Let's face it - being an insurance agent or working at an insurance agency isn't as sexy or glamorous as being a CEO, hedge fund manager, or a pilot. However, that doesn't mean insurance couldn't be fulfilling or even a satisfying career. As we've said before, it takes a special person to work at an insurance agency and many who do enter this industry often find themselves surprised at how much they enjoy working with their customers and helping them prepare for the future.
However, while it has its challenges, let's not forget the perks of being part of this industry. If you're not quite convinced, then look at these 5 benefits of working at an insurance agency.
1) Flexibile Workweek Schedule
Most office jobs require workers to be at their desks from 9 am to 6pm. While some jobs in the insurance agency, like underwriters or receptionists, do have to be at the office during weekdays, most insurance agents have a more flexible schedule. In fact, agents usually have to sync their schedules to their clients', which means being on call during the day and even weekends, but leaving weekdays quite free. Perhaps this is one reason why many parents work as insurance agents, as they have the flexibility to shuttle kids around while still keeping a full-time job. Of course, if you're just starting out and have no family, that just means you can run to the supermarket or get in line at the DMV when everyone else is stuck at their desks.
2) Travel Opportunities
If you're the type of person who enjoys being inside the office all day - good for you! But, if staring at four walls everyday drives you nuts, then perhaps you should consider becoming an insurance agent. Travel is part of the perks of being an insurance agent. Of course, travel can mean many things - it might be traveling to other cities or even countries to take part in conventions and expos. For top performers, it can also mean vacationing at some of the nicest resorts in the world on the "company's dime." But, it might also mean heading to the coffee shop to meet a client during his or her lunch break to go over policies. While you wont' be headed to exotic destinations all the time, you certainly won't be sitting at your desk the whole week.
3) Job Stability
Tired of jumping from one job to another? Want to stay in one career, with tremendous upside potential, and have some stability in your life? While no industry is truly recession proof, recruiting giant Monster.com rates insurance careers as one of the most stable. Saying that, "insurance companies tend to be fiscally conservative and Americans need insurance whether the economy is up or down." And this is certainly true, as The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that an additional 43,500 insurance sales jobs will be available through 2024. This may seem counterintuitive, since many people don't often think of insurance as a necessity, but still, things like car insurance and home insurance are things that most people can't do without. In most cases, they're legally required. Plus, the demand for agents is steady, and will continue to grow as demand for health insurance and long-term care increases in the near future, so this is one career you know you can stay in for a very long time.
4) More Career Opportunity and Growth
A flexible schedule, good employees, and of course, a big compensation package (for high performers) are some of the things people look for in a job, but if you want a career, then you also want professional growth. There are many types of career paths available in this industry, and there's always an opportunity to move into corporate management depending on your experience and talent level (Of course, to really know the industry, you have to start by getting in the trenches and learn how to sell insurance and work with clients.)
Doing the same thing, everyday, is boring and will make you stagnant. However, there's never a dull moment as an insurance agent. The industry is keen on ongoing training and development (both in-house and via outside education sources) to help you grow as a professional and as a person. Aside from working with all types of people, most insurance companies encourage their agents to take additional training, enroll in courses, and attend seminars to help them learn more and network with other people. While most think insurance is boring and never changes, it's actually the opposite. There are new developments and the industry is always evolving, so agencies and agents need to keep up with the trends and regulations in their sector.
5) Make a Real Difference in People's Lives
Most people think only profesions like doctors and teachers can positively impact people's lives. However successful insurance agents have found that they're equally rewarded, because their work helps people build their assets, protect existing assets, send their kids to the best colleges and universities, transfer wealth from one generation to the next, finance their home or car, prepare for retirement and more! This industry offers you a real opportunity to make a difference in someone's life. While it's often the bad news that you hear abou in the media, the truth is, insurance is a force of good for many people (just check out this whole website devoted to all the good insurance can do).
As an insurance agent, it is your duty to make sure your clients are prepared for the future - both good and bad. Though some people purchase insurance begrudgingly, it is nonetheless comforting for clients to know that they have it if their home burns down, they get into a car crash, or lose a loved one to death. Insurance saves livelihoods, families, businesses, and keeps the economy going. An insurance agent is one part (but an important part) of that process, and you really can change lives - which in itself can be as rewarding as the cash compensation and other perks this industry offers.
Perhaps if you ask people what they thought were boring jobs, "insurance agent" would be one of the top occupations they would answer. Working at an insurance agency doesn't seem exciting - there certainly aren't any opportunities to go to movie premieres with celebrities or jump out of an airplane wearing a parachute - but it is nonetheless a satisfying, and rewarding, career. If you're looking for a career that won't leave you stuck at a desk the whole day, offers flexibility and growth, a chance to make a difference in peoples' lives and yes, a good salary, then consider becoming an insurance agent.