Friday, June 24, 2016

Does Every One of Us Have Room For Improvement?

I hated every minute of the training, but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” 
Muhammad Ali

Self-development starts from your mind, your thoughts, your ideas. Your opinions are what shape you and make you into what you are. This is your battleground. This is where you must focus if you want to change your life. There’s always room for improvement. Some of us may have been given this advice by well-meaning friends or family. Do you need to make changes in your career, your life, your health? Whatever your need, there really is room for improvement for most of us. Take the below quotes for example.

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”
Benjamin Franklin
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry.  He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
Martin Luther King

“If you want more, you have to require more from yourself.”
Dr Phil

“No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you've come from, you can always change, become a better version of yourself.”  
Madonna

It’s true; every one of us has room for improvement….

How To Bring Out Your Own Talent from Bruce Kasanoff at Forbes


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

10 Areas Where Passion Can Meet Purpose in an Insurance Industry Job

As fulfilling as it is on multiple levels, a career in insurance is not one that most young people intentionally pursue. Ask anyone who has spent more than a few years in the industry and he or she will tell you that they fell into it, but that they truly enjoy it. Why is this the case??  Largely because college students are not exposed to the wide variety of potential career options within the insurance industry.  When I was a senior in college and was conducting on-campus interviews with potential employers, I avoided the insurance companies coming on campus. The reason was….I thought they were looking for sales people.  I had no interest in selling insurance.  What I didn’t know, however, was the vast opportunities the industry actually holds for those coming out of college.

The insurance industry actually allows you to discover where your passion meets purpose.

What are you passionate about? The insurance industry can provide you with the foundation for a successful and rewarding professional career that helps you find purpose each and every day. Take a look at the below 10 example of where you might find your passion.


Actuarial
Love numbers? Hone your skills and gain the experience you need to start a career in one of the top ranked jobs in America.

Claims
Like helping people? Experience a broad range of opportunities across all personal and commercial lines of business.

Enterprise Risk
Are you logical, analytical, cautious? Develop a broad range of risk management skills as you progress in your career.

Finance
So is it all about the dollars and cents for you? Gain skills and knowledge to empower business partners and stakeholders with valuable insights.

Human Resources
Are you a people person? Learn what human resource professionals do and see where a career in this field could take you.

Investment Management
Enjoy complexity? Develop analytical skills and expertise in securities, markets, economics, and portfolio risk analysis.

Marketing
Interested in engaging in assignments that focus on developing your marketing and advertising capabilities, broadening your knowledge of the company, brand, and business lines and products?

Operations & Technology
Are you an organizer? Gain operational management skills that support organizational strategy. Are you into technology? Grow your technical skills and stay at the leading edge of your field.

Product Management
Do you love solving complex problems? Does a competitive environment energize you? Start a rewarding career in product management.

Underwriting
Are you analytical? Jump-start your future in underwriting by building a solid foundation that could lead to a long-term career path within the industry.





Thursday, June 16, 2016

Networking to Get a Job


Networking in everyday life is not necessarily an obvious concept. Networking as a term is most prominently found in popular business literature.

Traditional networking contains these elements: 
  • One connects to other people.
  • Making a good impression.
  • It takes place at events.
  • It is goal-oriented.


Consider this universal truth of networking: Before you can get what you want, you have to know what you want, and make a game plan to get it. Networking in everyday life shares a number of features with the tradition networking you typically see in business: it involves connections with a set of individuals, there are contexts for action, and there are undoubtedly benefits from the interactions.

Humans are pro-social, interested in making contact with each other and sharing information and support. Obviously, not every person wants to support, share or exchange with all other people, but virtually all humans want to share with someone.

Personal situation...When we are looking for a painter to do some work around our house we often turn to networking for recommendations from others. Same holds true when we need work done on our auto.  Seeking a contractor for other home related projects.  Or perhaps we are looking for a good Italian restaurant.  Networking is embedded into our daily lives as social beings...

Recently I was networking with insurance professionals I know seeking out ideas and recommendations for an opportunity I am working on for a client company.  I engaged with a professional I had previously assisted when they were looking for a new job.  I was quite surprised when this individual responded to me that they thought me reaching out to network with them was unprofessional. Yet I ask the question, "Wasn’t this very person networking with me for opportunities when they contacted me about their own job search previously?"

Everyone wants to meet someone. Networking is a way to access otherwise inaccessible people.

Networking is the number one way to get a job. 60-80% of jobs are found through some element of networking. A personal connection to a hiring manager is the best way to get your resume on the top of the pile. Think about 10 of your employed friends, how many of them got their job through a form of networking??

Networking keeps you sharp, current, and in touch with your industry. Your career should never be stagnant. Even if you plan on staying in a given job indefinitely – why not make your business the best and the busiest? Before making a leap into another career, what better way than to talk to people who know?

When you’re talking to a friend of a friend, it’s unlikely that the friend’s friend is going to lead you on or tell you half-truths. You can more or less expect to get the full story. If you’re talking about a job opportunity – you’ll hear about the hours, the boss, coworkers, etc.

It’s all very simple…
  • A good network is a two-way street of helpful relationships.
  • In every social situation you’re in, make sure people leave knowing who you are, what service/skills you provide, and how to get a hold of you.
  • Karmic payoff.  You help others, others will help you. Everyone likes people who are helpful – so good things will likely come to those people. Reciprocity is the golden rule and focuses on how to translate relationships into personal success.







