Take a look at our career-boosting tips!
The insurance industry is huge and, as such, the job market is very competitive. Aside from work history and great interview skills, how do you differentiate yourself?
In this article, we’re going to help you with that. Here are 7 tips to help you boost your career in insurance…
1. Take Advantage of the Skills Shortage
By nature, the insurance industry (like many other industries) has to evolve to survive. More recently, a concern to CEOs within the industry is not only the ageing workforce, but also the skills shortage that this presents. According to The Insurance Institute, 53% of insurance CEOs globally cited a focus on the pipeline of leaders for the future as a key priority in their drive for talent.
More than ever, insurance companies need to recruit millennials who are technologically savvy and able to deal with the emerging risks associated with new technology, such as The Internet of Things.
2. Show Evidence of Career Development
If you really want to stand out among other candidates, then you will need additional qualifications that represent your consistent career development throughout the years. Ever since the Aldermanbury Declaration was published in 2010, professional standards have increased across the entire industry.
Relevant qualifications from The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) will really stand out on your CV.
CII offers qualifications for everyone who is interested in improving their career within the insurance industry, regardless of their current level. If you’re just starting out, you might want to look at their Certificate in Insurance. Or, if you’ve got a lot of practical experience already, then an Advanced Diploma in Insurance will help you stand out among your peers.
3. Focus Your Efforts
As mentioned in our introduction, insurance is a broad industry. There are a variety of different avenues you can go down. Think about all of the different types of insurance there are: commercial, property, liability, financial, motor, life — the list goes on.
Not only are there lots of different risks you can specialise in, the roles are also highly varied. Are you a client-facing relationship manager, or do you prefer working in the more technical back office roles? Are you going down the broking route, or do you prefer underwriting?
Choosing a risk that you are passionate about is important because it will help you to streamline your career and present yourself as an expert in your field. This will make you more attractive to potential employers and will also make it easier for you to grow within your chosen risk.
4. Create a Development Plan
Focusing your efforts is one thing, but if you really want to make your mark in the insurance industry then you should create a development plan.
This development plan should be focused on your risk, and it can be something you keep to yourself, or something you share with a manager or mentor. It should outline clear career goals and the timelines you hope to achieve them in. If you share your plan with a mentor, they can help you to reach these goals and also assist you with constructive feedback and encouragement.
While creating a development plan is a good way to outline your goals and push yourself to achieve them, it’s important to set out realistic timescales and objectives. Psychometric tests are a great way to help you identify your strengths, skills and knowledge in certain areas. This is a useful way to determine which roles would best suit you in the future. Click here to find out more about psychometric testing.
5. Make Sure You’re Seen
Despite how huge the insurance industry is, it is still a people industry at heart. As such, a lot of businesses like to stay close to the market and keep a network of potential talent on their radar.
To make sure you’re seen you need to network online and offline. That means attending relevant industry events regularly, and building and maintaining a solid LinkedIn profile. To find out more about how to keep your LinkedIn profile looking its best, check out one of our recent articles, here.
When it comes to networking offline, you should take a look at different institutes to discover events that are upcoming. BIBA (The British Insurance Brokers’ Association) holds annual dinners in a variety of different locations. These dinners offer a perfect networking opportunity as you have the potential to meet with just under 2,000 firms that are members of BIBA. Click here for details of their upcoming events.
CII also hold regular “lunchtime lectures” all over the country that are perfect for keeping up with current events and meeting new people within your risk. Click here to see their events calendar.
6. Keep Up-To-Date
Insurance is a fast-moving industry, and it is important to keep up with current events. This doesn’t need to take up a lot of your time, but you should aim to spend around 30 minutes per day studying emerging trends and current news stories. You can make this easier by working it into your everyday life. For example, do your reading and researching on your lunch hour or during your commute home.
Sign up for email updates from industry journals, like:
- Insurance Age
- Insurance Post
- Insurance Times
- Insurance Business
- Insurance Heaven
7. Qualities to Succeed
In addition to following all of the above steps, there are 3 key qualities that you need to succeed in the insurance industry:
- Enthusiasm for the industry
- Pride in your sector
- Passion for your risk
If you remember these three qualities when interviewing for a new role, you will stand out among other candidates. Moving to a new role can be difficult, even within the same industry. So when you’re interviewing for a new role, let your individual attitude shine through. Don’t just tell people that you’re passionate about your risk – prove it to them! Tell stories (with examples!) that demonstrate how great you would be for the role.