CAREER DEVELOPMENT / MAR. 03, 2015
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How to Forge a Career in Insurance

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In the wake of the great recession, the insurance sector was left devastated by mistrust and financial decline. Like all other financial service sectors, the insurance industry became guilty by its association with culpable lenders, while on a fundamental level service providers suffered as a result of reductions in disposable income and consumer spending.

With the global economy now on a path towards recovery, however, the insurance sector is continuing to evolve and offer a high proportion of opportunities to both graduates and those with an established career history. Deceptively broad and diverse in its nature, this sector has been driven by the diversification of firms and the development of increasingly innovative services over the last decade.

How to Launch a Career in Insurance

If this sector appeals to you, now is the ideal time to launch a successful career in insurance. With international service providers Catlin Insurance having recently announced an increase in profits to $488 million, there is clearly considerable growth across a wide range of niche areas. With this in mind, let’s consider the practical steps that you will need to follow if you are to develop a career in insurance.

Understand the Diversity of the Modern Market

Without an understanding or appreciation of the contemporary insurance market, it is almost impossible to forge a viable career path. The sector has grown at an incredible rate in recent times, as new products have been introduced to combat modern risks posed cyber theft, terrorism and significant health issues. The growing popularity of reinsurance products has also added a new dimension to the industry with companies striving to minimise risk and deliver savings to clients.

To understand this diverse and constantly evolving market place in greater detail, consider visiting DiscoverRisk. This website is aimed at 15 to 23-year-olds, and it has been created to explore the various sections of the insurance sector while also offering a genuine insight into variable associated career paths. Some employers even list their graduate scheme details here, while there are a limited number of apprenticeships and internships available for proactive candidates.

Recognise the Importance of Soft Skills

As the insurance sector continues to diversify and evolve, so too do the requirements of employers. Increasingly, there is a growing emphasis on the candidates’ ability to showcase so-called soft skills, which are often transferable and applicable to multiple industries. This is a common trend as technological advancement continues to merge the boundaries between alternative industries, meaning that there are more opportunities and less of a focus placed on hard, academic skills.

To capitalise on this, you will need to identify the core soft skills that are relevant to the insurance sector. These include problem-solving and the ability to negotiate, as these skills enable candidates to communicate openly with clients and resolve complaints in a mutually beneficial way. You can showcase these abilities through your career history, while also embellishing this with voluntary placements or short-term apprenticeships. You will also need to showcase a proactive and tenacious nature, as while procrastination may have quadrupled over the last 30 years, the insurance sector demands high energy and a willingness to keep pace with widespread industry changes.

Meet all Entry-level Academic Requirements

While soft skills and invaluable workplace experience will help to distinguish you from rival candidates, you must first develop a sound academic foundation from which to operate. More specifically, it is imperative that you achieve all entry-level academic requirements, including high school or secondary mathematics and bachelor’s college education. From here, you can gradually build relevant workplace experience and tailor your higher learning to suit specific niches within the sector.

On a similar note, you can also apply to complete an advanced diploma on the topic of insurance. Take the popular ACII course in the UK, for example, which is often considered to be among the best and most coveted insurance qualifications in the world. This can help you to gain a considerable academic edge in the marketplace, especially when it is combined with first-hand experience of representing an insurance brand.

Ultimately, there has never been a better time to pursue a career in insurance. If you want to achieve your goals, however, you will need to research the sector in detail before tailoring your education and workplace experience to suit a specific niche and desired job role.

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