5 transferable skills every graduate should have.

Early in everyone’s’ career there are skills that are necessary for success in the modern workplace. Our education system does not exactly prepare students for some of the realities they face in the real world. The quicker a recent graduate can adapt to the corporate world the quicker they will be able to advance their career. Some skills are industry specific, but there are several skills that can be developed in the insurance industry that are easily transferable to most industries. Here are five skills that interns and recent graduates can develop that will set them up for success in whatever field they eventually go in to.

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Critical Thinking Skills

The ability to think critically on your feet is an essential skill that can help someone succeed no matter what industry they go in to. Insurance provides the opportunity to develop these skills in many ways. One way is as an account manager or agent you have to quickly determine who your customer is, what they need, what they want and what products can feel those needs. In insurance, sometimes the best way to service a customer is by helping them see risk they may not anticipate. A delicate partof the industry is balancing a conversation where the business owner thinks you are trying to sell them a policy they do not need, but from experience you know how devastating a loss can be when an incident occurs. In reality, you can only inform the business owner of the risk and allow them to make their own decision. The better you can develop critical thinking skills the more success you will have in the insurance industry.

 Interpersonal Communication

Possibly the most important skill for success in insurance is to be able to relate to people. Insurance is needed by almost everyone. Whether you are selling a life insurance policy to a new father or a general liability insurance policy to a small business owner, you are going to have to quickly anticipate what is important to the customer and how you can best fill that need. One phone conversation may be with an accountant from a city and the next conversation may be with a mechanic from a town of 2,500 people.

 Computer Skills

Computer skills are a must in today’s business climate. The more you know and the better you are with computers the farther your career can grow. Not everyone can be a computer programmer for IBM, but having some basic knowledge of computers is essential. No matter where you work in the insurance industry you will need to have a basic working knowledge of Microsoft Office. Some departments like marketing or IT will require knowledge in HTML and JavaScript, but even just knowing how to use the back end of a WordPress site can help get you one step ahead of the competition. Computers are static so constant training is a must.

Teamwork

Anything you do in life is going to involve working in some form of a team. Even if you are working from home you will have to interact with a boss or supervisor with the company you work for or you will have to interact with clients to get the project done the way they want it. IN insurance, you will need to work well as part of a team to find the best policies and the opportunities where you can better insure your clients. This can be for a small business owner, when you are trying to determine which general liability class code they should be in or on a life insurance policy when you are trying to work with other members of your team and the client to get all of the necessary documents for the policy to be active.

 Professionalism

Professionalism is one skill people just out of college frequently struggle with. Whether it is showing up on time, spell-checking an email, using a polite tone of voice over the phone or not cracking a joke at the beginning of a meeting; professionalism is essential to success in any organization. The quicker someone develops a professional reputation, the quicker they can begin to move up the career ladder.