Another hoping of a career change, hoping for guidance!

Hey guys, sorry for starting another discussion in regards to somebody trying to start out in the industry. After toying with the idea in my head of changing careers over the last year or so, I feel I’ve found somewhere that can answer any uncertainties I currently have.

I currently work in an industry very far removed from the financial industry, in a well paid job, but in the oil industry which is showing very uncertain times. Over the last few months I have escaped mass redundancies but it made me question a lot about what I wanted in life and in a career, and at 28 I feel it I leave it much longer, the same opportunities may not be there for me.

I have read a lot of posts on here over the last few weeks and didn’t want to ask the same questions where answers are readily available on here, but I’m just looking for clarification on a couple of points.

First, I’ve read about the different study guides available for the R0 exams, and was wondering what the best option would be in regards to what to purchase on the PFS. For me it looks as if the Brand study material is a good choice, but would you recommend also buying the material on PFS or purchasing the exam only?

I also understand that everybody’s learning situation is different, but I was wondering the sort of time scale it would take to fully understand the course material to pass an exam? I currently work away for 21 days at a time, meaning I then have 21 days off in which I can use to study. I read it could take a few months to pass a single exam, but would that be for those who only have an hour or so to study per day?

I know these questions are rather vague and would change per person, so I am just looking for general guidance so that I’m in a good headspace before fully committing to this. Any advice you can give me in regards to studying, the industry or the challenge of changing career paths will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your help.


  • It took me a month and a half (ish) to complete each R0, and around 10 months all in all to complete the Diploma. I've used most providers learning materials and they are all pretty good, however there is no substitute for getting your head down with the books (in my opinion).

    If you're on the rig for a long time, then you could focus on studying and passing each exam in a short timeframe however that won't prepare you for being a Paraplanner, only working within the industry can do that. The exams are the base of your knowledge and you'll pick everything else up as you get involved in the advice process.

    There's not shortcut to that unfortunately, although fast-track schemes in some providers or IFAs may get you there quicker.

  • Thanks for your reply Dan.

    I totally take onboard what you are saying about experience being the key. Would you think the answer would be to ask to join a local IFA maybe 1 or 2 days a week whilst I am home? Or do you think companies would see this as a burden to them?

    I wasn’t asking about time frame due to the fact I would try get them completed as quick as possible, I’m just trying to plan the coming years of changing careers.

    Thanks a lot for your help!
  • If you have a lot of spare time whilst working away, it makes sense to do them all quickly in all honesty. I got paid to do mine, hence completing it quickly (as we had to).

    Experience will be what gets your foot through the door so yeah working in an IFA even as a basic administrator part time will pay dividends and you will quickly grow if you are hungry for it and are qualified. From there you can specialise in what you want (in the way I specialise in DB transfers).


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