2.26.2013

No, I Do Not Want to Sell Insurance

I'm job hunting. It's pretty stressful, but I think that's the case for most everyone who's ever hunted for a job. I'm not going about things the smart way and looking for a new opportunity while I'm safely and securely employed already; no I'm looking for a new gig while not having any paycheck coming in and a mortgage to pay. I think the hardest part of unemployment is the swirling race of panic that can sometimes strike when you're not ready for it as every second that ticks off the clock feels like it's wasted because you should've gotten a job by now. So you set a routine: you get up early, you exercise, you eat something, and you send out resumes. You call staffing agencies. You post helpful reminders on Facebook and LinkedIn in case any of your friends know someone who's looking to hire. And the whole while you have this imaginary pile of your remaining money in your head and it's on fire.

But just when things are looking bleak, you get an email! You hope against hope that it's a response from a potential employer, that someone has deemed you worthy of, at the very least, a 15 minute phone conversation to determine if you're worth talking to in person. A choir of angels sing! Light casts down on you from the heavens, illuminating your very soul! You might just be employable after all! You gleefully click the subject line, which reads something like "Re: Your Resume on Monster," and are greeted with...

A canned form letter asking you to apply to be an insurance salesman.

These are by far the most annoying emails I get, and I get a lot of them. I don't know why. Maybe it's not just me; maybe everyone who job hunts online just has to deal with these guys. They always say in their emails it's because I'm listed under "Marketing," and I guess that relates to Sales, but maybe that's just part of the form letter and somewhere a woman is getting an email from American Family Insurance saying "We noticed your skills in Midwifery and think you'd be a great fit for a rewarding career..."

It's not that I have anything against insurance sales; I just can't imagine many jobs I would rather do less. And they're the only ones I'm getting annoying emails about. If I kept getting spam about becoming a theoretical physicist, I would be just as annoyed. Nothing on my resume indicates I'd be interested in a career in theoretical physics OR insurance sales. Even if you're taking a wild guess, there's absolutely no way to judge I'd be any good at it. 

And is that the kind of insurance agent (or physicist) you want? One who had no inclination towards the industry at all, but was desperate enough to take a flier on an unsolicited email and change careers? I guess you'd assume someone like that is going to be hungry enough to really work at it, and that would translate well to insurance sales since all I know about it seems to be you harass people you know until you scare them about their own mortality and they buy some insurance.

Again, if it's your gig and you like it then great. I'm just saying it's not for me, I've never indicated it might be for me, and I don't appreciate the unsolicited emails.

But this approach has to work, right? Why would they do it if it didn't? It makes me kind of sad to think my insurance agent was once a guy with hopes and dreams to make it in something like film or engineering or advertising but he hit a low patch without work and 18 years later he's the top-ranked Auto/Home/Life salesman in the county but just can't manage to enjoy any of it. I can't imagine "this is it, I've hit bottom" translates into a motivated sales force.

Then again, give me a couple more weeks of joblessness and maybe I'll be hitting up my friends to re-evaluate their death and dismemberment policies.

1 comment:

Alex Stephen said...

Amazing, I found your site on google poking around for something completely unrelated- now I'm gonna need to go the old posts. Good bye free time today, but this was a really spectacular find.
Westlake Village Insurance