decide if a career as a financial advisor is right for you.


Skills You Can Leverage From The Military To Financial Advising


We know people always say your skills can be easily leveraged to a new career but the parallels between the military and financial advising translate in all the right places.



While moving up the ranks in the military, leadership is something that is likely at the core of who you are. With each duty station and role, you have acquired more best practices of leading others. Whether to develop people or find a different, more suitable path for them. That’s because of leadership.

And leadership is at the core of being a financial advisor in a few ways:

  • Accountability
  • Effective and direct communication
  • Ability to make decisions under pressure
  • Risk management and assessment
  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • And, adaptability

Your military leadership gives you a leg up when it comes to being a thoughtful and ethical leader in a career as a financial advisor.



One of the things that comes from a career in the military is the ability to tell the raw and honest truth to people, especially when it’s in their best interest. You likely prioritize the well-being of your team and their ethical conduct. A service oriented mindset pushes you to build up your team and help them become self-sufficient.

Your service-oriented mindset will come into play as a financial advisor in a few ways:

  • A client-centric focus
  • Desire to build trust
  • Problem-solving
  • Strong attention to detail
  • And, continuous improvement

Continuous improvement for both yourself and your clients is an essential component of providing an enhanced client experience.



Depending on how long you’ve been in the military, you’re probably not afraid to work long, hard hours. But just because you CAN doesn’t mean you want to, or frankly, have to. As a leader, you likely go above and beyond for both your superiors and your team, leading to less work-life balance. 

Not only does a career in financial advising allow you that work-life balance but the strong work ethic you’ve developed will benefit both you and your clients. This might include:

  • Discipline and time management
  • Resilience
  • A strong client service model
  • Dedication to positive outcomes

As a financial advisor, your strong work ethic doesn’t mean you have to work 70+ hours every week. But, it does mean that you get to choose what your work weeks look like.

You choose your hard weeks.

At Consolidated Planning, advisors follow the 1-3-1 approach which helps structure your workweek. The 1’s represent admin, and “catching up” while the 3 is for 3 focus days for your prospects and clients.

This approach and your strong work ethic will help you in your practice building efforts as a new financial advisor.


Build Strong Professional Network After The Military

Ok, so, you have strong skills to leverage from your time in the military but none of that is useful without people. Building a strong professional or personal network after the military can be a daunting realization. For most long-time military veterans, your community and networks were the people on your base or any other military professionals.

Unlike your skills, these connections don’t translate as well to your career post-military.

So, how can you begin building a strong network outside of who you know within the military?



Now that you might find yourself with more disposable time, get out and get involved in your community. Whether that means a club, group, volunteer opportunity, or a hobby that you enjoy. Set your intention here to just start building relationships and community…not looking for clients. When you start making connections with people who enjoy the same things that you do, authentic relationships will start to build.

Use your time and use it wisely.

Not only will involvement in your community foster future client relationships but it will help you feel fulfilled and connected in the place you call home.



Yes, you do NEED a LinkedIn profile. With over 900 million members in 2023, according to LinkedIn, LinkedIn is the largest professional networking tool you can use. 

The goal of LinkedIn is to expand your network in a few ways:

  • Learn more about those you’re newly involved with in your community
  • Connect with people that you may have otherwise not reached

Becoming a successful financial advisor is all about building trust and credibility with other industry professionals and your prospects. Building out a complete and optimized LinkedIn can help you do just that. Your profile helps build brand and name recognition in your practice building efforts.

I know it sounds too good to be true, but a LinkedIn profile really helps your efforts here.

Once you have an established target market and know your ideal client, you can begin leveraging your LinkedIn to share relevant content and contribute to conversations that further elevate your online presence and your credibility as a financial advisor.



Speaking of your credibility…while you may not feel comfortable heading back to your military base to prospect, you do have credibility amongst your military connections.

Especially as a good leader, you’ll likely have strong relationships built on respect and longevity.

It’s okay to share with your contacts in the military what you’re doing now and to ask for recommendations.

Building a referral-based practice is your end-goal as a financial advisor, so why not start now? This will be especially helpful when you are in the beginning stages of building relationships in your community.

Remember, patience and persistence also translate from a career in the military to financial advising. 


Is A Career In Financial Advising Right For Your Post-Military Career?

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, being a financial advisor is hard work. But it may be the kind of hard work that allows you to prioritize the time you would have otherwise spent away from your family. 

This career path can give you back quality of life. That work-life balance while making a good living feeling.

What you’ll need to make that happen is a culture of support and a firm that will help set you up for success. This might look like a mentorship program or a plethora of tools and resources to focus on building a practice.

If you think a career in financial advising might be right for you, learn what our interview process looks like and what licenses you will need.



2023-161115 Exp. 9/2025

Published:  September 22, 2023