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Career change spells success

Rakesh Kalia can now
laugh at the months of frustration as he look-ed for a job in his field.
“But back then, I found it diff-icult to laugh at much,” conf-esses the financial advisor at Sun Life Financial.
The civil engineer from Hosh-iarpur in Punjab, India, came to Canada in April 1999 after a six-year stint in Libya.
“In spite of being a qualified engineer with years of work ex-perience, I was not considered for jobs because I lacked Canadian experience. I sent out applica-tions by the hundreds, but got the same response. How was I supp-osed to get Canadian experience if no one would give me a job in Canada?”
Kalia submitted his papers to get his Professional Engineer of Ontario (PEO) certification, but the process is long and it is diff-icult to survive for that long with a family to look after. Putting his dreams on hold, Kalia did odd jobs for a year to pay the bills. His luck turned when his brother-in-law, Dr. Rakesh Kumar, in-troduced him to Sid Punjabi, a manager with Sun Life Finan-cial in 2000.
That fortuitous meeting led to Kalia’s joining Sun Life Financial’s Scarborough br-anch where he has received the coveted Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) certificate three years in a row. The certificate is awarded in recognition of an advisor’s technical skills and sales and client services while maintaining high ethical standards.
Kalia also got his mutual funds licence and now guides clients on RRSPs, RESPs and insurance products like dis-ability, group, health and visi-tor insurance. “I think I have a high success rate because I understand which insurance best meets a particular client’s needs. I don’t just walk in and say, ‘Take an insurance policy for two million dollars’.”
He attributes his success to the good atmosphere at the branch and management team support and says Sun Life Fin-ancial is a great organization to work for.
“It is one of the leading finan-cial companies in the world. Peo-ple know and trust the name, ma-king the job that much easier. Sun Life provides indepth training and a great commission package on re-tirement. Financial advisors who complete eight years of service re-ceive commission on release, ev-ery month, for 10 years. This is unique to Sun Life,” says Kalia.
“When I meet someone in the same situation I was in eight years ago, I know the best thing I can do for them is to share my story with them and take them to our management team.”
Kalia’s wife, Rita, son Viven and daughter Swati love Can-ada.
“They have their own dr-
eams,” smiles Kalia.

• To find out more about ca-reer opportunities at Sun Life Financial, visit www.sunlife. ca/careers

Posted: Jul 2, 2010

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