3 Helpful Tips for Beginners in the Insurance Industry

Author: Justin Goodman, CEO, TotalCSR | Posted 11/9/2021

Early in your insurance career, you may be asked to do things that you’re not sure are right. The thought of saying “no” to a request like this may feel like an intimidating prospect. However, not every request deserves a “yes.”  In fact, automatically agreeing to everything asked of you can have unintended consequences. Here are three tips to help inexperienced insurance professionals know when an automatic “yes” should really be a “no.”

1. Listen to Your Gut
Early on in your role, it’s normal to feel like you don’t have a good sense of what is acceptable and what is not.  You haven’t developed the confidence you need to separate the two yet.  However, when a request comes to you that sounds questionable, your body will generate a physiological response of some sort.  While some of this can be attributed to the nerves of being in unfamiliar territory, it’s wise to listen to that instinct. At the very least, you can allow yourself to question the validity of the request. 

It may be that the request is just an abnormal workflow process or it could be a flat-out unethical ask.  Either way, taking moment to do a quick gut check before automatically saying “yes” benefits everyone in the long run.

2. Defer to a Supervisor
When a questionable request comes across your desk that makes you feel uneasy, don’t make assumptions about how to handle it.  Whether the request is from a co-worker or client, attempting to guess your way through can end in troublesome mistakes.

Instead, reach out to a supervisor, explain the situation and allow them to guide you through the appropriate next steps.  While you may be tempted to try to handle it on your own, reaching out for clarification and direction shows maturity and a willingness to learn.  It also gives you an opportunity to learn the right way to handle similar situations moving forward.

3. Lean on a Mentor 
You’ll need a trusted advisor at every stage of your career, but a mentor is especially important at the beginning of your insurance journey.  As you begin your career, you will have many questions and feel unsure of your capabilities on a daily basis. 

Some of what you need to know will be very coverage and process-oriented, but some will be geared more toward people.  A mentor can help provide factual knowledge specific to the job, as well as personal insights from their own experiences. 

Mentors are a truly valuable resource, whether you have questions about coverage or handling a difficult conversation. A good mentor serves as a helpful navigator through new and unfamiliar territory in the insurance landscape. Your mentor should listen and provide advice without judgment.

Getting to a point where you can rely on your instincts will take time.  Using the tips above will help you utilize the right resources and build self-confidence so that you are better able to handle difficult situations when they arise.

For more on this topic, check out the full episode of The Independent Agent here.

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