Risk Management: This Isn't Your Grandfather's Industry
If you think the Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) industry only offers careers in underwriting, claims or at your local agency, you might want to take a closer look.
Just as in any other industry, insurance companies market to attract their target customers, keep track of their finances, communicate to their employees, customers and agents, innovate to stay on top of the latest technology, manage networks of computers and employees, and create websites and mobile apps for their customers. The possibilities within many of these companies are seemingly endless.
To put it frankly, this isn’t your grandfather’s insurance industry. Here are 3 ways you can prepare yourself as a young professional for success:
1. Gain Exposure to Multiple Parts of the Organization
Exposure is the main driver of your perspective. What you perceive is directly related to the size of the picture you understand. Your perspective on opportunities within any company will change when you have an overall better picture of the organization.
Get outside your business unit and learn how other parts of the organization work together to achieve your company’s strategic goals. This perspective will also help you make a stronger connection to your work. Who knows, you may meet your next boss or become aware of the perfect career opportunity you would otherwise have never considered.
2. Network with Others
Joining the workforce means you’ll need to think differently about networking. Gone is the “insta-network” situation college provides, where everyone you meet is a potential friend because you’re all in the same place.
Networking in the workplace is strategic, as long as it’s done earnestly, and is a skill to be developed. Find a place where you can practice your networking skills safely, such as within an Employee Resource Group, or common entity where employees united by similar characteristics work together to foster an inclusive and diverse workplace aligned with your company’s goals. These groups can provide a low-stakes environment and will afford an opportunity to receive constructive networking feedback.
3. Be Inquisitive, Humble and Confident
It may seem like these three adjectives are conflicting, but hear us out.
As a new hire, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your colleagues and especially your superiors don’t expect you to know everything, so use your “newness” as an opportunity to learn from others. As your confidence grows, the quality of your work improves and you begin to achieve results, be humble. You are a part of a team and being grateful for the collaboration of that team will go a long way in cementing your reputation. No one wants to be known as the “know-it-all,” attention-seeking greenhorn.
Finally, be confident in what you’ve learned and what you bring to bear. There’s a reason you were hired and, regardless of how decorated your resume is or how many years out of school you are, your perspective is valuable. Be mindful and ensure that you package your message and voice your opinion and growing expertise, tactfully. It’ll go a long way in demonstrating that you’re paying attention and are worthy of the next opportunity.
You are the master of your fate in determining your career path. You own your career in RMI, even if you start in an entry-level position, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities. It may also require a little bit of luck, but as Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
By Michelle Welton & Brianne Frucci Tucker, Farmers Insurance
Michelle Welton supports the Digital Marketing team at Farmers Insurance. She leads marketing and communications strategies for various new and improved digital products, cross-collaborating to drive awareness and adoption by the target markets. She earned a BS in International Hospitality Management but has been in the RMI industry since 2015.
Brianne Frucci Tucker is a part of Internal Communications at Farmers Insurance. Her key client is HR and she’s responsible for ensuring people managers are equipped to translate important strategic information for all employees. An “old millennial,” she holds degrees in both Broadcast and Cinematic Arts and Marketing. She’s been in the RMI industry since 2008.