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As the world works to establish a new normal in the wake of the pandemic and a year of racial reckoning, professionals from all backgrounds are rethinking their career goals and priorities. Women were more likely to lose their job or exit the workforce this past year; many to care for family. This "she-cession" deepened the economic gender gap and exacerbated inequality for women of color. 

For women looking for a road to career recovery, it can be tempting to take the first opportunity or best incentive, but with careful consideration and an open mind, you can uncover opportunity that offers both financial reward and potential for big impact. Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 financial services firm, is growing and offers a wide variety of women the opportunity to grow a successful financial advisory business serving clients and communities.

Opportunity is on the table for women at Edward Jones. In an update to its Five-point Commitment to address racism and positively impact opportunities for people of color, the firm announced new diverse representation goals for 2025. The goal: 30% women and 15% people of color among U.S. financial advisors. 

"We're holding our firm and ourselves accountable to create opportunities for women and people of color in our workplace," said Vanessa Okwuraiwe, Principal of Firm Diversity and Inclusion at Edward Jones. "For women looking for a career with purpose, becoming a financial advisor is a chance to make a big impact."

Let's get real, 2020 forced us all to rethink what's most important — especially at work. So, whether you're re-entering the workforce or looking to chart a new path, 2021 is an opportunity to think critically about your professional must-haves and purpose. 

As you consider the next stage of your career, Okwuraiwe suggests women ask themselves three important questions: 

Does this job support my personal purpose? 

As a professional, one of the key drivers of success is defining and living your purpose — or your "why." Having a clear sense of purpose enables you to envision a better future — for yourself, your family, and your community. 

When looking at career opportunities, Okwuraiwe suggests women dig deep to understand a company's purpose and seek connection to their personal "why."

"Each of our financial advisors' individual 'whys' — when brought together — help enable our shared purpose," she said. "We're all here to partner for positive impact to improve the well-being of our clients and colleagues, and together, better our communities and society."

Will this career bring my family more financial security? 

Money matters. It not only enables you to support your family, but also the chance to reach your own financial goals and dreams. As a financial advisor you'll develop a broad and deep knowledge of financial health so you can help clients achieve what's financially most important to them. In addition, Edward Jones financial advisors also play a critical role in advancing financial literacy and understanding with young people in their communities. 

"Women do not need to sacrifice purpose for compensation," said Okwuraiwe. "You can make an impact and still be rewarded financially."

Edward Jones financial advisors can own their success and there are no limits on earning potential. The firm also gives new financial advisors up to four years of salary to provide needed support while building their business. 

Work hard, make a difference and be rewarded.

Will this company support my development? 

As you consider new opportunities, ask what kind of training and support a company will provide you. Remember that not all companies prioritize training, which could leave you in a development dead end. If you're looking at a new role, make sure you'll get the support you need to succeed in both the short and long term. 

Edward Jones financial advisors not only receive paid training, they're offered study support for certification exams, professional coaching and consultant support to help you build your business. 

"We'll never stop being there to help you and provide learning opportunities," said Okwuraiwe.

Edward Jones' Inclusion and Diversity Mentoring Program also pairs newer and veteran financial advisors to equip you with tools and resources designed to strengthen and advance female career trajectories at the firm. 

2021 can be a new dawn for your career and with these questions, a chance for you to get more out of work. A career as an Edward Jones financial advisor offers women from all backgrounds a chance to make an impact, develop as a professional and be rewarded for their work. Learn more at EdwardJones.com/careers.

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