From Corporate Comfort to an Accelerated Career Path in Financial Planning

Aaron Helms

Key Takeaways

Aaron's journey highlights several key takeaways for individuals considering a career change:

  • Choose Purpose Over Income: Prioritize fulfillment and purpose over a high salary, as a meaningful career can bring more happiness and satisfaction.
  • Embrace Discomfort: Don't shy away from discomfort; it can be a catalyst for personal and professional growth.
  • Seek Support: Engage in open and honest discussions with loved ones about career changes and ensure alignment with your family's priorities.
  • Explore Opportunities: Research firms and organizations that align with your values — look for one that offers the support and mentorship needed for a successful transition.
  • Build a Legacy: Consider how your career can contribute to creating a lasting impact and legacy for both your family and your clients.

Aaron's story serves as a powerful reminder that a purpose-driven career can lead to greater fulfillment and happiness, even when it requires stepping into the unknown.

In this case study, we'll follow Aaron Helms' remarkable journey from a ten-year corporate career to a purpose-driven role in financial services. Aaron's story highlights the importance of seeking purpose and fulfillment in one's career and the courage it takes to make a significant career change.


Aaron spent a decade working his way up to a management position at a car rental company, and his commitment and dedication were evident throughout his tenure. However, Aaron faced an unexpected turn of events when he was let go. This event marked the end of his corporate journey but also the beginning of a new, purpose-driven path.

Even though he had already been considering a job change due to leadership turnover and a shift in the company's direction, this pivotal moment left him uncertain about his future.

Discovery of Purpose

Aaron connected with a friend who suggested a career in financial services. Aaron was initially hesitant, as he lacked a background in finance, but he realized that what truly motivated him was helping people and making a positive impact in their lives.

“He made a statement to me, ‘When I'm sitting in front of somebody with the opportunity to leave them in a better position than they were before — that is why I love this.’”

That comment resonated with Aaron “That connected to me because it related to my last job when I would hire employees. I loved seeing them progress in their careers based on my wisdom. When they called or asked me questions, I was able to give them guidance in life — and not just life, but also in their careers to get better and get promoted to the next level.”

As Aaron went through the interview process and began learning from experienced professionals at Strategic Financial Partners, he discovered that his passion lay in guiding and assisting individuals through critical financial decisions. This calling resonated deeply with his past experiences of mentoring and coaching employees during his time at the car rental company.

Transition to a Purposeful Career

Aaron has embraced his new career path, even though it meant stepping out of his comfort zone into a career where he had no prior experience. The support he feels in his new career is very different from his prior corporate experience.

“This is not just a corporate job where someone is questioning if I'm able to do this or not. At Strategic Financial Partners, I'm actually around people who want to see me be successful — believe in me.”

With that support, Aaron has been able to bring quality services to clients. He said, “I want to see them be successful. I want to see them walk through life and say, ‘I'm so thankful I did this now, and you called me, and I didn't wait until I was in my forties.’ I want to help families create a legacy.”

Also, Aaron's wife, Amy, has supported him throughout his career transition. During the interview process, their conversations revolved around their family's priorities, including spending more time together and being present for important moments in their children's lives.

“This is something where I believe in the long term I'm building something for my family as far as what we want to accomplish and so we can have more time for family,” he said.

Unique Aspects of Strategic Financial Partners

When choosing his new career path, Aaron evaluated several options. What stood out about Strategic Financial Partners was the firm's commitment to helping professionals succeed. The collaborative environment allows him to work independently while receiving guidance from experienced mentors.

“Everyone here wants everyone to be successful,” he said. “Having the opportunity to work with my mentor and learn from him is a great opportunity. I have the autonomy to go to somebody and say, ‘How should I handle this case? What should you do for this client?’”

Advice for Those Considering a Career Change

For those considering making a career change to financial services, Aaron says it’s important to understand if you’re a good fit for the career.

“If you told me you wanted to make a career change, I would want to know what's important to you,” he said. “Do you want stability where you have a salary and somebody to manage you? Or are you self-motivated, hungry, and not afraid to be uncomfortable?”

He added that those who will thrive in this career “have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.” He added, “You can't be complacent. You can't just think it's going to be given to you. You’ve got to go out there and be uncomfortable. For instance, you’ll have to call people you're not used to calling. Is that interesting?”

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What other career allows you to make a tremendous difference in the lives of people and still meet your income aspirations? This Financial Advisor career is different. It is empowering to the people who enter its service. It is impactful to the individuals and families it can help. You don’t need a Finance degree, but a high sense of motivation and determination are essential. It’s not always easy, and it’s always a challenge. You may not be able to change the world, but you can help change the future for your clients. It is a career where you see the positive outcomes of your best efforts.  Read on for more details on careers at our firm.