Meet Serena, a Mortgage Adviser who once closed down her fitness studio to go on the challenging journey to start her career again, and she did it. Now she helps others find their financial security. Listen to her episode as we discuss the pitfalls of closing a business, starting life again, the challenges, and the triumphs.
What is your journey in your career up to this point?
In 2016, I closed down my fitness Studio, which was a necessary challenge. I then joined the Financial Services industry after working a Saturday job as an Estate Agent. I had reversed my resume to highlight the entry-level roles I had at the beginning of my career as I questioned why I would want a basic role. I knew I need to create security as I started again. I once was a Company director, then to become a Level 1 Customer Delivery Agent a Building Society. I learnt so much and within three months was promoted to a Level 10 Team Leader; ten months later, I took another promotion to the Business Development Managers, managing a team. I study for my CF1 (Award in Financial Administration) & CF6 (Level 3 Certificate in Mortgage Advice). At the end of this period, I knew I had outgrown the roles that were available to me there at that time; therefore, I decided to go into the big bad world of broking. I joined a small firm, realising it was not right for atmosphere for me, and I moved onto an even smaller firm in my home town after 15 months. Then 2020 hit, and I was given one weeks notice, no furlough and thrown out in the cold. I decided to pull up my socks and launch my own self-employed sole trader company, called Mortgages With Serena.
What has driven you?
Two things, one Women in Financial Services are still a minority; the last figures I saw were 19-21% of the industry working at the senior level. And two, I come from a working-class family, and I rely on no one but myself.
What has been your biggest lesson from 2020 for 2021?
No one can hold you back but yourself.
What solution do you offer?
I hold my clients hand through the process, speaking to them on a level they understand the procedures and getting to know them to offer the right mortgage solution to their needs.
How effective can this solution be for others?
I often work with clients who have otherwise been looking to work with a fee-free adviser, but they can see the value I add.
What hurdles have you overcome in your life, that stand out?
Many, I like to see them as lessons learned.
Is there anything that you would like to add?
I am here to inspire other young independent women to become homeowners and not lose their independence when buying a property with a partner.