Find Your Niche…
If you have not figured it out by now, the insurance industry is extremely diverse. There are so many different career directions you can take. The entry level position you may have started in many years ago has most likely spiraled and may have ended up in a different department or company. Insurance is the necessary evil. Everyone needs it. The industry itself is just about recession proof.
In my opinion, it takes a good three to five years to get a good grasp of the industry and the different career paths available. My advice is that if you are looking to make a move, ask yourself three questions.
The first question to ask yourself is do you want to be on the company, wholesale or agency side? In any case, your “audience” will either be the named insured or the person who is speaking to that named insured. If you think about it, it is basically the same duty of work but the tasks to do the work may be slightly different.
The second question to ask yourself is what is it that you want to do for your client? Keep in mind the client will either be the named insured or the person speaking to the named insured. There are so many career options. Do you want to work in the claims department, sales or accounting department? Customer service, technology department or do you want to be an underwriter? The choices are quite extensive, because in each of these departments there are supervisors and management positions as well.
The third question to ask yourself is what specific segment of the insurance industry do you like most? By this I mean do you like workers compensation versus professional liability or cyber liability? If understanding professional liability is challenging for you, why complicate the matter by working with professional liability policies? Choose something that is going to keep you intrigued. I personally know someone who loves computers but landed in the insurance industry. He is now a cyber liability underwriter – a perfect match for him.
I cannot take credit for the information I just shared. I recently had a guest on my podcast who is in the employment recruitment industry. She said that if you are looking for an accounting job, but really like Nike, why not try to get an accounting job at Nike? This makes complete sense. I thought about it from an insurance perspective and broke it down to three questions. Asking yourself these questions should help steer you in the direction that would be most desirable to you.
Personally, I also landed in the insurance industry. I went to school for computer programming, a filed I chose because I was able to be creative with my thoughts while still having a definitive answer. I found my niche. My niche is using my ability to think out of the box and provide alternate solutions for my clients, staff and firm.
Karen is a partner of the John Morgan McLachlan Agency, Inc. which offers commercial lines, personal lines, excess & surplus / specialty insurance, claims management, strategic partnerships and member solutions.
When working with a client her goal is to provide the best risk management solution that will meet their needs. In 2012 she received the professional CIC designation as Certified Insurance Counselor, and is currently studying to obtain her AAI (Accredited Advisor of Insurance), and AAIM (Accredited Advisor of Insurance Management). Her view is that educating others about insurance, whether they are her clients or not, is important. The platforms on which she educates others are LinkedIn and YouTube, and has a podcast called “Risk Intelligence” which can be found on iTunes, Spotify, Google and AnchorFM.
Karen is currently a member of the District XIII Ethics Committee, serves as a board director for the Metropolitan Builders and Contractors Association, as well as being very active in several community focus groups. Her other interests include playing golf, guitar, traveling and long distance road biking. She has been married for 27 years to her husband David.
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