Completing 14 marathons and an ultra-iron man now that’s quite something. Add to that a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in English Literature. Raising two children and working. Even more impressive is at the age of 50 having gone through separation and divorce is pursuing the career you’ve always wanted. 

It’s quite hard to go back to work as a middle-aged woman. Your CV has career gaps. All for good reasons. Looking after children. Supporting your husband. Living in rural England. All positive things in themselves but not always helpful for your career.  

Meet Petra she’s done all those things and so much more.  

Petra was recommended to one of our Relationship Managers, Karen Ritchie. At a time when she was juggling a new job, a new life and her finances  

For Petra, Karen’s approach was really helpful. As she explains:  

“On a micro level. I’m very on top of my finances, but when it comes to things like investments, I really don’t know what I’m doing, and I really appreciate the help in understanding and choosing how to invest. I’d not worked with a financial adviser before it’s a very new experience.” 

As is the case for a lot of women Petra had access to money whilst married, though it was more in terms of day-to-day spending. Long-term financial planning was managed by her husband.  

At the point that they separated and then eventually divorced, Petra had for the first-time sole guardianship of her pension and finances. Having the right financial adviser in place was incredibly important to her.  

One of things that Petra appreciates about working with Karen is that she really makes the effort ‘to get her’. She explained: 

“We catch up regularly and just recently we ran through various scenarios and one of them was me retiring at 55. Well, that’s not happening. I’m really enjoying work and there’s so much I want to try and explore particularly with new work opportunities.”  

Karen’s role is also to help put Petra, and other clients when needed, in touch with expert professionals. From specialists in life insurance through to mortgage brokers, our advisers are well placed to act as a link to a range of professional experts.

Petra eloquently sums up well how a relationship with a financial adviser should be:  

“I really enjoy working with her and we know a lot about each other. It’s an extremely personal relationship because this person sees your money and they see what you do and don’t spend. For it to be productive you need to have a good relationship where you feel able to say I’ve made these changes in my life. These are my priorities. What would you advise?” 

Petra added: 

“Having Karen as my adviser is having a trusted, safe person to talk to. There’s no other agenda other than to support me. As much as friends want to help, everyone has a much more emotional relationship to money than they acknowledge. We all have our idiosyncrasies, whereas I think Karen is very professional and the advice she gives me is based on me, not her. It’s like having a very good partner in in finance which is so important.” 

So, you might have spotted the earlier reference to work opportunities. It might be considered unusual for Petra to take up a sales job for a tech company. But it was perfect. It got her back into the workforce. She’s progressed from a customer facing role through to an internship within their book division. She loves it and wants to progress her career with them. Going full circle back to using her English Literature qualifications.   

Whilst Petra isn’t planning to run any more marathons, she still likes to spend time outdoors. Cycling round London, choosing to commute on two wheels. Hiking in the Highlands and back-packing abroad. Alongside the physical activities (often accompanied by Arnold the dachshund) there are also more cerebral pursuits. Petra still makes time for her passion for reading and books. Plus there’s a newsletter in the pipeline which she hopes to publish this year.  

It’s never too late to follow your passions and embark on a new career. Particularly when you’ve got the right adviser working with you.