February is Insurance Careers Month and the funny thing is that many of us in the industry had no intention of ever ending up here. If you ever ask a child what he or she wants to be when they grow up, there’s a very good chance that “insurance salesperson” or “insurance underwriter” isn’t even on their radar!
Why is that? Probably because the industry hasn’t done enough to make it attractive to young professionals who are looking to enter the workforce. I’ll do my part and will let you know that insurance can be just as exciting as any number of career fields – you just need to figure out where you fit in.
Lucky for me, I fit in with The Uhl Agency in Dayton, Ohio.
Back in 2001, a few years removed from college, I stumbled into a position with an agency that has been around since 1958 and was looking for someone to help manage the office so that the owners could focus their time on selling. Fifteen years later, I’m still with that same agency and serve as their vice president of insurance operations. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
The reason? Every day is different and brings a new challenge. Oh, and helping our clients out is pretty rewarding as well!
As an agent, I’m sometimes lumped in with the unfortunate stereotype of the pushy insurance salesman who is looking to make a quick buck. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I treat my clients as any other trusted advisor would (such as an accountant, attorney, etc.). I listen to their concerns, help them to determine their needs, and address those needs as best I can.
Selfishly speaking, doing this gives me pleasure because I know that I’m providing peace of mind that allows my clients to sleep better at night. Assuring a client that they have a comprehensive insurance program in place and addressing each of their concerns allows them to check insurance off of their list and move onto things that are more important to them.
In addition, there is nothing more satisfying than telling a client “you’re covered” whenever they have a claim! The relief that they experience is often palpable.
Aside from sales duties, I manage our team here as well as oversee much of our marketing program. I am also involved with our day-to-day IT operations.
In short, no two days are ever alike but almost every single one of them is rewarding in some fashion.
To anyone who is considering a career in the insurance industry: don’t just consider it; make it happen. There is a huge opportunity in this industry for just about everyone. Not only are agents needed, but so are account managers, underwriters, actuaries, claims adjusters, risk managers, and marketing representatives.
You just need to figure out where you fit in!