A millennial’s perspective on attracting youth to the insurance industry
(This is the first post by Alicia, Astonish Results’ new social media intern)
After every twenty-something throws their cap at college graduation, then pushes through the crowd to find their family, the first question posed to them is always the same. So what are you going to do now? Some know and some do not, but for the most part, every college graduate has one thing in mind. Ok maybe two: getting away from home, and most importantly, where can they make the most money?
After speaking with some recent college graduates, money seems to be the driving motivator in determining their ideal workplace (hardly a shock). Without a long career history, there is also a feeling that no dream is impossible and a willingness to reach higher and higher to get that “dream job” the first time around. Whereas some fail because of an overly inflated sense of entitlement or value, some succeed, depending on how hard they work.
The insurance industry is a bit different. Ask any recent grad why they did NOT consider insurance and they will most likely all say the same thing, “It’s too boring.” But when speaking with two recent college graduates who have entered the insurance industry, they both seemed to have legitimate interest in their jobs.
When asked what they liked most about their jobs, both replied that they enjoyed the extensive training and office atmosphere their workplaces offered, which happen to be two insurance companies, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network and The Hartford.
So do they feel out of place in an industry that tends to be dominated by an older, less than riveting crowd?
One millennial answered saying the group she was put into for training and team work had mostly twenty-something professionals, so she felt comfortable in the setting. With all new employees gathered together to learn with one another, it creates a sort of morale-building exercise in and of itself. The second interviewee said she was the youngest in the office. And while it felt awkward at the beginning, she now enjoys her job and the people who work alongside her (an often hugely underrated factor).
Personally, if someone had mentioned a career in insurance to me a month ago (I’m a recent grad as well), they would have been greeted with a blank stare. After starting with Astonish Results as a social media intern, I realized that it is not so much the industry you work in, but what and who you work with. Working in an environment with vibrant personalities that can teach and listen has been the most rewarding aspect so far. I’m quickly learning that you never know how a job will turn out until you take a leap from what is comfortable, and open up your mind to learn something new, and also learning that insurance marketing can be fun.
So in a stereotypically unattractive and un-youthful industry, how can insurance companies and agencies attract bright young talent?
With many millennial graduates thinking dollar signs fresh out of school, the reality of the economy and inexperience often deals a blow to their delusions of grandeur. Fortunately, atmosphere and office culture seem to rank high on the scale of importance as well. If the atmosphere of the office can provide educational tools and support, while being filled with interesting and exciting people and ideas, the younger talent may think twice before saying “boring” after hearing “insurance industry.”