The catastrophe adjusting industry is one primarily based upon networking and relationships. Often times it’s not what you know, but who you know, that enables your career. This fact, as unfortunate or unfair as it may appear, and whether admitted or not, holds true in most business’s. Our industry is no different. In this blog, I am going to offer some key ideas that can and will jump start your career and hopefully get you on the path to success.
Networking is often an activity that we do subconsciously. For the typical person it is not something we think about on a daily basis and might be something that a large majority of us are uncomfortable doing. It’s not a natural feeling to have to sell yourself, to talk about yourself or just mingle with others to be a part of the brotherhood. We all can hide behind our laptops and send countless resumes to prospective employers in an attempt to be the one they notice. Realistically, in today’s job market, you have to be a standout on paper to gain the attention of hiring managers.
Effective networking is going to take some effort on your part and it’s going to cost some money. I know at this point you’re broke form all of the training and certifications you have obtained. I promise, it’s worth it and it will pay off in the end. This is my advice to you on how to effectively network and maximize your time and resources. There are three national conferences that I would try to attend as soon as you can.
The PLRB is the big one; there are typically 3 regional events and one huge national event. The movers and shakers from all facets of our industry will be here. A large trade show with the latest innovations, updates, seminars, continuing education and most importantly, firms and people looking for people like you. Pick one of these close to your area and go. Coat and tie and your best shoes with resume and certifications in hand, will get you noticed. Come prepared, and be honest in your abilities. Mingle at the socials and attend the seminars. If you play golf, typically there is always a scheduled tournament. Play with some guys that you do not know. Remember, new relationships are what you are after. There will be hundreds of experienced adjusters at these events and they may know someone that knows someone. This is where the relationships you develop come into play with networking. The majority of the insurance carrier’s claims managers will be here, therefore marketing professionals, like myself should be there doing the same thing you are, just at the next level.
NACA and NAIIA are also great conferences to attend; they are just on a smaller scale. With that said, these conferences can be just as effective and you can expect the same set up.
Over the years I have been able to bring a lot of my acquaintances into this industry based upon personal relationships. They might have been new to the industry or experienced. Either way, it goes back to knowing someone who had some influence.
I will close this by simply saying; you can’t make this career work if you have a fear of getting in front of people and selling yourself. In essence, isn’t that what you will be doing as a claims representative? The customers we serve must feel good about our service and work product.
The squeaky wheel doesn’t always get the grease, but the only way to insure it doesn’t rust completely, is to keep turning until you get a few drops of oil and turn it into a well-oiled machine.
Authored by Randy Allgood – Lead Instructor at American Adjuster Academy