A retail marketer, a building industry professional, a former operations manager for a well-known financial institution … not what you’d expect the expertise of your staff to possess under the roof of your insurance agency.

Back in the day, individuals who entered the field of insurance, generally did so after graduation. They chose a career in the insurance industry, began their training and spent 40 years on a specific focused track until the day that a gold watch was presented and they retired to a sunny destination. They had a single mindset, a single experience and that led to many agencies moving forward down the same avenue; exploring the same possibilities; thinking alike.

But the recession of the last five years and ongoing layoffs, have forced many individuals to rethink their career paths and look for opportunities that exist outside of their trained industry. I saw this as a possibility to broaden my agency and turn the situation into a positive for everyone.

The gentleman with the construction trade background became licensed in property and casualty and parlayed his expertise to become an insurance producer with great success in building and contracting accounts. The marriage between his extensive background in the trades and insurance was a win for both him and our agency.

The retail marketer spent 15 years working for an international toy company and had experience in Creative (copywriting and photography) and Sales Promotion (events, customer touch, direct marketing, public relations). She has taken her retail knowledge and revamped our social media and website outreach. Her broad horizons, soft personal touch and cheery attitude have take a dry subject, which insurance can be, and instilled an emotional family friendly tone to all of our advertising and marketing efforts.

The operations manager for the major financial firm, has over 25 years of experience in the financial services profession. His securities license combined with property and casualty have given him a great start in the insurance industry and a different, more seasoned outlook on select niches that he is seeking to target.

Most of my staff are individuals who began their careers in in other disciplines and specialties, but that varied background and life awareness has only helped to make them stronger sales people. That knowledge base has encouraged my staff to “think outside the box” and look beyond the sometimes restrictive view that working in the insurance industry can be. The mix has strengthened my agency and differentiated it from competition that surrounds us.

I am glad that I saw the opportunity and harnessed it. It has led to our agency moving in directions that I never imagined.