A Dream-Worthy Career in Insurance (Seriously)
Congratulations–you’ve done it! You’ve completed college and received that slip of paper that says you’re now qualified to work in the adult world. However, a post-graduation job that has good career potential may still seem unreachable.
Or, you may be a year or two out of college and still not feeling like you’ve found the right fit. Regardless, if you’re feeling stuck in your job search or in your job, then I have one word for you: insurance.
No, that’s not a misprint. An entry-level job in the insurance industry may not seem glamorous, but here are five reasons why you should consider it as a rewarding future career:
1. The insurance industry is large and offers major career growth opportunities.
According to CNBC, there will be 400,000 new jobs added in the insurance industry by 2020. Even better for recent graduates, the industry offers attractive upward mobility among young job seekers. The Washington Post reports that 25 percent of the current workforce in the industry is expected to retire in the next 5-10 years. This mass exodus of baby boomers opens a variety of growth opportunities for young people. Note: I have seen this first-hand, as many of our recent placements in the industry have experienced multiple promotions and are now managing teams.
2. Insurance is good fit for all types of graduates.
Given the nature of their services, insurance companies offer a wide variety of positions that draw on different competencies, so there is a right-fit for almost everyone. From Actuaries who predict loss rates to claims analysts who help customers deal with major life events to business development specialists who bring in new accounts, companies are looking for candidates with degrees and skills that run the gamut.
3. You’ll see the difference that you make in the lives of others.
Insurance is the product no one thinks about until they need it, and then it can become the most important thing in a person’s or company’s life. Many entry-level positions in insurance will allow you to have meaningful interactions with individual or business clients who are facing major adverse events—you’ll help them navigate natural disasters, business impairment or work stoppage, and other life-changing matters. Even if you are not on the front line, the culture of protecting people and companies in their time of need will pervade your work environment, and you will see the positive impact that you have on the lives of your company’s clients.
4. You don’t need experience to be successful.
Unlike other jobs advertised as “entry-level” but where prior experience may be required, insurance companies recognize that they need to nurture their next generation of leaders and are happy to take raw talent and teach them the insurance-specific skills needed to thrive in the industry. Many prefer to “grow their own” rather than rely on other companies to train their future leaders. You will be paid for your (often extensive) training and learn everything that you need to know with hands-on experience.
5. You can make a good living at it.
If you’re not already sold on an insurance career, you will be pleased to discover that insurance companies have attractive compensation programs to attract the talent they need for the future. For example, the average starting salary for a business development agent is approximately $50,000, with bonus potential on top of that, according to U.S. News and World Report. Likewise, many of our candidates placed as claims analysts start at over $50,000. Combine that with the strong promotion potential, and your career in insurance can be lucrative as well as interesting and rewarding.
If you’re interested in exploring your options in the world of insurance, a great first step is for you to connect with someone working in the industry. Scour your (and your parents’) professional networks and invite an insurance professional to have coffee or lunch with you. Ask them about the various positions in their company, what they like about their position and what it’s like getting started. Then, see if their company has any openings for entry-level positions, or if they know of other companies in the industry that have robust training programs.
You can also tap additional resources to learn what opportunities exist in your city for entry-level insurance careers. Third-party recruiting firms, your campus career services office or popular job search websites may have more detail about specific open positions for you to pursue now.
While few recent grads enter college dreaming about an insurance career, a large and stable industry with outstanding on-the-job training and strong professional growth potential can sound like a dream to many. For the right grad, an insurance career may indeed be worthy of aspiration.
Brian Weed is CEO of Avenica, a national career matchmaking firm specializing in entry-level recruitment and hiring. Brian is an experienced business leader with nearly 30 years of experience helping companies of all sizes boost revenue and improve processes as well as outcomes, particularly in the higher education market.