The last few years have many people asking the question, is my work meaningful?
As we've questioned our freedoms and even our own mortality, debated medical ethics, been pulled from our communities, faced the challenge of proximity and distance in a way we never have before, and seen our working lives colliding with our home lives across the globe. Amidst those questions many of us have also taken a long hard look at our careers and how they fit with our values, priorities and ideals.
So what are some of the trends coming out of the Covid-19 rethink? We've identified 6 below, but first let's take a look at the idea of meaningful work.
What is meaningful work?
Meaningful work is subjective and different for each person. Some examples of where people find meaning include:
- being able to provide for our loved ones
- facing and conquering a challenge
- utilising your gifts and abilities
- building something new and innovative
- working as a team or
- giving back to the community
For insurance professionals all of these types of meaning can apply. Insurance broking can provide a stable income for your family, can extend the challenge of how to cover risks adequately in complex businesses, and anybody who has been there for a business at claims time can see how insurance broking gives back to the community and businesses daily.
6 Ways to Find Meaningful Work
The insurance jobs space has seen a shift in brokers re-considering their work and what it means to them and what employers are now offering to attract the best talent. We've spoken to industry recruiters and read the literature about the future of work in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and come up with 6 key considerations in the quest for meaningful work.
Achieving Work-life balance
Employees are no longer happy to sign up for 5 days in the office. To attract new talent employers absolutely must offer new structures of work. There is some rousing discussion over social media of a 4 day work week for insurance brokers, but the more broadly acceptable new structures consider the opportunity to work from home for some or all of the week, flexible hours and for the employer to reward productivity rather than attendance. This appears to be a non-negotiable in the current job market.
Prioritising Mental Well-being
Workplace mental well-being is often linked to the ability to balance work and life, but employers of choice in this area also go the extra mile. At Advisr Jobs we have seen workplaces create mental well-being policies that provide flexible leave or other concessions, set structures in place such as access to coaching and mental well-being experts, provide employee training in "Mental Health First Aid" or talk openly about depression, anxiety and other conditions to create a safe space. These approaches allow greater inclusion of those suffering from mental health issues, recognising their critical contribution and also provide preventative measures against stress, anxiety and other mental health and well-being conditions.
Taking Wage Opportunities
With many industries facing set-backs to wages or long periods of leave without pay, the insurance industry has gone the other way. Salaries have boomed with recruiters reporting starting salaries that used to sit around $50k now looking more like $70k and similar increases at the higher levels. For dual income families who have lost one set of wages, this is a welcome opportunity to negotiate a higher wage, or take a better-paying role in order to offset other financial difficulties in the home.
Being your own boss
The insurance broking industry has seen a raft of new brokers setting up their own businesses, even during the depths of lockdown. For some, now has been the time to take the leap and go it alone, setting up a new business as an AR. Perhaps it was working from home, or the desire to find meaning in a new challenge or in building something of their own. For others new opportunities to lead a team in a growth area, acquire the book of another brokerage or partner with a broker in a new venture were too good to refuse. We've seen many of these opportunities on Advisr Jobs.
The desire to give back is not a new one. In the absence of many of the connections we've taken for granted, and with unheard of need in our own communities, giving back has become more important than ever to employees and businesses. Many businesses have shared their giving back moments on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and we know from speaking with industry recruiters, that an opportunity to give back is important for many prospective employees as they look to find more meaning in their work.
Relocating to Regional Australia
The ability to work remotely and for teams to be able to manage distance has opened up much of regional Australia to workforces who have traditionally had to reside in the city. Insurance broking is one of those industries that is critical to regional Australia, supporting businesses across the country. Many city-based brokers are now more open to considering regional positions, or even maintaining their current positions but working remotely. This trend has been compounded by a reduction in affordability of housing in the major centers and a desire for a life out of the rat race of the city. The biggest destinations for metro movers
were the Gold Coast
and Sunshine Coast.
Meaningful work is more accessible than ever in the insurance industry with an industry talent shortage
leading to rising salaries, plentiful regional opportunities at dynamic brokerages, flexible working options almost standard and the possibility of building your own business as an AR. So will you continue doing things as you've always done? Or will some of these trends change how you build your business, work in your role or motivate you to something new altogether?