Feel the Fear and do it anyway! Why changing jobs in the middle of a pandemic might be the best move for your insurance career.

Historically, every downturn in the market has been different and the past twelve months have added another layer to that story. It’s been an incredibly tough year for most businesses out there and an especially tough one for anyone working in the hospitality sector. The Insurance sector is very much in a holding pattern, pending the outcome of several Business Interruption cases which may or may not trigger a claims whirlwind. For the majority of insurance firms it’s about maintaining their present customer numbers with thoughts of building bigger and better businesses being furthest from mind. The one common denominator with the businesses and people who’ve pivoted and survived past downturns has been their actions and activities that led them out of the gloom. Fear of the unknown stops most of them in their tracks.

Todd Herman wrote that “Fear lives in stagnant water”. When you withdraw (in fear) you oscillate over and over and it makes recovery and progress much more difficult. But what is FEAR? According to copyblogger.com  “F.E.A.R. is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. There’s no true threat of immediate physical danger, no threat of a loss of someone or something dear to us, actually nothing there at all. F.E.A.R. is an illusion.” When you think about it, we’ve all successfully navigated our way out of all previous crises we’ve faced in life. The evidence is that we’re all still here, still alive and kicking and with the best collective wills have come out the other side with tremendous strength and capabilities.

If like me you’ve successfully survived this latest crisis, you’ve probably been moved to action, supported by new strategies, techniques and new ways of thinking. Navigating the Corona virus pandemic of 2020 has required a different approach from a recruitment perspective and I can see how many clients and candidates have successfully survived the pandemic by just holding on. But holding on will not be a successful strategy in the new economy that will emerge from this downturn. It will require fresh thinking in terms of how we work, when we work and where we work (remote working) and for some it might require moving jobs altogether.

It’s perfectly understandable that for most the very thought of moving jobs in a climate of uncertainty would be the furthest thing from their minds. But the evidence of the past 12 months support the fact that while for some candidates, time has stood still and they’re effectively in a holding pattern, many others have been moved to action in anticipation of a new economy, positioning themselves to get the best jobs first. These will be the real winners in the market that emerges. Candidates who’re already seeing the trends emerging from an automation, AI and robotics perspective are actively seeking new openings in the Insurtech space, positioning themselves to move in a different career trajectory. This foresight will be required in greater quantities going forward.

It all begins with your mind-set and the stories we choose to tell ourselves and whether those stories are true or not. If you believe that there are no better jobs or opportunities out there, then that’s exactly what you’ll discover. If on the other hand you choose to believe (and it is a choice) that there are in fact better opportunities out there just waiting for you, then that too is exactly what you’ll discover. But this isn’t just a whimsical notion or some fantasy dreamed up on Hollywood, I’ve seen more people make successful career moves in the insurance market in 2020 than I would have ever thought possible. Most of these were hired and onboarded virtually and in some cases haven’t yet met their new employers in person. They may have to wait some months before they’ll have that privilege yet.

In conversation with several candidates, I find myself asking them “what’s the gap between your current situation and your career aspirations?” and then discussing their willingness to close that gap. Some have candidly admitted that they simply aren’t willing to make the necessary changes at this time (entirely acceptable) but others having being sensitized to previously unspoken career development needs and wants, have been moved to action. Once again it comes down to a choice. If you believe that the job you have right now is “good enough” then you’ll probably be content to “wait it out” in the belief that a more conservative approach is best. If on the other hand you believe that this is a great time and opportunity to make a change, then you’re positioned to pivot and identify the best openings long before the majority of the market wakes up. You won’t just survive, you’ll thrive in the new economy because insurance companies are still hiring people like you.

So here’s a challenge for you. Over the next 30 days, decide whether you’re in fight or flight mode? If you’re moved to take massive action, you’ll develop the clarity and the confidence to fight your way out of whatever stasis you’re in and ready to face the new career challenges you’ll undoubtedly encounter. And if you need a little bit of recruiter GPS to navigate your path, Campbell Rochford are here to help.

Campbell Rochford – Turning Good to Great!

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