Empowering and Encouraging Women in Finance: an interview with Jenni Syrjala of www.coachingbyjenni.com
Jenni, please tell us about what you do.
I am a personal finance coach and speaker. I work with women who feel overwhelmed by money and who aren’t sure about how to manage it, and I help them make friends with their finances. I want people to see that personal finance isn’t a scary topic by making it more interesting and fun – people often tell me after my workshops how much fun they’ve had, which is exactly what I want to hear!
How did you get into this? Did you attend university, and/or fall straight into a role or was it a more roundabout journey?
My background is actually in languages rather than in finance, as I studied to be a translator and set up a business in that field after university. A few years ago, I happened upon a webinar on personal finance, and it really opened my eyes to a whole new world. I started learning everything I could about managing my money, including the best ways of saving, cutting down debt, and investing. I became really passionate about learning more, but also about sharing what I was learning with others, as I noticed that many people around me, especially women, were as clueless about how to manage their money as I had been. That’s when I decided I would start coaching women and giving talks and workshops, so that I could help them realise that money doesn’t have to be scary and stressful, it can be fun and exciting, too!
Can you explain what a typical day for you would be?
As I run my own business, every day is different! I usually work from home, and my schedule is very flexible, but I always try to stick to some sort of office hours. Some of my regular tasks include writing newsletter and blog posts, recording videos or audios, creating graphics and updating my social media channels. The coaching work itself includes one-on-one coaching calls with clients, mostly via Skype, as well as webinars for my group programs. I also spend time preparing for and running workshops and talks.
What’s your experience from a woman’s point of view. Would you say it is a good job for a woman?
As I mainly work with women, I think only a woman can completely understand the female perspective when it comes to money. Women have so many money blocks that men don’t have, such as feeling like they aren’t good with money, and just leaving the finances to their partners, or finding it difficult to talk about money and even to charge enough for their services or ask for a raise at work. As a woman, and as someone who’s been through what many of my clients are going through now, women also find me easy to relate to.
What would your advice be to someone thinking of entering this profession?
Creating a career out of something you love is an amazing thing! In coaching, no matter what field you’re in, it is really important to come at it from a place of service – I love all things personal finance, and I have a passion for sharing my knowledge with others, so that is my focus. If you enjoy helping others and seeing the transformations they can achieve with your help, this is a wonderful career.
What’s your best financial advice for any woman?
Don’t trust anyone else to manage your finances! Other people (parents, partners, friends, financial advisers, stockbrokers…) can help you, but make sure you are always the one who’s in charge and knows what’s going on. Only you will have your best interest at heart, so you need to learn how to do it yourself! Don’t be scared – it’s not as difficult or scary as you think, and who knows – you might realise it’s actually fun!