Great Insurance Jobs’ Cofounder Roger Lear is here to help you and your family overcome obstacles to your career and job search. This month, he offers tips on jump-starting a stalled career.
Q: The coronavirus has thrown a curveball at my claims career. I have not received a promotion or raise, I am stuck at home, and I feel like even after COVID-19 passes, this may be the new normal. Any advice to kick-start my career?
A: Needless to say, 2020 was a rough year. Many insurance companies, law firms, and brokers had to make significant changes to keep their workers safe. Remote work and Zoom have become a reality for about 85 percent of the insurance industry. On top of that, many are also tasked with homeschooling kids, dodging atypical interruptions, and losing out on coworker interactions in general.
The next challenge for all employers is deciding how they are going to bring employees back to work. So much of this is up in the air depending on which state you live in, the vaccine distribution method, and the post-COVID-19 plans of your current company. Some companies have already said they are keeping their employees remote. So how do you plan your career amidst all this uncertainty?
The great news about the insurance industry is that it is not going anywhere. Unemployment in the industry is less than three percent, most workers have kept their jobs, and companies have had 10 months to review their workforce and figure out what changes to make to become more profitable. On top of that, the insurance industry still has a retirement issue that has been put on the back burner.
Want to kick-start your career in 2021? Here are some things to help:
Companies must hire to stay competitive.If you don’t like your current situation, don’t worry because 2021 will see companies filling job requisitions put on hold in 2020. In late December 2020, we already saw a 15 percent increase in job postings from the previous 30 days. Make sure your resume and LinkedIn profile are optimized so you can apply and stand out as great opportunities become available.
Older workers will retire (finally). Unlike the Great Recession a few years ago, home values and the stock market throughout the COVID-19 crisis have performed exceptionally well, opening the door to the 400,000 insurance workers who are ready to retire. The insurance industry will need your skills more than ever in the next couple of years and make up for lost hiring time.
Remote opportunities will expand your job search. Some companies are going to keep employees working remotely post-virus. Since this is new for many companies, they spend time addressing these concerns by using resources for better technology, employee-engagement programs, and flexible work schedules. If you live in New York, you can upgrade your career by finding a remote job that pays more and with upward mobility in Chicago without ever leaving your home. The job search is now nationwide instead of just your backyard, and that creates all kinds of opportunities for your insurance career.
The insurance industry will still have office jobs. In polling insurance workers in the last few months, many say they want to stay remote forever if given a chance. That opportunity will exist for them for sure, but once they leave their in-office job, it will create opportunities for those who want to work at a physical location.
Insuretech will continue to create jobs and opportunities. Billions of venture capital dollars are being poured into insuretech companies through the pandemic. Jobs are being created that require your insurance skills. To get these jobs will require research into these companies, since many of these jobs do not reside on job boards.