So why consider working in Insurance?
Perhaps you have finished your studies and are not quite decided what career is right for you. Maybe you have considered the ‘professions’ and ultimately decided that they aren’t a particularly appealing option, or that the required further study is far too costly to contemplate. In any case, you have a difficult decision to make, and I’m going to tell you why you should be considering throwing the General Insurance and Financial Service sectors into the ring whilst weighing up your career options…
It’s no secret that Insurance (and to a lesser extent, Financial Services) are not widely considered to be the most “glamourous” or exciting of sectors. There is an assumption that they (and those who work within them!) are “boring”, lack innovation and individual creativity.
But this so far from the truth, in fact, these two sectors offers stability, personal development and the ability to earn as much or even more than other professionals such as Doctors and Lawyers.
Insurance is such a supportive and inclusive industry where guidance comes from your peers, employers and the CII (Chartered Insurance Institute). People are passionate about the difference they make. Remember the slogan on the service adverts for the Army? - “It’s not just a job”. Well, Insurance will offer not only qualifications but the opportunity to support the wider community in more ways than one. For instance, RSA group staff have volunteered to go out into communities who have been affected by floods and have even supported Comic Relief for the last eight years taking their pledge calls.
Many major Insurance companies offer fantastic opportunities for school leavers and graduates. Some success stories involve former apprentices moving up the ranks to senior management roles at global Insurance firms. Don’t think that you will be confined to your desk and office every day, with some roles you will be able to travel around the world – as, after all, Insurance is a global business. There are a whole array of areas you could be specialising in from Marine and Farm insurance, to Retail, Film, Media and Entertainment Insurance. Some of my clients manage accounts for supercar giants Ferrari and have even rubbed shoulders with the likes of Dragon’s Den Duncan Bannatyne (see, there is a glamorous side to Insurance!)
Within the Insurance industry, there are a variety of roles on offer from client-facing jobs such as:
Whilst within Financial Services, there are opportunities in: Accountancy and Finance, Banking, Financial Planning and Investments and Pensions. Find out more here
So how do you take that first step?
Like all markets, Insurance and Financial Services are a competitive battlefield for new recruits. The best way to show prospective employers that you are a cut above the rest is to demonstrate evidence of your career development efforts, which will make you stand out from the crowd.
To cement your experience and knowledge there are professional qualifications available to help you become an established Insurance professional. The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)offer a range of Insurance and Financial Services qualifications which cater to all levels, from entry level positions to senior professionals.
If you become a CII member it will cost c£780 to obtain
Find out the current pass rate for CII qualifications
here There are around 55,000 people in the Insurance sector who hold CII qualifications, of which 18,000 hold a Chartered status.
It’s become obvious to me within the last 18 months that many of my clients are recognising the value in investing in and nurturing their staff with training qualifications. Many businesses are now offering support with the cost of qualifications, and several offer fast track ACII.
An alternative route into these sectors is through an apprenticeship scheme which allows you to combine employment with training whilst still earning a salary. Two of the key benefits of undertaking an apprenticeship are:
1. No need to worry about beginning your career beneath a mountain of university debt, you can “earn while you learn”
2. They provide a great opportunity to learn from some of the top professionals in the sector
Despite recent political and economic uncertainty there still remains a strong demand for new talent in these markets – there has never been a better time to step into these sectors and begin a promising career. The ‘baby boomer’ generation are soon to retire, taking with them a wealth of experience and knowledge. This opens up the floor for a fresh wave of new talent, and demand is high. According to a report by PwC millennials will make up over 50% of the global workforce by 2020.
A career in Insurance could mean that you are part of an industry that employs more than 300,000 people in the UK and manages 25% of the UK’s net worth. It’s your chance to join a sector whose influence spans across every area of industry, right across the globe!