Great Insurance Jobs’ Cofounder Roger Lear is here to help you overcome obstacles to your career and job search. This month, he offers advice on how to figure out when it’s time to move on.
Q: When do I know if it’s time to quit my claims job?
A: Over the years, I have been asked this question numerous times. There really isn’t one defining answer since there are so many variables in the daily life of a claims professional. However, I subscribe to the theory that at some point, if you are a claims professional, you have to make a job change. Here are some of the obvious signs that it is time to start considering one.
1. You have a direct manager that you just don’t like. The saying, “You don’t leave a company, you leave a bad manager,” is accurate for many who are making decisions about their careers. If you can’t move departments and human resources turns a blind eye, then it is time to go.
2. Your commute is unbearable. I am always shocked when I hear that so many professionals travel more than one hour each way to work in certain parts of the country. Today, there are many ways to change this with a new job closer to home or with a work-from-home position.
3. Stress. Stress in a claims job is something you have to take seriously. Is your day packed with a huge caseload, deadlines, antiquated technology, lack of support, long hours, and no downtime? You have to address this, but also recognize that there are claims jobs out there that can help eliminate some of this stress. While you signed up for a profession that cannot eliminate all stress, many companies operate more smoothly than others, helping make your job more rewarding.
4. You make significantly less money than others doing the same job at other companies. Many claims professionals get two-to-five percent increases each year. If you can change jobs and increase your salary just $5,000, that adds up to $25,000 over the next five years.
On the other hand, some signs are not so visible when debating a job change. Here are a few to consider.
1. Technology. You love your job, but it takes forever to close out a claim because of antiquated technology. Not being up to date with the newest claims processing technologies and skills can affect future job prospects, too.
2. No growth. You enjoy your job, but you have been doing the same thing for years. You are so good at what you do that managers don’t want to move you to the next level because they think you are content. If you want to move, approach your manager and see what additional training and education you would need to get to the next level. It’s time to run if you don’t get a clear career path with your manager’s endorsement.
3. Work/life balance. If you are missing out on your personal and family life but always have written it off because you understand the dedication it takes to manage your caseload, then this may be something you want to change. Who doesn’t want more personal time? It can be difficult to identify and then change this, especially if you love your job and company leadership. However, many insurance companies have invested big money into employee coaching, technology, employee engagement, work-from-home jobs, and many other things to address work/life balance. It never hurts to look. Check Glassdoor.com for reviews from employees of your competitors to see what they offer in this area.
4. You are ready for a new adventure. If you are a good claims professional, then you will always have a job—it’s your career insurance policy. If you truly understand this, then you can take risks and move companies if your current company isn’t optimizing your career. The grass isn’t always greener...but sometimes it is.
Got a career question for Roger? Email him at Roger@GreatInsuranceJobs.com.