At the March meeting of the Underwriter’s Association of Toronto, two of our senior experts at the office, Carmela Tedesco (VP Underwriting & Claims) & Mervyn Gillson (Senior Underwriting Consultant) gave a presentation focused on professional development in the Underwriting & Claims field. It was called “Hey Underwriter! It’s Time to Own Your Career!”
Watching their presentation gave me the idea of focusing April’s TED tals on things that would help us all advance in our careers. I decided to start with a talk that closely mirrored some of the expert advice Carmela and Merv were giving at that UAT meeting in March. My aim was to begin with something that would get people thinking about their long-term goals.
Susan Colantuono’s talk “The career advice you probably didn't get” describes the sets of skills required for advancement beyond the level of middle management. Susan’s talk encourages us to avoid professional stagnation through engagement with our industry and with our companies’ larger goals. Her talk reveals the danger of being passive about the direction of our work lives.
We need to do more than create a plan for ourselves though, we need to implement it and bring other people along for the ride. Julian Treasure’s talk “How to speak so that people want to listen” provides helpful and insightful tips to maximize our abilities to communicate. His vision of clear and helpful communication inspires us to develop the power of the tools we use to present our ideas to others.
No one can learn without making mistakes. No one can make hard decisions without recognizing the alternatives they did not select.
Part of everyone’s development is learning to cope with these losses and recognize their worth. Lots of motivational effort is put into telling us to live our lives without regret, so I was very interested in hearing what Kathryn Shulz had to say in her talk about embracing regret. Developing the tools to cope with mistakes enables us to face the future without the anxiety of having to be perfect. Success requires resilience and adaptability in the face of losses and unexpected changes.
John Bilodeau is Bilingual Underwriter at LOGiQ3
The final talk we watched provided a “big picture” description of the cultures of our work places. David Logan’s talk on tribal leadership describes different types of teams we all belong to and the basic principles of leadership within those groups. He underlines the fact that our individual professional development never happens in isolation. We benefit from the leadership of others, but we also have opportunities to bring people together. David’s talk helps us to understand not only the teams we participate in but also the contributions we can make to elevate them.
As an underwriting professional looking to advance in my career, I am always looking to develop my personal growth plan. And what any professional can relate to is the fact that we CAN and SHOULD own our own careers.
For example, LOGiQ3’s Underwriting e-Learning Program was a great way for me to enhance my knowledge within my specific field. This is a perfect example of utilizing the things that are made available to me, to take my career into my own hands and continuously learn. If you’re in the Underwriting profession, I encourage you to sign up for a free trial and take one module for a test drive.
I happen to be in an industry where “23% of life underwriters expect to continue working in a life underwriting role for 5 years or less”. Does that sound alarming to you?
I will leave you with a question. What are YOU doing to OWN YOUR career?