More than any other time in recent history, American workers at every level are thinking seriously about a career change. People are tired of dealing with toxic workplace cultures and job insecurity. They want recognition for their contributions to their company’s success and a clear path for advancement. Women, in particular, appreciate the flexibility of remote working and want it to continue, at least part of the time. And workers of every age want to feel that the time they devote to their careers actually means something — that it brings them a sense of personal fulfillment and gives something back to their communities.
February is Insurance Careers Month. To celebrate, I’d like to share my top reasons for choosing a career in this incredible industry.
If you’re looking for options and flexibility, insurance is definitely the industry for you! While some companies are trying to lure agents back into the office, most realize that remote or hybrid work is an opportunity. It offers a wider talent pool for an industry already concerned about a talent shortage.
Another factor that makes it easier to find the “right fit” is the sheer variety of workplaces cultures within the industry. Insurance is a big tent. Businesses range from insurtech startups to mom-and-pop agencies where employees are part of the family to multi-national corporations. Additionally, insurance touches on every aspect of life (and health, property and casualty, etc.) No matter what your interest is, there are companies offering to insure it and colleagues who share your passion.
Opportunity, with Stability
Many Americans found themselves furloughed during the shut-downs, branded as non-essential workers. They fear that employers will want to continue with lean staffing for the long term. Employees stuck covering the work have similar concerns, albeit for different reasons.
The great news is that insurance is an essential industry. In fact, it’s when times get tough that we swing into high gear. There’s never been a better time to get into insurance. The industry is in the midst of a generational turnover. Baby Boomers are retiring, some even earlier than they originally anticipated. That means lots of openings at every level. It also means that more than ever insurance’s image as a job for “old white guys” is undeserved. The demographics of America’s consumers are changing, and insurance companies and agencies want to hire team members that reflect that diversity.
Furthermore, the industry is currently in the midst of a major digital transformation. If that sounds alarming to you, don’t be unduly concerned; insurance has a reputation for moving almost too conservatively when it comes to the adoption of new technologies. It does mean that if you have an interest in (or better yet, experience) automating processes, there’s definitely a place for you!
One of the most frustrating things for employees is lacking a clear career pathway that meets their personal goals. All too often, getting ahead means making a trade-off in your life-work balance. Insurance professionals have always enjoyed an unusual degree of control over their career trajectories.
While there are salaried positions at most carriers and agencies, many employees — in particular agents and brokers — also receive commissions. There are certain minimum production expectations, obviously; but the sky’s the limit. It’s also common for agents to switch agencies or carriers for a better opportunity, so there’s no stigma for doing so.
The insurance industry also places a high value on continuing to expand your knowledge and skill base. Continuing education requirements are the norm for many license types. Additionally, new products and new distribution models are constantly entering the market as clients’ needs change and new technologies are adopted. That means lots of opportunities to carve out a niche for yourself.
Well-Being and Fulfillment
For individuals seeking a greater sense of purpose in their work lives, insurance offers a unique opportunity. Our industry is there for people at some of the most difficult times of their lives, helping them recover and rebuild. That focus attracts individuals with a true heart for helping and creates a community with a strong commitment to giving back. The insurance industry also is ideally positioned to address the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) challenges facing our world today, such as climate change.
On a more personal level, risk management and mitigation are fundamental to how the insurance industry works. It’s part of our culture. That means insurance professionals from the boardroom to the break room have access to the tools they need to promote physical, mental, and financial health as well as a deep, data-based understanding of the risks of neglecting these needs.
Finding Your Way to an Insurance Career
One of the fascinating things about insurance is the varied paths that lead so many of us to our callings as insurance professionals. We often joke that no eight-year-old says, I want to be an insurance agent when I grow up. People talk about stumbling into their careers, but the forces that make them want to stay are powerful and often deeply heartfelt. There are insurance professionals at work today in your community. Reach out to them to learn more about why they love what they do and how you can do it, too.