“I will never forget the day I processed a death claim for a client. She was a daughter who worked hard to provide for her elderly, single mother. At only 29, she lost her life in a tragic road traffic accident. I was so emotionally impacted by that case.
In my 10 years of experience as a financial consultant, people usually buy insurance policies for their spouses or children, but this particular client was so unique to me. She was young and still not married, and when she bought her policy, she only thought about her mum.
After her untimely death, bills kept coming to her mum. I was in a truly humbling position because I was the only one who came to her with a cheque. I told her that this cheque was her late daughter’s way of ensuring that her sacrifices as a mum were not for nothing.
I remember how her eyes instantly filled up with tears thinking about her late daughter. And that’s what an insurance contract is – a love letter to your loved ones. It’s your way of telling someone you not only love them till the day you die, but till the day they die.
Did I ever think I’d be a financial consultant one day? Definitely not. I think no one grows up dreaming of becoming a financial consultant. I actually wanted to be a licensed aircraft engineer and make my parents proud of me.
I’m the eldest of seven siblings, and growing up, there was always this pressure to do well in life and be a role model to my siblings. My parents wanted me to have an ‘ideal profession’. Maybe be a doctor, lawyer, teacher or an engineer.
My goal was to work for Singapore Airlines as an engineer and I made major life decisions based on that goal, but it’s funny how life works. You can plan, work towards a goal and expect it to go a certain way, but it almost always never works out how you thought it would.
After National Service, I eventually ended up in a desk-bound job, unhappy and unsatisfied with myself and where I had landed in my career. Still, I never gave up. I kept sending out my résumé and going for interviews, hoping to still get a job in the aerospace industry.
One day, I got a callback and went down for an interview, thinking I was going to meet recruiters. When I found out I was talking to financial consultants, I immediately told them that I was not good at sales. I tried it before. This is not my thing; this industry is not for me.
I’ve always avoided insurance agents or financial consultants. I think many people do. Financial consultants have a bad reputation of being pushy with sales and always asking people to buy their plans. But these people were different. They did things differently.
I didn’t feel cornered or pressured into anything. Instead of boring me with the usual sales pitch, this agency showed me how they educate and empower people to take action and plan for their financial well-being. No pun intended, but I was sold.
When I told my parents and my then-fiancé about my decision to be a financial consultant, they were less than enthusiastic. I was introverted, shy and not very sociable and articulate. It’s no wonder people thought I was making a mistake.
But 10 years have passed since then, and my experience of being a financial consultant has been both rewarding and extraordinary. I now have 1,071 lives and counting under my care, and I actually get paid to add value to the lives around me. I have definitely found my calling.
The most rewarding aspect of what I do is giving my clients peace of mind. When they sign on the dotted line, they can be assured that if anything happens to them, they are covered and protected. And if they live a long, good life, they can retire at their own terms in their golden years.
Thinking back, I think it was necessary for me to feel unhappy and unsatisfied with where I was in life because it led me to where I am today. I believe everything happens for a reason and life will always put you somewhere you were meant to be.
If I have any career or general life advice for others out there, just know that it is okay if life doesn’t go according to plan. Look at me. I wanted to be an engineer but now I’m living my best life as a financial consultant.
Don’t dwell on the past because you cannot change that. And don’t be too worried about the future because that is out of your control. What you can do is focus on the present and trust that life will lead you to where you were always meant to be.” – Azim
Interview by: Arman Shah
If you have questions about financial planning or want to find out more about investments or buying insurance for yourself, chat with Azim on mobile at +65 8688-0074 or DM him on IG @zimheyhey or @agent.zim
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Everyone has an incredible and inspiring story to share. These are such stories by the everyday people in Singapore. #everydaypeoplesg