I recently went on my own ride to Michigan for the Michigan YIP’s Winter Get-Away! I was invited to teach a class on Generational Differences and the turnout and response from the class was tremendous - it was a great event from the class to the food to the networking with new friends! This young group of insurance professionals has support from its’ PIA Board of directors as was seen in the attendance. They have support from sponsors and the insurance community in Michigan! Loved the event guys (and ladies).
I had never been to Michigan, but after this networking event I will probably return at some point. Meeting these amazing people and being able to call them friends is one of the great things about our industry and being involved in an industry association like PIA.
Jason Verlinde, one of the Michigan YIP’s has a blog. I asked for his permission to post this so that we can all take a minute to think about our involvement in associations, and the benefit that membership brings.
Think about your circle of friends. The ones that you talk with on a daily basis. Where did you meet them? The answer is probably one of four places: neighborhood, school (or your children’s school), place of worship, or place of employment.
Being from Michigan a lot of my neighbors work in the automotive industry. They go to work each day and walk into large offices or plants that have hundreds of people working in them. They have worked there for several years and have become close friends with many of their co-workers.
Twelve years ago I started working for an Independent Insurance Agency. I walked in the door and went to work with my Father and two other people who were no where near my age. There went twenty five percent of my chance of meeting life long friends. Our agency is not unlike most Independent Insurance Agencies. Most are small business and most do not have many “young” people working in them.
So how do you keep your new young agents from getting the urge to bolt to the corporate world where they see their family and neighbors growing life long relationships with their co-workers? The answer is to get them involved with your states Insurance Association. They put on several events each year that will give your employees a chance to meet other people who have common interests.
I know that it may be tough for the agency to be without a young agent for a few days while they are away at a conference. It may not always be in the agency’s budget. You may also think that some events are nothing more than a three day party with a few CE opportunities thrown in and it is all a waste of money. But think of the cost of losing a young agent after a year or two because they think the grass is greener in the corporate world. Because they want to be able to go out to lunch with a co-worker or hang out after work and grab a drink.
I have been fortunate. My agency has always realized the value of my involvement within our state association. I have also been fortunate by meeting some great people (see photo above) that are my closest friends. Friends that I speak with almost on a daily basis. Friends I can bounce ideas off, talk to about my problems, and the ones that I am sure will be the friends I am sitting around talking about my grand kids with twenty five years from now.