We are about to hit 1,000 responders to our agency assessment. This means the APP team has interviewed personally 1,000 insurance professionals about their roles, responsibilities, hope and frustrations. We have learned a lot, seen a lot and heard all sides of the story. Based on this unique knowledge, I wanted to create a guide to help you un-sabotage your insurance career by understanding key things you may not even realize that could be holding you back.
Stop Stealing Office Supplies
You may think the K-Cups in the kitchen are free. They are not! I have also had more agency owners than not think that paper towels and the good old fashioned toilet paper must be getting stolen, because it’s always being ordered. It may start with a paperclip and end with a box of copy paper, but respect your employer’s resources.
Funny memes are great, cat videos make the day better, and that Snapchat from your besty can’t be missed, but you need to focus on that after work or on breaks. Nothing drives an employer more nuts than hearing you’re too busy to get to something, then seeing your cell phone hotline bling all the time. Keep the cell phones away and save the memes for your breaks.
Arrival Time at the Office
If you think your start time is more of a recommendation than a requirement, think again. When you are rushing in by the skin of your teeth or late with a Starbucks cup in your hands, people notice. And if leadership doesn’t notice, your team does, and they will most likely tell leadership. If you want to be treated like a professional, be one and show up ready for the day at your start time.
This is insurance—we aren’t known for our progressive, fashion-forward styles. When you come in to the office, be a professional with attire, hair, makeup and demeanor. I would love nothing more than to be forever in my Uggs, yoga pants and hoodies—that is my truth. However, if I showed up at your office that way, would you ever take me seriously? No way, so when you arrive with leggings as pants, don’t expect your squad to take you seriously either.
You know the saying: no one is perfect, and it’s true. Accept it. When you make a mistake, own it and fix it. Don’t spend the next 2 hours figuring out how it wasn’t your fault—just fix it. When it’s brought to your attention, drop your defensiveness, listen and determine how to rectify it.
Ain’t nobody got time for that! If you have an issue with a co-worker, start there. It is perfectly acceptable to tell another human how you feel. When you tell a business owner about it, but ask them not to address it because you don’t want to get anyone in trouble, it’s now time they will never get back. When you alert a business owner, expect the issue to be addressed, or for them to casually alert your co-worker so the problem can be fixed.
Invest in Yourself
If you are waiting for training or waiting for the perfect opportunity, you may be waiting a long time. You have to invest in yourself. You can listen to podcasts, read books or hop on webinars. Where you need more investment, take the time to do it for yourself.
While these recommendations may seem harsh, they come from a place of love. For many small businesses, they have 100 fires to put out and you can be either gasoline or water—you choose!