By: Jeffery Foster, Client Manager, Commercial Insurance Associates, LLC
I’ve always envied individuals who are passionate about what they do for a living. I think I can safely say that most people don’t find their life’s purpose through their work or craft. I, like many others, work to live and not the other way around. However, though my soul doesn’t sing with unfettered joy every time I open my email in the morning, I think I’ve found something that’s pretty good in its own right: an engaging, fulfilling and opportunity laden career that has meaning.
In my time working for commercial insurance agencies, I have insured or consulted small, medium and large businesses from almost every conceivable industry. From video game incubators to recycling operations, it would be difficult for me to describe the sheer diversity of what I have encountered. The word “engaging” feels like an understatement. The challenges presented when encountering a new risk and the problem solving required to provide solutions for the client, make for an intellectually stimulating career. Trust me, I know that engaging and stimulating are the last words most people think of when insurance comes to mind, but you would be surprised. You see, I never knew exactly what I wanted to do for a living. I was always interested in so many things that it seemed impossible to make my mind up. The beauty of what I do is that I feel like I never had to settle on any one thing. Working with such a diverse range of clients has provided me the opportunity to meet some of the most fascinating individuals and learn about the inner workings of businesses from those passionate about their product.
Though I enjoy the engaging aspects of my career, the fulfillment I derive from it comes from the core of the entire industry’s purpose: we protect our clients when losses occur. Some days are harder than others and if there is a natural disaster that affects many of your clients, you will pull long days making sure they are taken care of. But think about that for a second. We are one of the first calls a business owner makes when his or her life’s work is seemingly destroyed. I have been called before the insured calls their spouse. Getting contacted before they reach out to the authorities is a common occurrence as well. Insurance is not non-profit work, but it is about as close as you can get to working for one without doing so. How can you not feel fulfilment and meaning from a career like this? Even without losses occurring, every single day I must issue proofs of insurance for my clients to satisfy contractual insurance requirements. They cannot get paid or begin working on certain projects until I have done my job. I never wake up and feel like my job doesn’t matter. I am never worried that my industry won’t be needed in times of a recession. My work isn’t fleeting. That means something to me.
I have been working in insurance five years. Five. Years. In only five years, I have experienced enough to be able to share stores most outside of insurance would scarcely believe and this says less about my abilities and more about the insurance industry. The opportunities for those who want to dive-in to this world and work hard are immense. I have never had difficulty finding job postings and when my wife relocated from DC to Nashville for her dream job, I was able to find a position at a great organization within two weeks. I may be relatively young and do not have the most professional experience, but it is hard for me to think of another industry that allows for such mobility.
As I mentioned previously, insurance is not my life’s calling. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would happily retire. But I like my career. When people ask me what I do for a living, I answer the question with pride and am more than willing to elaborate. I find most people don’t like that question being asked of them. Thanks to insurance, I am not one of them.