Tuesday, June 7, 2016

U.S. News and World Report's List of Top Insurance Colleges


#1 University of Pennsylvania - PHILADELPHIA, PA
Founded by Benjamin Franklin, the University of Pennsylvania is a private institution in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Students can study in one of four schools that grant undergraduate degrees: Arts and Sciences, Nursing, Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Wharton.

#2 University of Georgia - ATHENS, GA
University of Georgia is a public institution that was founded in 1785. The school has 38.8 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students, and the student-faculty ratio at University of Georgia is 18:1.

#3 St. Joseph's University PHILADELPHIA, PA
St. Joseph's University was established in 1851 as a private institution. St. Joseph's University follows a semester-based academic calendar and its admissions are considered selective.

A public institution, University of Wisconsin--Madison was founded in 1848. University of Wisconsin--Madison offers a Greek system, where 8 percent of the student body is involved in a sorority and 9 percent is involved in a fraternity.

#5 Temple University - PHILADELPHIA, PA
Temple University is an urban college in Philadelphia that offers around 300 student organizations. Center City, a hub of shopping and city life, is about two miles from campus.

#6 Georgia State University - ATLANTA, GA
Georgia State University, located in downtown Atlanta, is one of the largest universities in Georgia. To help ease the college transition, first-year students can opt into the Freshman Learning Communities program, which groups students based on shared interests.

#7 Florida State University - TALLAHASSEE, FL
At Florida State University, a public school in Tallahassee, students have more than 550 organizations to consider joining. The Florida State Seminoles sports teams compete in the NCAA Division I and are especially known for baseball and football.

#8 New York University - NEW YORK, NY
New York University was established in 1831 as a private institution. New York University follows a semester-based academic calendar and its admissions are considered more selective.

A public institution, University of Illinois--Urbana-Champaign was founded in 1867. University of Illinois--Urbana-Champaign offers a Greek system, where 23 percent of the student body is involved in a sorority and 23 percent is involved in a fraternity.

#10 University of Texas--Austin - AUSTIN, TX
University of Texas--Austin has a total undergraduate enrollment of 39,523, with a gender distribution of 48.2 percent male students and 51.8 percent female students. At this school, 19 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 81 percent of students live off campus.

#11 University of South Carolina - COLUMBIA, SC
At the University of South Carolina, freshmen students are eased into college life through University 101, a transition program pioneered at the school. The Columbia campus is the flagship location for the University of South Carolina system.

#12: Tie: Illinois State University - NORMAL, IL
Located about 130 miles southwest of Chicago, the Illinois State University campus is in the town of Normal. First-year students at ISU can take the Learning in Communities seminar, allowing them to attend one of their first college courses in small groups with their peers and learn about each other and the university.

#12: Tie: Pennsylvania State University--University Park - UNIVERSITY PARK, PA
Pennsylvania State University--University Park was established in 1855 as a public institution. Pennsylvania State University--University Park follows a semester-based academic calendar and its admissions are considered more selective.






4 Reasons College Graduates Should Consider an Insurance Career

College graduates may not think of insurance as the most glamorous industry in America, but the insurance industry does offer stability, challenge and growth to those who choose the profession. I realize not a lot of college students today are saying, “I can’t wait to work in insurance.” However, to the college graduates, there are a lot of benefits and advantages in insurance that you don’t have in other industries! Take the following four as examples:


Opportunities
The talent in the insurance industry is graying. It is estimated that nearly 60% of the insurance industry’s current employees are older than the age of 45 and that by the year 2020, there will be more than 400,000 job opportunities. Those are some substantial numbers and these numbers are on many insurance employers’ mind. The industry is hungry for young, driven talent to fill the pipelines before their current staff disappears.


Job Security
The insurance industry provides a considerable amount of job security. There will always be a need for insurance. Insurance is fairly recession-proof because insurance companies tend to be fiscally conservative and Americans need insurance whether the economy is up or down. And since insurance firms are often mutual companies they can launch sophisticated and aggressive information technology strategies, routinely support safety education and tend to have close ties to their local communities.


Job Variety
Insurance is everywhere! You won’t be limited to a particular list of major cities. The insurance industry is a major U.S. employer, providing some 2.5 million jobs that encompass a wide variety of careers, from human resource administrators to public relations managers to financial analysts. Some jobs, such as claims adjusters, actuaries and insurance underwriters, are unique to the insurance industry. Whatever your passion is, you can pursue it in the insurance field. Many sales and underwriting professionals in the industry pursue their interest specializing in advising for not-for-profit organizations, tech companies, medical professionals, breweries, etc. Being able to relate and understand how a business works is the essential feature of what makes an insurance professional great.


Altruism
The insurance industry serves to protect people’s financial situation. Insurance is all about managing risk and providing financial compensation in the event of a loss. You will find insurance organizations are commonly committed to serving the communities where they do business. Insurance companies rebuild lives and lifestyles after disasters, improve and support education in communities, and dedicate themselves to a culture of active communal engagement and volunteerism throughout the country.





Wednesday, June 1, 2016

How Much Work is Too Much Work?


A new study tracking employees’ work habits discovered that employees who took short breaks of around 15 minutes every hour were much more productive than those who tried to power through without stopping.  So how much work is too much work?? Do workers reach a point when an excessive amount of work so fatigues them mentally and physically that their productivity takes a hit and their health declines?


Here is an article from Hire-Intelligence outlining just how much work is too much work...
When Does Work Become Unproductive and Unhealthy?