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Featured I need to chill, beyond that I need advice.

Discussion in 'Education and Employment' started by Rich Gray, Jan 16, 2020 at 10:40 AM.

  1. Rich Gray

    Rich Gray Well-Known Member

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    The good:
    • I have a job.
    • The job can pay more than I expected to earn when I reentered the workforce (I was a stay-at-home-dad).
    • This year I earned the most that I have ever earned from a job (from overtime and sales bonuses).
    • They hired me because I passed the test to get an insurance license, and then performed.
    • I like my coworkers.

    • The company I work for normally doubles in size every year, and quadrupled in size last year to, I think, ~2,000 people last year in three cities (and then some).
    • In America ~10,0000 people per day are turning 65, are going on to Medicare, and this is good for insurance agents that sell Medicare (not me, but the company is going in this direction).
    • I am in a company that just raised $1,500,000,000.

    • We have new management (in my case at multiple levels), and we are doing quite well in the division that I am in (we are not Medicare, and Medicare earned a 1,600% profit this annual enrollment … that is gonzo nutso high!).
    • We might start getting raises.
    • At some point I might get credit for some idea or another.
    • At some point I might get a raise / promotion.

    The bad:
    • I can be the MVP, I can be #3 in “batting average”, I can be #5 in raw sales.
    • I can point out inefficiency. I wrote a 14-pages of things that we needed in order to improve efficiency, some of the ideas were implemented, and efficiency improved.
    • I can notice all sorts of patterns, and some of them are profitable.
    • It does not matter how well I perform, I do horribly in interviews, and will never get a position based on my interviewing skills.
    • My contributions outside of my job description, up to this point, do not seem to be on my reviews. They are apparently not noteworthy, this hurts, as these things are absolutely profitable.
    • They do not hire you (in the other, higher paying, department) based on how well you perform, but based on interviews. Interviews are a nightmare for me. I do not perform well in an interview.

    • I was told that I would hear the results of an interview last by last Monday or last Tuesday. Then sometime that week. Then Monday or Tuesday of this week. They told me Thursday.
    • I was told that if I had any questions that I can email the interviewer. I did over a week ago, and did not get any answers.

    • When I got the job we had month-long shifts with one start-time per month.
    • When I got the job we could take our breaks and our lunches when we wanted.
    • Then we started getting a scheduled lunch and break schedule … and it changed daily.
    • Now we just started getting different start times every week.
    • I have a hard time paying attention to the time, and this is stressful.

    • Every time before I got a raise, the amount was reduced. Every . . . single . . . time.
    • My department was told that we max out at level 3 (60%), there are five levels, I was a level 4 (80%) on my way to a level 5 (100%), and I was demoted to a level 3 (60%).
    • We do not get cost of living raises.
    • If I do not get a raise in April, then it will be three years without a raise.
    • I know that my contributions are noteworthy, and are beyond my job-description.
    • Every year we are told that we are making truckloads of money.


    • The metric(s) used do not measure how well we perform as accurately as I would like.
    • Improper behavior that can be measured for, does not seem to be measured for. There are numerous loopholes and opportunities to cheat or harm other agents directly or indirectly.
    • My division and/or group might not be in contact with those that do the measuring, and we seem to figure that they are doing a good job and/or are meeting our needs.

    • I get frustrated sometimes. Things get fixed sometimes. It is slow. Sometimes they are unfixed when we get new leadership, but other things are fixed with the new leadership.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020 at 7:23 AM
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  2. Varzar

    Varzar Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Given the information presented, I can only suggest practicing your interview skills. Get a friend or family member or professional coach to go through all the common interview questions over and over until you have good answers learned by rote.. You'll never know exactly what they might ask in an interview, but the more you practice, the better you'll get at "winging it".
     
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  3. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    So all that said, what is it that you are really asking?

    I can say my cousin who spent more than 20 years in this industry finally got out for good some six months ago. She was sick of dealing with the entire industry, apart from just her employer and coworkers. I got out of property/casualty insurance myself around the 20-year mark. Underwriting- not sales. Never looked back, either.

