“I want to do something that helps people”. This was the guiding factor in my search for a career as I was discussing options with my university’s career center counselor. I tossed around possibilities in my head: teacher, social worker, non-profit development. These all sounded great, but my life was going to take an unexpected turn. After trying my hand at a few of the above-mentioned options, I didn’t see them working out long-term. I panicked – what was I going to do? Here I was with a college degree, three years of work experience with a non-profit school district, and four summer internships under my belt. How could I change directions now? How could I change my story? More importantly, where could I change my story? “You should come work with me,” my best friend said. “Huh? Work in… insurance…? No, thanks”.
Boy, was I wrong. I took the leap when I was offered a position with a large commercial insurance broker where my best friend was employed. I knew nothing about insurance; heck, my dad was still handling my car insurance at the time! I went through my company’s “intro to insurance” course and shadowed account managers, claims consultants, and producers. I learned everything from certificates of insurance to identifying gaps in coverage to cross-selling. I was working on massive, global accounts, and I was realizing that my liberal arts degree was actually being put to use in some roundabout way! I was analyzing legal contracts and strategizing ways to save my client money while they worked to achieve their corporate goals. In just a few short years, with the proper training, I’d learned so much about this new industry. I realized this was a great place to get started… so much so that I convinced the company I was working for to let me join our HR team and recruit students – I just had to show college students how fulfilling a career in insurance could really be! I’d identified a way to give back to the industry that took a chance on me. That’s the beauty about insurance – there is so much to do, so much to learn, and so many opportunities to find your “niche”. I now work for an insurance and risk management staffing firm, and I get to run our college recruiting division! Dream job: check! Remember, it’s okay to get derailed a few times when searching for what makes you happiest in your career. Your job is where you spend most of your days, so choose wisely. Be picky.
Looking back at my 21-year-old self, I knew I wanted a meaningful career. “I want to do something that helps people”. Looks like I’ve accomplished what I set out to do, and I hope the same for you. What could be more helpful than working in an industry that protects people and their businesses? That picks people back up after catastrophic disasters? That donates hundreds of millions to charitable organizations and gives back to communities? That’s what I found when I started working in insurance, and that’s what I hope you can find, too. Consider insurance. You’ll be glad you did.