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Feb 4, 2008 11:04 pm

I am new to the industry. I was hired by MetLife in August 2007 right after graduting from college with BS in BA. I always wanted to be a financial advisor and was very excited. First of all, I was not hired to be the FA but insurance sales rep., and the problems started when they first pomised me they will pay me 500 a week so I can only concentrate on learning about the industry. They said I have to pass an insurance exam before salary kicks in. So I financed the course my own, passed. They said I have to pass one of the securities exam in order to start getting paid salary, I was pissed, but did not quit, and after paying for online course and failing twice on series 7, I was license after 5 months. During that time, company constantly pushed me to come to the office and work for free, which after they will compensate upon passing the securities exam. I refused since I had another job that was actually paying my bills.


With a big smile on my face I met with my manager after passing series 7, and he said I have to produce 5000 dollars in order for me to get on board. They give me no business card, no material, no proper training, and just keep telling me to bring people to the office.
 
Now, I am really fed up, I really want to quit this company but not sure if they will just let me go since they paid for my exam 3 times.
 
Because so much time and money have been investment on this, I just don't wanna give me in this industry, but will not want to be involved in insurance for sure. But I do need some sort of stable job for a while since I have been living off my credit cards for months due to the company not keeping what they promised.....
 
I really want to make it in this industry, but not having money, and many broken promises, I am already exhausted and cannot focus.
 
The questions I have are:
1) how do you apply for companies such as smith barney, merrill lynch, edward jones? should I just walk into the office that have job postings?
 
2) how do I apply to some of the positions at banks like wachovia or bank of america?
 
3) should I use a staffing agency?
 
4) most important, since I got hired on August, should I put Metlife on my resume from August? or January when I got my license or should I not even bother put their name on there?
 
Guys I appreciate reading my long post but I could really use some advice here, I would appreciate additional comments and advices. Please get me out of this confusion...
Feb 4, 2008 11:26 pm
artisticjoo:

I am new to the industry. I was hired by MetLife in August 2007 right after graduting from college with BS in BA. I always wanted to be a financial advisor and was very excited. First of all, I was not hired to be the FA but insurance sales rep., and the problems started when they first pomised me they will pay me 500 a week so I can only concentrate on learning about the industry. They said I have to pass an insurance exam before salary kicks in. So I financed the course my own, passed. They said I have to pass one of the securities exam in order to start getting paid salary, I was pissed, but did not quit, and after paying for online course and failing twice on series 7, I was license after 5 months. During that time, company constantly pushed me to come to the office and work for free, which after they will compensate upon passing the securities exam. I refused since I had another job that was actually paying my bills.


With a big smile on my face I met with my manager after passing series 7, and he said I have to produce 5000 dollars in order for me to get on board. They give me no business card, no material, no proper training, and just keep telling me to bring people to the office.
 
This is not unusual.
 
Now, I am really fed up, I really want to quit this company but not sure if they will just let me go since they paid for my exam 3 times.
 
Why not?  You're not producing anything, so you'll be saving everybody time and expense.  They can give your cubicle away to someone who will DO something.
 
Because so much time and money have been investment on this, I just don't wanna give me in this industry, but will not want to be involved in insurance for sure. But I do need some sort of stable job for a while since I have been living off my credit cards for months due to the company not keeping what they promised.....
 
What's wrong with insurance?
 
I really want to make it in this industry, but not having money, and many broken promises, I am already exhausted and cannot focus.
 
Your fault for not clarifying and getting everything in writing.
 
The questions I have are:
1) how do you apply for companies such as smith barney, merrill lynch, edward jones? should I just walk into the office that have job postings?
 
SB & ML - just walk in.  EJ - submit a resume online.
 
2) how do I apply to some of the positions at banks like wachovia or bank of america?
 
Submit a resume online.
 
3) should I use a staffing agency?
 
Only if they specialize in helping reps find new B/D's to work for.
 
4) most important, since I got hired on August, should I put Metlife on my resume from August? or January when I got my license or should I not even bother put their name on there?
 
Don't hide it.  They can look up your employment history via FINRA anyway.
 
