Saturday, June 13, 2009

School is not for the weary!

Last week I went through a 3 step interview process for a insurance company. It was really a grueling process. So I thought. I've found out since, school is even more grueling! The first interview was an introduction to Bankers Life and Casualty, and the recruiting process they've begun looking for new agents. The first session was called a "career opportunity seminar", and lasted about an hour and a half. At the end of that training session there was a questionnaire, in which the participants answered a few questions about their "needs" in a career, and if they thought joining the Bankers team would fulfill those needs. The questionnaire allowed them to decide if you might meet their needs. I must have, because they called me back for a second interview. The second interview was a 3 hour session in which the Sales Manager for the Jacksonville branch explained the process of being a "career agent" with Bankers and what one could expect if asked to join the team. Once again, if this seemed to meet your needs and you didn't feel the urge to run like the wind, you filled out another questionnaire, and if they liked your answers yet again, they would call you back for an one on one interview. They liked my answers and I went back on Thursday morning for the third and final interview with the Jacksonville branch manager. He's a younger man, I suspect younger than I am, but he definitely knows the business, and what he's looking for in a team to grow his branch into the number one branch in US for Bankers. After a one hour interview with him, Keith extended the offer for me to join the Bankers team in Jacksonville. I didn't need time to consider the offer, since John and I had had an extended "what if" conversation the night before and agreed we'd give this a shot.

After many applications that have gone unanswered, John and I both agreed the job market in the "traditional" sense has dried up somewhat and if I want to try to make a career, it may be time to make a change. Being a career agent for Bankers means selling supplemental insurance for Medicare as well as life insurance, and annuities. Not something I thought I'd ever be doing, that's for certain. However, I have been driven for years with a desire to own my own business. To have ownership in my career, and have something I can truly be proud of. John and I feel this is God's hand putting this into motion, and giving us a chance for a new start. We really have very little to lose at this point, since it's not like I'm leaving an existing job, merely taking a chance for something new!

Part of the conditions for going to work for Bankers is that I have to have my insurance agent's license before I can begin their training in the office in Jacksonville. He offered the class this weekend and next, 4-days for 10 hours each that goes over the state exam in detail. The class is offered online, but Keith, the branch manager prefers a one on one teaching environment. I had to answer fast to take advantage of today's class in order to begin training in July. If not, I would have to take the class and exam in July, and wouldn't be able to begin training with the Jacksonville office staff until August. Today I went to the 10 hour class, session 1. My brain feels like mush and my rear-end is sore from sitting all day long with very little activity. On top of the in depth knowledge I gained today about the lines of insurance as well as the insurance code of ethics I learned the importance of bringing a sweater! It was very chilly in the classroom today! We were able to be casual, so I had on capri pants and sandals. Tomorrow I will take a sweater and wear jeans and a t-shirt in hopes to be warmer. I'll also take a few snacks to eat during the breaks, since it made for a very long day, and lunch just wasn't quite enough!

Of course, the session had lots of warnings about the importance of studying and how some fail to see the importance of learning the book from cover to cover. It isn't uncommon for some to not pass the test the first time. I suspect these people have the belief that if you attend the class and lightly review the book you can pass. The reiteration was strong today to memorize the book! The instructor offers a website for test review and lots of sample questions to help his students familiarize themselves with the ideas of the real test. I'm not looking forward to it, and I've always been lacking in the area of studying and commitment! However, at this point in life, I strongly believe failure is not an option, as it affects not only me but my entire family's future! I have said so many prayers for God's guidance and strength and wisdom to do what I need to make my family proud of me!

School's hard! Sheesh! :)


Jenny said...

Sorry it was a long day, if you need help studying give me a call.

Kim Lahaie Day said...

Congratulations on your new career! Bravo! I pray this will be the answer to the question, and we join you in thanking the Lord for getting you to this point in your life!

Congrats, my faithful student!

Hugs, Kim

p.s. I could have told you take a sweater!