    If it's merely should you stay or go, that's easy. Unless you're terribly confident of the status quo, do absolutely nothing until the elections are concluded. When the future of health insurance may be either "business as usual" or OMG. Where such an equation may become largely beyond your control. o_O
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020 at 11:14 AM
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  4. Rich Gray

    Rich Gray Well-Known Member

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    Should I be happy just to have a job? I mean I can come to work, and get paid doing something that I am pretty good at. Should I try to get recognition? Should I just shut up, sit down, and be happy that I am working?
     
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  5. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    Set a middle course for yourself. If you aim to achieve at your highest potential level, you're going to burn out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020 at 1:40 PM
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  6. Varzar

    Varzar Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    That depends on you...
    For some people, family is way more important than work. Work is a means to an end, a paycheque that pays for your home life.. If this is you, just be happy you've got a job that pays well.

    Other people want to achieve, they want to be the best at whatever they do (and often don't care what that is).. They want the recognition of that achievement. They want to be known as "the best".. If that's you, then naturally you should go an fight for more recognition, practice your interview skills, become the best that you can be..

    Yet other people want to leave a legacy. They want to "make a difference" in the place they work. Improve the company as a whole, leave the company a better place when they leave. Perhaps by changing, reinventing processes, perhaps by training the next generation of workers to be all they can be.. If that's you, then you have to decide how you can best do that in the job you're in.. Sounds like you're already in a position where you can make suggestions and have ideas implemented.. So perhaps you don't need more than that..
     
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  7. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    For now, yes.

    Involving greater considerations that have nothing to do with you personally:

    1. You're in an industry that could suddenly become quite volatile in the event of a political shift in government.

    2. Economics are cyclical. The global economy is overdue for a recession, mild or severe. Governments can collude and take short term measures to delay it from happening, but they are simply delaying the inevitable. No matter how great anyone claims the economy is presently doing.

    A storm is coming. Don't forget where you put your umbrella.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020 at 11:41 AM
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  8. clg114

    clg114 Still crazy, after all these years. Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    This, all of this is exactly why I work for myself instead of some big company. The only regret that I have is that I did not do it sooner. The only hard part was paying for very expensive health insurance. I only had to buy this for a few years, until I got Medicare. I really, really like working for myself. I still have to answer to my customers, but they treat me like someone who has come to help them. It is great! However, I am working less now because I just can not physically do what I used to.
     
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  9. Rich Gray

    Rich Gray Well-Known Member

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    In America we are in an interesting economic spot. The millennials are entering the time of their lives when folks spend the most amount of money, and they outnumber everyone (as in the population within that age range is the largest population band).

    Economic stuff is going to be effected by all those folks buying things . . . Disney is expanding . . . I am betting that the stock market will shoot up-ish though ~2035-ish.

    I watched a video (lots of charts) on YouTube by Chris Ciovacco last month(ish) on the millennial population Offerings - Ciovacco Capital Management, LLC — Ciovacco Capital Management, LLC , and he makes some interesting observations. Search YouTube for something like "CCM Investments".
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020 at 1:19 PM
  10. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    Guess l see two strong issues: stress from constantly being pushed to perform, and stress from interviews.

    The best question is take away the interviews, how do you handle the stress of making or exceeding your sales quota? Is it doable for the next 5 years? Then pop back the interview tangent. How bad is the stress from interviews for you? Is this something that will ever change, like will you truly ever feel confident and less stress about interviews? Will taking appro steps to become stronger help or do you truly see no change there? Or can you ignore interview stress and just wing it? Your track record? Has it been worth it financially? Or do you really want to find a different line of work and can take the financial hit? Finally, can you move to a smaller insurance company to allievate some of the huge corporate size of current employer? Thanks for reading this.
     
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  11. Wolf Prince

    Wolf Prince My future job title.

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    Impressive list.
     
  12. Rasputin

    Rasputin Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    That is what I do, but age also factors in. I am underemployed for my experience, education, and performance, but I am terrible at interviews also. And at age 61 it is not easy to find another job. So I just do my job.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020 at 4:32 PM
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  13. tducey

    tducey Well-Known Member

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    Do what's best for you. Seems like you're good at what you do so that's good.
     
