How to Leave & Return to A Career In Insurance

August 11, 2020

For many years, insurance agencies have been able to thrive with minimal turnover. Employees would begin a position at an insurance agency and build a career, often remaining in the same position for the entire duration of their career. Employment at an insurance agency provides stability, flexibility, and growth opportunities that appeal to employees and is enough to keep most people in the industry once they arrive.  However, a lifelong career in one industry might not be the right fit for everyone, and some may seek a change of pace – even if just temporarily.  

While the idea of leaving and then trying to come back can be intimidating, think of it as temporarily moving to another community knowing you will return to your hometown when it’s time to settle down and build a life.  Here are some things to consider if you are looking to take a hiatus from insurance.

1.) The Insurance Industry Will Welcome You Back –

Leaving on good terms is critical to ensuring there is a way back should you decide you want to re-enter the insurance agency world in the future. As long as you’ve built a good reputation based on hard work and dedication and can exit without burning any bridges, returning to insurance should not be all that difficult. The industry continues to look for talent, and those with any level of experience remain highly sought out.

However, it is essential to keep a couple of things in mind if you want to return a few years down the road:

  • Retaining your license will be critical. Keeping your license will require taking ownership of your continuing education and any necessary filings required to keep it active. Being able to apply as a licensed insurance agent will help put your resume at the top of the stack.
  • Do what you can to stay current on changes in the industry. Whether you leave for two years or five years, there will be changes. Keeping a finger on the pulse will help you be better equipped to dive back when the time comes.
  • There will be a learning curve. Even if you retain your license, keep up on continuing education, and speed on current industry events, technology will change. Being prepared to learn and adapt when you join an agency is critical to your success.

2.) Experience From Outside the Industry Can Be Beneficial – 

There is a lot of learning and growth that can come from other industries. No one industry has all the answers to its problems within itself. Putting an insurance career on pause may be an excellent opportunity to gain valuable work experience in something that is not directly related to insurance but is very applicable.  

Whether it is acquiring new skills, exposure to new processes, or interaction with people of various work backgrounds, all of these things can prove powerful when it comes to boosting your growth and knowledge. Putting those pieces together and applying them to your insurance career can be a significant advantage and prove to be exactly what is needed to set you apart from others in the industry.  

3.) There Is More Than One Path to a Successful Career in Insurance –  

When you decide to return to the industry, it may look different. The same position you previously worked in may not be available. 

The agency may want you to take a couple of steps back to ensure your skills are up to par with the requirements of a job. And while these may seem like setbacks, they can be a calling to look at other opportunities. 

While some may find it rewarding to work in the same position and even return to the same position after a few years away, it is certainly not the only option. The insurance industry offers a wide variety of career paths. You may quickly discover when returning to insurance that you can be in an industry that you love and pursue other roles within the industry that interest you.  

Stepping away from the industry for a few years may seem like a permanent ending to a prospective career down the road, but rest assured, the opportunities remain. Taking the time to plan for a return before you exit can help solidify your future career options when you choose to rejoin the insurance industry.  

For more on this topic, check out the full episode of The Independent Agent below.