Years of research and hard work are needed for success. So, what if you hit the peak only to discover you’ve been ascending the wrong mountain all along?
Saajan Pandit left his Enterprise-rent-a-car sales job for stockbroking, where he worked his way up to Deputy Manager at the share centre based in Aylesbury.
Pandits says, “The key is to remain focused.” He absorbed all the knowledge provided to him throughout his training—installing an attitude and ethos never to give up. Hard work and discipline will take you a long way.
Getting into stockbroking and out of sales
How did you get into enterprise sales?
I was able to gain employment from Enterprise-rent-a-car in July 2018 through their graduate scheme after University. However after University, I found it challenging to get a job within the industry I was hoping for; Financial Services. This meant I had to broaden my search, which led me to Enterprise. The Enterprise experience was eye-opening in the sense that I could see what it was really like working for a well-established company, and it gave me a real insight into their business model.
I did enjoy the job right from the off as I have a massive passion for cars, and being surrounded by them every day was very enjoyable. Some of the pros included being provided with a vehicle to go to and from work on most days where possible. This was not always the case which meant I needed a car of my own just in case. Additionally, the program I was on would have led me to become a Manager of my Car Rental Branch. The job was based on performance in Sales and general service performance. The team I had around me was great, and I keep in regular contact with my manager at the time.
My reason for leaving was due to the daily hours and the bi-weekly weekend shifts. My contractual hours of work were 8-6; however, I would need to be in the office by 7:30 every day to start the day. Although it was a 6-o clock finish, we often received last-minute requests as this was a logistics-based business. I vividly remember when I started at my usual time and did not leave work until 9:30.
There was a time where we had provided an insurance courtesy car to the police offer. While this was like any other rental, it ended on an amusing note. The customer, a police officer I remind, kept the car unauthorized and unpaid for and refused to answer calls or emails. In the end, I, a colleague and had to visit the customer’s property after hours (7 pm) to retrieve the vehicle.
When did you start thinking about a career change into the stock market?
I started thinking about changing my career from Enterprise to Stockbroking after six months of being at Enterprise. I felt that the Share Centre was too big an opportunity to miss and turn down for the industry experience and industry-relevant knowledge. In hindsight, I often miss Enterprise and believe I still could have done well there had I decided to stay.
How do you get into stockbroking?
While I was at Enterprise, my Mum worked at the brokerage firm (The Share Centre) as an Admin Assistance on a Fixed Term Contract. She talked to one of the managers, and they informed her that there was a vacancy within the Dealing Team. Although she was sure that this is what I wanted to do, my Mum pointed out the job descriptions for all the vacancies across a whole host of different departments for me to read and review. After reading them all, I decided that I wanted to apply for the Investment Dealing role.
The volatile and costly nature of the stock market
What is your typical day?
Open the office up, start all the computers, and set up monitors to help manage inbound call volumes. Hand out all relevant admin paperwork to those carrying out the tasks for the week. Ensure I respond to all emails from Computershare that I have a close working relationship with as I am the registered contact should anything go wrong, whether that be between the two firms or for mutual customers. Regular weekly meetings are also attended to ensure the service on both sides is consistent and as expected.
What life and transferable skills have you learned being a stockbroker?
Some of the critical skills I have learned from stockbroking have been decision making, ownership, critical thinking, and the ability to execute orders and trades in a timely and efficient manner.
Once I was promoted to Deputy Manager, the number of skills I obtain grew. I was required to deal with things that I had never done before. I had some new responsibilities by hosting interviews, making decisions such as approving or rejecting candidates, and dealing with team issues such as training and HR issues. Other things included being a key point of contact for a third-party contract which helped develop my relationship management skills. Another is taking the lead on representing the cohort of employees through the Collective Consultation, which law requires when individuals are to be made redundant.
What are the highlights and lowlights of your job?
The highlights of my job at the moment can be a whole range of things. The most important and the one I believe to be the most interesting is how News events worldwide can severely impact the Financial Markets. The impacts of Covid-19 on the stock market were severe and can be seen on any chart for any stock.
Some lowlights of my job are having to deal with disciplinary hearings and potentially terminations of employment. I recently had to terminate the work of an individual who joined the business a few months after I had started. As a Manager, it can be demanding however, you need to separate personal friendships and working relationships.
Why do you think changing a career is a good thing?
When changing a career, it’s essential to utilize the skills developed in your current/previous job. Working at Enterprise helped me see first-hand what management techniques to implement when dealing with a team of 5-10 people. My manager at Enterprise has been an actual Role Model for me, especially now that I have to manage my team.
The impacts of Covid-19 on the stock market were severe and can be seen on any chart for any stock
Has the Coronavirus impacted your career?
The Coronavirus did not impact my job as it was classified as an essential service. However, it may have affected it slightly in terms of my career as I only planned on staying at The Share Centre for one year after obtaining my Deputy Manager position. If anything, it has only delayed somewhat my next move.
Child dreams and the future
Where do you see yourself in the future?
In the future, I hope to have a role where I am responsible for the whole department or equivalent. The most enjoyable part of my job is dealing with an ever-changing environment on a day-to-day basis consistently.
Stocks and Shares fascinate me immensely and do pique my interest. Previous to working here, I was shocked to see sums of cash and assets below £10,000. Soon after starting this position, I was placing trades worth up to £1m very quickly.
Which job did you want to do when you were a child?
When I was a child, I wished to be one of two things; a racing driver or an insurance broker/underwriter. I could not pursue my dream of being a racing driver due to the immense costs involved. I did not become an insurance broker/underwriter as stockbroking caught my attention and passion.
Foreign languages and education
What is your educational background?
I Studied Financial Economics at the University of Leicester, obtaining a 2:1 degree classification. A level subjects were Photography, Geography, Maths, Economics.
How many languages do you speak?
I speak two languages; English and Gujarati. Growing up in the UK meant that my primary language is English. I learned Gujarati as a child growing up to communicate with my Grandparents and other family members whose first language was not English. English was studied at school and used mainly. I learned Gujarati just by being around others who spoke the same language. However, I cannot read or write in Gujarati, verbal only.
Learning two languages has enabled me to pick up basics in other languages; I understood differences in sentence structures across different languages. It has impacted the way I think because sometimes I find myself thinking in a specific language depending on the situation or environment.
Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Never let somebody tell you that you cannot do something. If you want something, you have to go and get it.
Did you enjoy reading Lessons from a Career Changer: From sales to stockbroking? Find more inspirational stories of career changers here.