However, be careful how you chose to describe why you left Metlife.  If you left them because "they promised a salary and didn't pay it" will look and sound very weak - no matter which firm you apply for.  This isn't a career for people looking for a salary.  This is a true entrepreneurial career - salaries don't exist.
 
Guys I appreciate reading my long post but I could really use some advice here, I would appreciate additional comments and advices. Please get me out of this confusion...


 
LISTEN AND TAKE NOTES in every interview you have.  You need to interview THEM, not the other way around.  If they say they'll pay you a weekly "salary", ASK when and under what circumstances.  Ask when it's taken away.  Ask what is expected of you to begin the salary.
 
My next question - why didn't they let you produce when you had an insurance license?  That should be enough licensing to begin producing at any insurance firm - then you can study for securities licenses.
 
Your focus should always be:  How can I get paid and get paid now?  What can I sell and when can I sell it?  If there's nothing holding me back, then what am I doing now to get paid?
Feb 5, 2008 12:20 am

Thank you for your patience to read through everything and reply. I do understand that I need to interview companies. However, coming right out of college, I feel that facing big firms like ML, and SB is challenging, and whatever I do, I just need to get my foot into the door if I have enough salary to just maintain for a while.

 
Do answer to your question on why did I not produce, I was told I can, but everything I make will be deferred, plus, I had another job that was paying my bills at the time, and time for studying. If there were immediate compensations by producing, I could have, but working now for deferred compensation didn't really make sense.
 
To reply to what my focus should be, you are right, I need to make a living. I do want challenge but I realized challenge without any safety net (stable income) only makes me desperate for sales, and in long term, desperation and mental stress can reflect to clients and jeopardize my career and reputation... 
 
Is there any advice you can give me on how to get interviews with some good companies such as ML? Thanks
Feb 5, 2008 2:02 am
Walk in, ask for the manager.  Request time for a formal interview and give them your resume.
Feb 5, 2008 8:50 am

 "I do want challenge but I realized challenge without any safety net (stable income) only makes me desperate for sales, and in long term, desperation and mental stress can reflect to clients and jeopardize my career and reputation... "

 
It's time for a career change.  You are already finding excuses not to sell. 
 
Feb 5, 2008 8:58 am
Feb 5, 2008 10:19 am

The situation you describe sounds like a low end non professional sales job. That they kept moving the hoop ever higher to qualify for the low salary they were offering is problematic and a 'Tell" of a non professional sales force. Run don't walk to the nearest exit! I'm surprised that some of these firms let this crap go on.

 
 My nephew turned down an offer from my company to work for an insurance company and got the same run around. He quit and is now going to law school.
 
While there is nothing wrong with selling insurance you need to hook up with a professional firm. Many of these firms use brokerages and finding one that is profesional is as close as your phone. Start calling managers and asking for interviews.
 
As far as the other side of the the biz, SB, Merrill, etc, they are professional. Non of their new hires has to pay for anything, nor do they have to wait to begin drawing a salary. it starts on day one. However, don't delude yourself into thinking that working for one of these firms makes you an FA who spends his days helping those in need. Being an FA is first and foremost a sales job. You need to bring in the assets before you can manage them.
 
 If you're looking for a gig as a non-sales FA try hooking up with a CPA firm. While there is still sales involved in getting firm's clients to agree to whatever mutual fund solution is being offered the major pulling, that is getting the client's trust, has already been done by others before you sit down with them. To some extent the same is true for bank brokers. That FAs working for Merrill, SB and others have to start from scratch is reflected in their pay. They are the most highly paid FA group. For that pay they have the freedom to build the business as they see fit using the products of their choice. It's up to you, how hard do you want to work and how much money do you want to make?
 
To get interviews on the Merrill, SB side call branch managers and ask for interviews. Don't hide anything. Just put a spin on it. Telling the managers that your current employer keeps changing the requirements for getting paid everytime you meet the previously set requirements is reason enough to be out on the interview circut. Tell them you are tired of the games and that you're looking for a firm that is willing to pay you for your work.
 
 
 
Feb 5, 2008 2:11 pm

Thanks joedabrkr. I am actually a female lol. Well, I am overwhelmed by number of replies posted here. Do you think that telling this run around drama from Met**** during interviews from other big firms, just opening my heart and showing confidence will really work?

