I get to go to a lot of social gatherings for my job. It’s fun, there’s usually free food, and I get to do what I do best. This particular gathering was to celebrate the retirement of a man that most people wouldn’t know, but in the insurance industry, he’s a legacy. As I was standing around with a group of other 20 something’s all in the insurance industry, we all started realizing that we had just spoken to a majority of their parents or their grandparents who just so happened to be in the same room with us. As we continued to talk, we all held up fingers on how many generations our family had been in the insurance world–it just so happens that we all were holding up three. We were all third generation insurance agents. I’m not sure what other industry has that kind of retention rates for recruiting entire lineages, but it must be pretty good if mom’s and dad’s and grandparents encourage their children to continue in it.
Here’s the truth, the average age for insurance agents nationwide is 59. I always grew up hearing the joke “Our biggest mistake is that we kept it a secret how good the insurance industry is to work in,” but for the most part, it’s absolutely true. I saw my parents living comfortably and the people my mother worked with living great lives, but it never clicked that it would be a great way to invest my life…so here’s where we are. In the next 5 years, over 25% of the insurance industry will be retiring. For people like me, it’s scary. That’s a wealth of knowledge walking out the door with their golf shoes on. For people looking for a new career or kids about to go to college and not quite sure what they want to do, this is great news and a great opportunity. My cousin is about to graduate from UCO with a major in Risk Management and he cannot count the number of job offers he has and no two jobs are quite the same. This industry is so diverse that no matter your strengths, your weaknesses, or your personality traits there is a job that would fit them all. There is a job for the person who loves detail, but doesn’t actually enjoy being surrounded by people. There is a job for those aren’t very good at detail, but are good with people and like being out and about. Whether it be working in an agency as an agent or on the company side as a marketing representative, the opportunity is endless.
At most retirement parties, people drop in and leave, at this particular one, people stayed. Around 200 people showed up to celebrate one man and each had a relationship with him because of the industry we work in. It’s quite the legacy to leave behind. It’s a great job to have and a great world to be a part of.