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It is never too late to pursue what you love, and Candace Gibson is a great example of that. A dedicated professional, Candace made a decision to change her career and follow her dream of becoming a financial planner.
Candace has always had a desire to pursue a career in the financial services industry. After getting her Bachelor of Science degree, Candace was getting ready to get her CFP designation. “I knew that I wanted to become a financial planner,” she says. “But when I graduated from university, the market had just been through a crash and no one was hiring.”
Candace decided to look into other avenues to sustain herself – and got caught up. “I got married and had my children soon after that,” shares Candace. “On top of that, my husband decided to go back to school, and I was there to support him. So it was tough to change careers while taking care of my family, especially since I was the main breadwinner for a while,” says Candace, smiling.
At the same time, Candace never gave up on her dream. “I focused on what I needed to do at the time, but I never forgot about financial planning. So once my kids got older and my husband was established in his career, I felt that it was my time to take a step towards my goals.”
Candace focused on getting her foot in the door of the financial services industry and soon found a job at a financial institution. At the same time, she knew that to be recognized as a professional she needed to get more education.
“Education is a great thing. When you are educated, you are more marketable to prospective employers and you have more credibility when you give advice to the clients. I wanted that credibility and the knowledge that goes with it.”
Candace enrolled in the CFP Certification Education Program at Ashton College to get her Certified Financial Planner designation. “One of the best things about the program was its flexibility,” says Candace. “I was able to take the classes in the evening, so I could still work and support my family.”
Candace took all five CFP courses, including the CFP Capstone course, and was excited to learn more about the industry she was so passionate about. “I always felt that the content was practical: I could see how everything I learnt in class was applicable and relevant when I went to work the next day. I also really enjoyed studying with other students, since I would often hear them ask questions that I hadn’t thought of or share situations they faced at work.”
All the hard work that Candace put into her education paid off when she came first place amongst all candidates across Canada who wrote the CFP exam in June 2013.
“I was completely surprised to come top of the CFP examination that year! I was overwhelmed and very humbled.”
On top of that, Candace earned a spot on the Financial Planning Standards Council’s (FPSC) President’s List. “It was a real honour. It’s nice to have the recognition after several years of learning and hard work – and what a reward to get at the end!”
Candace notes that because of her education she was able to get to where she is today. “I am a Certified Financial Planner, and I work hard to help my clients with their needs.”
“My goal is to help clients solidify their goals and develop short- and long-term financial strategies for their future. Be it retirement, investments, or planning for their kids’ education, I am here to assist them based on their needs and desires.”
“I have a dedicated client group that I work with on a regular basis,” shares Candace. “I really get to build great relationships with my clients, and seeing their dreams fulfilled is always the highlight of my work.”
Having fulfilled her dream, Candace is enjoying her life and her career, taking great pride in what she does. “This is a second career for me, but it’s the one thing I’ve always wanted to do,” she says.
“I am excited to continue to grow in the industry and see my clients fulfill their life goals.”