In the world of insurance, there’s an unspoken rule that everyone seems to know: job-hopping is taboo. But let’s face it, sometimes it’s not only necessary; it’s a CRUCIAL STEP on the path to career success. (Trust us, the highest leaders in the industry have had these conversations MANY times in their careers.)
We HATE the term ‘job-hopping’ because it has a negative tone. We all know it happens and can BENEFIT both companies AND candidates, but it gets a bad wrap more often than not! While we tackle this career strategy with HONESTY, let’s do away with the negativity and re-brand with the term ‘Professional Exploration’!
So, if you’re an insurance professional considering that next big leap up the ladder, we’re here to open up this box of secrets and shed some light on the topic most folks dare not talk about. Grab your coffee, and let’s dive into the world of Professional Exploration.
The Shocking Truth
First, let’s tackle some shocking truths that often get swept under the rug. Job-hopping in the insurance industry is more COMMON than you might think. You might say it can be the secret sauce of career progression. While leaders might not openly admit it, they know that it’s often the best way for insurance professionals to ACQUIRE new skills, DIVERSIFY their experience, and shake things up in the industry.
We are the first to admit the insurance world has its quirks, and professional exploration isn’t without some risks, but we are here to be REAL about all the topics your leaders and employers dare not speak about on open forums.
The Pros of Professional Exploration
Skill Acceleration: In an ever-evolving industry like insurance, staying in one role for an extended period can lead to stagnation. Professional exploration allows you to QUICKLY acquire a broad range of skills, making you a VERSATILE and ADAPTABLE candidate. Additionally, this agility benefits employers as they get candidates with a DIVERSE skill set.
Network Expansion and Business Growth: New roles mean new colleagues, and that’s an opportunity to EXPAND your professional network. When you engage in a bit of career exploration you’re not just broadening your industry network; you’re also opening doors to potential CLIENT NETWORKS. This can be invaluable for employers, as it means they’re getting candidates who can help GROW their business in the future.
Higher Earning Potential: Your boss may not like us saying this but, when you switch companies, you often have the chance to negotiate a better salary, benefiting from your increased skill set and a fresh start. Here’s the kicker leaders – this move MOTIVATES candidates to deliver high-value work for their employers to JUSTIFY the higher salary.
Innovative Thinking: Different workplaces come with unique perspectives and ways of doing things. Professional exploration helps you STAY AHEAD of the curve by exposing you to various strategies and innovations. For employers, this means having candidates who bring fresh, outside-the-box ideas to the table.
Accelerated Learning Curve: Challenging yourself with new roles and responsibilities keeps your mind sharp and your passion for your work STRONG. Employers get professionals who are always at the FOREFRONT of industry trends and can ADAPT QUICKLY to changes.
The Cons of Professional Exploration
Short-Term Focus: Explorers can sometimes appear to be flighty or short-term focused. However, they are often more ADAPTABLE to short-term projects and can quickly become valuable assets for their employers.
Training Costs: Companies invest in your training, and professional exploration can lead to higher training costs, which can be a concern for employers. On the flip side, explorers tend to learn quickly, which REDUCES the overall time and resources spent on training.
Cultural Fit: Quickly transitioning from one company to another may make it challenging to establish a strong cultural fit, which is crucial for long-term job satisfaction. However, professionals with a versatile career history bring in DIVERSE cultural experiences, ENRICHING the overall company culture.
Long-Term Benefits: Staying at a company for an extended period can have long-term benefits, such as a solid retirement plan or stock options, which employees with short stretches at a company may miss out on. But professional explorers focus on IMMEDIATE value, which often translates to INCREASED PROFITS and MARKET EXPANSION.
Tips for Addressing Professional Exploration in an Interview
If you’ve found yourself with several short term stints on your resume or you are looking for a change after only a few months, one of the biggest hurdles can be explaining your experience in an interview. We have tips on how to handle the questions in an interview without scaring potential employers away:
Emphasize Growth: Highlight the specific skills you gained at EACH JOB and how they’ve contributed to your overall GROWTH as an insurance professional.
A sample interview response could be: “In my previous role, I worked on complex projects that allowed me to expand my knowledge of risk assessment and client management. This growth has prepared me to contribute even more to your team.”
Show Commitment: Explain your reasons for moving on from previous roles in a way that demonstrates your COMMITMENT to personal and professional development.
You could say: “I’ve consistently sought roles that offer me opportunities for professional development. In each job, I’ve made sure to fulfill my responsibilities and bring value to my team. I’m committed to career progression that aligns with meeting company objectives.”
Cultural Adaptability: Showcase your ability to ADAPT to different work environments and mention how it has BROADENED your perspective.
We recommend that you include statements like: “I’ve had the privilege of working with diverse teams, which has taught me how to quickly adapt to different work environments. This adaptability not only benefits my own career but also enriches the cultural diversity within the company.”
Network Benefits: Mention how your extensive network BENEFITS your current and future roles. Don’t hesitate to emphasize the value of DIVERSE CONNECTIONS in the industry.
A statement like this is appropriate: “I’ve built a network that extends beyond our industry, including potential clients. This network can be instrumental in expanding our business and reaching new markets.”
Long-Term Goals: Explain how your experience has helped you ALIGN your career with LONG-TERM goals, even if it required moving around a bit in the short term.
“While I’ve made short-term moves to gain experience, my long-term goal has always been to find a place where I can apply the knowledge and skills I’ve acquired effectively. I believe your company aligns perfectly with my long-term vision.”
Professional exploration in insurance is a double-edged sword. While it’s necessary for GROWTH and SKILL DIVERSIFICATION, it’s essential to approach it STRATEGICALLY. Embrace the reality, acknowledge the taboo, and make the most of your journey through the insurance landscape. After all, isn’t life all about taking chances and finding your own unique path to success? Go ahead, take that leap, and let your career flourish.