On December 18, 2015, this was in my email.
“Hello. My name is Priscilla Brannon and I am writing this email to express interest in your firm. I am scheduled to graduate from Texas Tech University with my master’s in PFP in May 2016. As I have begun my search on what I want to do and where I want to go, I have narrowed down a few desires that fit perfectly with Resource Advisory Services.
I have an immense passion for helping people and an even greater passion for being able to offer assistance in the financial field. Due to this calling I am certain I would like to work for a fee-only firm. I was searching through NAPFA’s opportunities page and I came across an immediate opportunity posting. Although I would not be available until almost June, I wanted to reach out and let you know I am looking for what Resource Advisory Services has to offer.”
The email conversation lasting about a month before our first phone conversation. Bryan and I were more optimistic with every exchange. At first, I was surprised someone who would receive a Master of Financial Planning from anywhere would be interested in the posting, let alone Texas Tech. I knew some of the faculty there and consider them the best. We were thinking we might be starting with someone who had a business degree – maybe with enough progress toward their CFP® to demonstrate commitment. Nevertheless, here she was responding with more and more text that lined up with our culture. She would be moving far from her roots. Yet, her apparent enthusiasm continued to grow.
Friends encouraged Priscilla to explore other possibilities and her supervisor at work encouraged her to stay there. We believed we wanted her to come here but were not quite sure. The emails continued. We invited Priscilla to visit Knoxville in March. The visit went well, and we offered her the position. I thought she would never actually say yes. This was a big decision for someone her age. She went to Dallas for a financial planning jobs fair and that scared us, especially when we learned she would visit one of those firms. There was relief, when we detected that she was unimpressed. When Priscilla agreed to accept our position, it was a huge liberation. Looking back, I don’t think she ever really considered going anywhere else. I know we essentially stopped considering responses to our job posting within a couple of weeks after the first email. It simply always seemed this was a relationship that was meant to mature.
Priscilla came on board June 10, 2016, almost six months after her first contact and nine months after we started developing a written description of the position we wanted to fill and the person who could thrive in it. She turned out to be all we wanted and more, passing the CFP exam on her first attempt, six months after graduation. Bryan and I have devoted a great deal of time to mentoring Priscilla. We have given her every work and continuing education experience we can. Her comfort in the job has grown. She has bonded with friends, clients, East Tennessee and hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Two years after graduation Priscilla has the required work experience and received the notification that she is a CFP® on May 17. The time, energy and exploratory stress have been worth it all. I am very proud of the way all this has worked out. She can be contacted with PBrannon@ResourceAdv.com.
J. David Lewis, Founder/Principal