This post was published in Insurance Journal on Dec. 18, 2017
The calendar has flipped to December and, for many, the dates are filling up with holiday parties, festive children’s school events, and gatherings with colleagues, family, and friends. What will your holiday chit chat include?
I hope your holiday banter will include some stories about the amazing innovation and opportunities underway in the insurance industry. You might not realize it, but by doing this you could help your friends and family and your industry.
Chances are that at some upcoming holiday gathering you will talk with someone that has a millennial in their family or has a millennial friend. And, chances are that the millennial will be carrying the burden of around $40,000 in student debt, which is the current student debt average. That same millennial may also be one of the 22.9 million people between the ages of 18 and 34 who still live with their parents. You could help by pointing out the career opportunities in the insurance industry.
By stepping into the insurance industry young professionals could enter a career that has impressive and stable career growth opportunities.
According to a recent study by the National Association of Realtors and the American Student Assistance group, only a fifth of millennial respondents own a home and 83 percent of non-owners cited student debt as the reason they are not buying.
More millennials need to realize the massive career opportunities on the horizon in the insurance industry. Nearly 25 percent of the insurance industry’s workforce will be ready to retire by next year. In the U.S., the industry needs to fill 400,000 positions by 2020 to remain fully staffed. The Jacobson Group recently highlighted that millennials and Gen Zs will make up 80 percent of the U.S. workforce by 2020. Yet, less than 5 percent of millennials are interested in working in insurance. We need to change the way we tell our story and find ways to connect with young professionals on areas that are important to them to spark their interest.
While munching on holiday cookies, you could also share with family and friends how the industry is giving back. Your stories could inspire young professionals to give insurance a chance. Millennials want to give back and make a difference, a Deloitte study shows that 76 percent of millennials view business as a force for positive social change, which is aligned with what insurers do every day. Work into your holiday chatter how your company helped with Thanksgiving food drives, is participating in Toys-for-Tots drives or is helping others in need during the holidays. You can also talk about the collective positive force of the industry by noting the industry’s great work via charitable contributions.
Drones on your holiday gift shopping list? As you chat with family and friends about the latest toy craze, you can also drop in your conversation how insurers are using drones to help respond to severe weather events and in the claims process. People talking about posting their holiday pictures on social media? You can chime in how insurers are using social media to connect with people and respond quickly in times of need. While talking about taking an Uber to a holiday party, staying in an AirBnB on a holiday vacation, or checking out the autonomous cars as an outrageous holiday gift, you can help millennials see how insurers are immersed these latest technology trends.
Wherever the holidays may take you, I hope you will share with others the amazing opportunities and innovation in the insurance industry. Through stories you can inspire a young professional to pursue a career that would be an amazing gift to themselves. Wishing you all a happy holiday.