Ikigai: The Secret to A Purpose-Driven Wealth Management Career

As Paulo Coelho stated in his book, “The Alchemist,” the universe conspires in helping you achieve whatever your heart desires.

A lot of people look for meaning in what they do and—probably—just about every day, evaluate where they are in life at present. Chances are you may also be spending a significant amount of time thinking about those very things. During these times of doubt and questioning, you’re no longer reconsidering just how and where you work, but also why you work. It’s a question that isn’t always that simple to answer. The good news is, finding your life’s purpose isn’t about going big. Rather, the Japanese philosophy of ikigai teaches you that your calling can be ordinary; that what matters is what you do that makes you look forward to a bright future.

While it is a general concept, ikigai looks different for everybody. Some people, athletes for example, feel called to dedicate their lives to their sport and bringing honor to their team is part of what makes it meaningful and fulfilling. Others—educators, healthcare workers, and advocates—simply strive to leave a positive impact in their respective communities. Likewise, the ikigai of financial advisors and wealth planners, as explained by Sun Life financial advisor Eloisa “Isa” Valenton, is to help identify and create opportunities that will allow others to live a life built on sound financial decisions.

Eloisa Valenton in matching blue blazer and trousers

Ahead, you’ll read about Isa’s story of finding her true calling, which she realizes was right under her nose the whole time.

Discovering her ikigai

“When I was in college, I imagined a job in the field of communications or advertising,” Isa shares. This was largely why she dabbled in different professions in the fields of sales and marketing. She also enjoyed her work managing a food catering business, and engaged in online sales of houseware, furniture and fashion accessories.

While she found the grind gratifying, she desired to do something that would allow her to open doors for people from all walks of life.

The then-manager knew she “finds fulfillment in teaching others how to create, grow, and preserve wealth,” but somehow couldn’t find the medium through which she could express that—not until the unexpected happened.

Realizing the realignment

Isa always had a knack for budgeting and saving. In fact, as early as when she was in second grade, she had already opened her first savings account that her mom had helped set up. Isa recalls being ecstatic about the interest earnings each time her passbook was updated, “I was happy even if the amounts were just in centavos!” So, the youngster set aside every peso she could—from the money given to her by the ‘tooth fairy’ to a portion of her baon or school allowance—primarily so she could buy birthday presents for her parents.

Life went on like this for young Isa until she was able to earn on her own. She was working to rack up as much savings as she could at the time, not knowing that the same person who had influenced her financial habits would be the catalyst to her finding the career through which she would draw meaning from.

Eloisa Valenton casually donning a light grey coordinates

“Just about a month from the time she obtained her one and only life insurance policy, which was from Sun Life, my mom suddenly passed away,” Isa tells Lifestyle Asia. She looks back on the financial crisis in the 80s and says, “The days were dark, but we had a swift settlement of the insurance claim following my mom’s death in 1979.”

Roughly four decades later, having just left a full-time job as an operations manager, Isa was invited to become a Sun Life financial advisor. There, Isa found her ikigai. “Following my family’s experience with Sun Life, I felt that I would be proud to be part of such an established and respected company that stands by its commitments,” she gladly states.

Fulfilling her purpose

It took her several years, but the realization has changed Isa’s outlook for the better. “I used to think that the most important job of a financial advisor is to close a sale, but now I understand that’s not true,” she remarks, reiterating Sun Life Financial’s slogan, Partner for Life. “Financial advisors are here to guide you, and provide you with the best financial solutions and services, from the time we close a sale until death do us part.”

“Our purpose is to create relational, not just transactional, dealings with our clients. This means being a friend, a shoulder to cry on, and a companion as the need arises, because we are a partner for life. This is not just necessary, but is inevitable.”

Eloisa “Isa” Valenton, Licensed Financial Advisor, Sun Life Philippines

At the convergence of her passion, career, mission, and vocation, Isa has found a satisfying sense of meaning and lasting happiness that can sustain her throughout her life and that of her clients. “The Lord has given each one of us the ability to create wealth,” she quotes from the Book of Deuteronomy, “and it is a privilege to teach and help others to do so through [being a financial advisor].”

For more information about Sun Life Financial plans, visit Sun Life Philippines’ official website.

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