  14. Rich Gray

    Rich Gray Well-Known Member

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    The stress comes from poor metrics that are full of loopholes. Agents can directly or indirectly harm other agents. I cannot just sit down and work. I need to monitor things that I should not be monitoring and change my behavior to maximize my score in a flawed system. I just want to work.

    Oh it does not matter how well I do my job. I need to impress someone who knows nothing about me. I tell them I was MVP in 2017, was #3 in conversion in 2018, I was #5 in sales in 2020, and that I practically work all the overtime.

    2019 was an absolute nightmare display of a bewildering and painful project at the request of the client. We were sent an email saying that we would loose our bonus if we did not do as directed. I did as told, and suffered . . . others ignored direction. I was the only one who did as directed, and everyone else concentrated on sales. It was my worst year bonus-wise. Not one agent lost a bonus for not doing as they were told.

    I tell them how I pointed out . . . in detail . . . inefficiencies, and as a result improved efficiency across the board.

    None of it matters. This last time the manager found some other manager at the very last moment, I was rushed, and then I was laughed at. There was no chance that the guy interviewing me knew how well I performed. I told him, but it did not matter. It never matters.

    They hire apparently based on who they want to have a beer with.
    • 2017 MVP . . . folks that were not MVP's were hired/promoted
    • 2018 #3 in conversion . . . folks with less conversion were hired/promoted
    • 2020 #5 in sales . . . folks with less sales were hired/promoted
    • Indirectly help everyone else get more sales? Does not matter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020 at 7:53 AM
  15. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    That's exactly right - they hire based on who they want to have a beer with, although they will deny that to the last. You need to stop expecting/hoping that promotion has to do with merit. Incidentally, you also need to "read between the lines" when it comes to following directives that might slow down your sales or other bonus-related metric.

    This is why I recommended a "middle course." Find a niche you can perform "OK" and save yourself the stress of banging your head against a brick wall.
     
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  16. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    So at least you are talking about this and your feeling of not being taken seriously and being totally ignored with all your innovative suggestions. Finally, having to micromanage situations due to backstabbing among agents to top off the whole package is stressful.

    What can you do? The better question is what do you want to do at this stage of the game?

    Can you get broker's license and go out on your own(not sure how insurance works, just guessing).
    You know what areas are opening up to be profitable in. Can you move to a way smaller company? Like GadAbout said, you can continue trying to be valued instead of devalued, but we know how that will end.
    You don't have the key to the magic kingdom and probably it has nothing to do with you. You aren't in the clique or there is limited seats in the magic kingdom. So do middle course/bank the profit/write your closing story, with a 5-10-15 year goals. Or ask somebody in the know why you can't move forward at this point, it never hurts to just put it out there. Then you can take that knowledge and figure out your game plan. Does this sound like a way to move forward?
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020 at 11:08 PM
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  17. Dr. Eh Hol

    Dr. Eh Hol not a real doctor

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    With the kind of growth you note, it's going to get corporate really quick, and that will destroy everyone's soul. Corporations are not run by individuals, they are run by psychopaths that play social games instead of do work...I swear work only accidentally gets done at big corporations.

    It's actually a lot like politics, where people argue incessantly about how to do a particular task but never actually get around to performing said task. But, somehow, everyone thinks they worked hard and did a real good job, and deserve more money.

    And this is a huge tell that you are in for a stormy ride in corporate seas. People like this aren't looking for specific qualities or capabilities in a candidate, instead they are looking for loyal lackeys clever enough to deflect all blemishes from their in-group. Different factions are at war. Alliances are forged and broken. It's akin to organized crime.

    All of this is bad in production facilities, but in sales it's no holds barred because goals are much more arbitrary and there aren't physical limitations as excuses. I'm sure it's even worse in an industry that is basically a pass through to legally embezzle government monies.

    The only way to survive in this environment is to toss your ethics and get aggressively competitive.

    However, with your knowledge of the industry, you may have an advantage selling medical supplies to Medicare patients - you know, the TV commercials where they sell a ten dollar cane for three hundred bucks billed to Medicare "at no cost to you." May be a good racket to get into.