From college graduation to a career in financial services, Erik followed his heart to find an opportunity that was more than just a job, it was a meaningful career.
In His Own Words
I was about to graduate from college with degrees in business management and finance when I heard a Northwestern Mutual recruiter at a career fair use those words to describe a career as a financial representative. They turned out to be the spark that ignited my career.
Making the Career Change
I was working part time as a food server while attending school, and I needed to earn a living to support my toddler son. At the same time, I had an entrepreneurial spirit and was looking for a meaningful career that would enable me to help others. I realized that my goals aligned perfectly with the opportunity Northwestern Mutual offered.
Now nine years later, I still find that Northwestern Mutual’s focus on putting the client first serves me really well. I always wanted to do what was in my clients’ best interest, and that’s the way I wanted to build whatever business I might have
I really feel that our company belief system is at the core of who we are. We believe that we can help and that we bring value. We truly care about the clients and what happens to them and their financial futures. It’s our philosophy of how we do business. That’s what sets us apart. Clients really feel what we believe and what we’re all about, beyond the pie charts and products.
For me, getting started as a financial representative was a bit tricky. Financial representatives usually build a client base from their “natural market” – referrals from family, friends, and professional relationships. Since I was originally from Central California but was currently living in Southern California, I knew that I was going to have to work hard to establish a market locally. Other than my family, my only contacts were college classmates or fellow restaurant workers not yet established professionally.
Still, I recognized a need to help provide financial security to the Hispanic market, which lacked both experience with − and trust of − financial services companies. So I branched out, attended networking events and Chamber of Commerce meetings, anything I could do to get in front of people, get referrals. I clawed and scraped through. I was also fortunate to have built strong relationships with people in my office who became informal mentors to me.
Making a Difference
Today, my practice consists primarily of U.S. Hispanic small-business owners or dual-income households.
Many Hispanics don’t have experience with financial planning and don’t trust banking systems or financial services companies. Northwestern Mutual brings a lot of value to them because they feel comfortable with me and know that I understand their culture, like their desire to take care of their families and leave something for their children and grandchildren. Once you build that bond and help them, they’ll be loyal clients forever.
I am extremely proud of my opportunity to assist clients; and fortunately, through the strong relationships I’ve been able to develop with them, they trust me enough to provide referrals that help me continue to grow my own business. This has enabled me, in turn, to provide for my own three children. Being able to build these relationships and continue to build my practice gives me a huge sense of self-satisfaction, considering some of the obstacles that I had to overcome initially: being young when I started this career, lack of contacts in Southern California, early struggles with self-doubt, and even some cynicism from people close to me.
Now, just knowing how much people need the financial planning and financial security we provide, I’m so proud to be associated with this company. When you help educate a client’s children or you pay a claim that can help provide for someone’s kids … and people thank you or you see their excitement at achieving their financial goals or taking action − that motivates me. Now even my father calls me for advice!
Learn More About Erik Gomez
To learn more about Erik Gomez, visit his website.