Growing up, Jason Foroglou was no stranger to the Insurance industry.
His uncle worked in the field since the late 60s, and his father became an Insurance agent in the 80s. And while Jason didn’t necessarily plan on following in their footsteps, he too found himself swept up in the business.
“Most people coming out of university don’t know what to do with their careers,” says Jason. “When I finished my undergrad at Western University, I figured I’d use Insurance as a stepping stone towards other careers.”
What Jason didn’t expect was how much opportunity the Insurance industry had to offer. Fast forward to present day and Jason is still working with the same great company as an Agency Manager.
Hatching a career
Like many new graduates, Jason was looking for a place to gain experience and familiarize himself with the working world. He began in the operations department, which gave him the chance to learn about the Insurance field. During his time in operations, he began taking different courses for various Insurance designations.
With hard work and dedication, Jason earned the Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation, which provided him with a comprehensive understanding of the business and where he fit into the industry. It was a huge accomplishment, and his educational investment only strengthened his roots in the field.
During the following years, Jason explored the Insurance industry through a variety of career roles. He worked in a number of positions, from operations to underwriting to finance and planning to sales management. This lateral movement within the company offered him brand new perspectives and made him an invaluable asset to his employer.
“It’s not that I became bored with my job,” says Jason. “I had a lot of interests I wanted to explore… I’ve also had colleagues who have moved from department to department. You accumulate skill sets, which eventually gives you opportunities for promotions and transfers.”
Needless to say, the Insurance industry was more than the ‘stepping stone’ Jason intended it to be. It gave him a solid foundation for a secure and exciting career.
“You eventually get so entrenched in the industry, and you end up stuck in the best possible way!” says Jason.
A day in the life
After a number of years, Jason settled into his current role as an Agency Manager. In this position, he is responsible for growing and developing the business through production and sales, as well as keeping his customer base happy. He ensures that his business is both profitable and effective, and manages a crew of Sales Agents.
“I like to think of myself as the CEO of an insurance company on a small scale,” says Jason. “I’m not the president of a multi-billion dollar company, but my cares and concerns are the same.”
This sense of ownership is something that almost all successful Insurance professionals aim to achieve. There are many entry-level roles in operations that offer employees the chance to work flexible hours, travel, and even manage their own accounts. As an Agency Manager, Jason enjoys attending different tradeshows and events, where he gets to promote his business and interact with attendees.
Life as an Agency Manager isn’t just exciting – it’s also rewarding. Since Insurance is an intangible product, Jason knows that many customers don’t necessarily understand the full value of what they’re getting. However, in the event of an unforeseen circumstance, he says it’s great to be able to re-assure them that they have the proper coverage in their time of need.
“As an Agency Manager, I can walk through and coach the customer through difficult times,” says Jason. “If they need to be put up in a hotel or they need a rental car, we can make sure they’re afforded the right things.”
Tips for new grads
New graduates entering Insurance must consider the fact that the industry is constantly changing. This sets the stage for a very fast-paced and exciting career – however, if you want to master your craft, you have to stay on top of emerging trends and how they affect the business you’re in.
“Technology has changed the business landscape,” says Jason. “We’re developing new products for new business models and changing our risk selection and pricing models to accommodate things like the shared economy.”
Because this industry is made up of professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds, most Insurance employers are willing to support their employees as they earn their professional designations. It’s a fantastic way to improve your industry knowledge, sharpen your skills, and set yourself up for a progressive career in the field.
“There are so many additional courses and so many avenues you can take to continue your education,” says Jason. “It makes you marketable and a better candidate for promotion or transfer within the industry.”
Jason’s career-long pursuit of industry knowledge has played a huge part in his career success, and he encourages young professionals to take advantage of these resources as well.
“I don’t think education should end with college or university,” says Jason. “As someone who values ongoing learning, Insurance is an excellent Industry to join if you are looking to nourish and develop your career.”