How to Be the Risk and Insurance Industry’s Rookie of the Year
If you’re just starting a career in the risk and insurance industry, well, first of all, welcome! Whether you’ve been preparing for this your whole life or you’re a recent recruit, it’s good to have you join the team.
Second, it’s time to learn some of your duties as a rookie. Being a young professional in this field requires many of the same attributes you’d want in any line of work: working hard, asking smart questions, networking, and so forth. That said, there are some additional ways you can succeed when just starting out in the insurance field. Here are a few simple tips for making a mark early on.
Learn How to Post
You’re probably already active on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and so on on a daily basis. LinkedIn, however, has probably only been a resource for job hunting efforts. Now that you have a gig, use it as a way to demonstrate your determination to succeed in the field. Posting about your work projects might be a turnoff on Facebook, but that type of detail is perfect for LinkedIn, where people are interested in your professional pursuits — not so much in where you went out Saturday night.
Keeping a regular presence on LinkedIn can pay dividends as you build your network of professional colleagues. A post a day is sometimes all it takes.
Become a Talent Scout
You know how athletes are always trying to recruit other great players to join their squads to make them better? It makes sense in the business world, too. Whether you’re trying to attract people to your own company or just sway them to join the industry in general, the smarter, more ambitious, more dedicated the people who join our profession, the better it will be for all of us. Who doesn’t want to play with other great players?
With that in mind, it’s actually pretty simple to become an ambassador for the field. If you talk with siblings, cousins or friends with younger brothers or sisters, don’t be afraid to drop some knowledge about what it is you’re doing. As you probably know (maybe from personal experience), most young people don’t know much about how insurance works and what the people do who work in the field every day. Just give a quick overview to make it sound more approachable, tell them what you like about it, and give them your contact information in case they want to learn more down the road.
Work on Your Defensive Skills
Every industry has critics. Once you’re in the insurance industry, do what you can to help improve its reputation. It’s your team now; don’t let it get tarnished in a way that brings down morale. You can certainly promote yourself, but if you do so without promoting the industry, too, you might come across as a selfish player.
You don’t have to argue with people to accomplish this. Instead, let other people know about the difference you’re making in people’s lives through the work you do, and carefully answer questions people may have about how coverage works. Insurance is often misunderstood more than anything else, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there to help clear up any misinformation.
Find a Personal Trainer
Having a great mentor is crucial in the insurance industry. You may already have one in your company, but it can’t hurt to reach out to other people in the industry whom you admire so you can learn from them. Just make sure you’re genuine when you do reach out. Do some research on the person before you contact him or her, and ask questions that show you know what the person has done that makes you want to learn from him or her. Make it clear that you won’t waste the person’s time.
At the same time, don’t be afraid to ask seemingly dumb questions. You’re allowed – you’re a rookie, after all – and asking fundamental questions often shows you have a sincere interest in learning. Taking opportunities to build your foundation of skills can produce long-term results in your career.