Feb 5, 2008 2:15 pm

And, BondGuy, just beacause I want to have a back-up plan, I am still going to their training every morning at 8:30, in case I can't get hired anywhere. When your nephew quit, did he have to pay for any training they invested on him, or exams they paid for (my case series 7, 3 times)? And what specific titles I should be looking for as far as looking at some CPA firms? Thank you.

Feb 5, 2008 2:22 pm

Quote: Do you think that telling this run around drama from Met**** during interviews from other big firms, just opening my heart and showing confidence will really work?

 
No, for the love of god do not feel compelled to talk more than you need to in this business. Keep it simple like they said. Say you are tired of the games and want to work for a company that will pay you for your hard work. Keep it simple. No manager is going to ask you in for an interview for a "True Hollywood" story of what is happening in Metlife. They don't care. They care about what you can bring to the table. Stay focused and stay simple.
Feb 5, 2008 2:35 pm

Thank you anabuhabkuss. I will keep that in mind.

Feb 5, 2008 2:37 pm

This is specifically directed at you artisticjoo, but how come every day there seems to be another post inquiring as to who pays the best salary?  when did this become an issue in our field?  it just seems newbies come on all the time trying to find a salaried position but also want the highest payouts.  you ususally don't get both people.


this case sounds weird to me.  met's new rep pay is quite good.  you negotiate a predetermined weekly salary and based on how much you get paid, you will have production levels you need to meet.  as long as you meet the req's, they keep paying you the salary.  and normally, based on the plan, for evey dollar you make they factor it by as much as 3.3 or so and put it in a "pool" of funds on your behalf.  as long as you are producing, you can take withdrawals from there periodically as bonuses.  it really is a good system.  it pays new reps for 3 years a consistent salary.  why you don't have any of this in writing escapes me completely.
Feb 5, 2008 6:05 pm

Oh dude,


I hope you take my words as I mean them with the best intentions….


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Living off credit cards and exhausted?



GET ANOTHER JOB THAT WILL PAY THE BILLS NOW!!!!



Regroup.


You will never survive at this point.
Feb 5, 2008 7:14 pm
theironhorse:
this case sounds weird to me.  met's new rep pay is quite good.  you negotiate a predetermined weekly salary and based on how much you get paid, you will have production levels you need to meet.  as long as you meet the req's, they keep paying you the salary.  and normally, based on the plan, for evey dollar you make they factor it by as much as 3.3 or so and put it in a "pool" of funds on your behalf.  as long as you are producing, you can take withdrawals from there periodically as bonuses.



Sounds weird to me too.

I was gonna keep my mouth shut on this one but the company you're describing sounds like a million other fly-by-night firms, definitely not the MO I've heard of Met.

You might could help us understand more if you specifically layout the minimum requirements vs. what you have produced, I'd be willing to bet a shiny nickel they're not very close.

Feb 6, 2008 5:59 am

Thanks for the insights here. They say they will pay me as long as I bring 5 applications. They say that they will get me on "board" once I do that. BUt they are not allowed to give me business cards or any money at this point. They call this pre-appointment production. I don't think anybosy will buy this bs when I don't 3even had the proper business card. They gave me a copy of a business card and make my own at kinko's and don't put anything other than marketing director. They also told me to tell other people that I launched the new career and they should just come check it out and try to close the sale. Yes I am fed up with this. And them giving me the run around, thinking that they will pay me one day, honestly, I don't knowif they are going to do it, and when it kicks it. The only good thing I got out of this firm is them sponsoring my series 7 and I didn't quit and actually got the license. Am I asking too when I want to work for a firm that pays me consistent salary at this point? I am not asking for 6 figure income but I have to have enough survice.....

Feb 6, 2008 9:29 am

If you start setting appointments and bring an experienced rep along with you, you'll have a steady income in 2-3 months.

Feb 8, 2008 10:55 am

I honestly don't think I have 2-3 months. I even have to to pay for my marketing material and business cards. Thanks though

Feb 8, 2008 11:04 am

You don't need marketing materials and you don't need business cards.