Tan Kar Leong Eddy
My company and my job
In financial planning, we secure people’s lives and futures, preparing them for the unforeseen. We share knowledge to educate on the importance of insurance. We prospect new clients, discover their needs and lastly, plan their finances.
How I got my job
There were two rounds of interviews, first with the hiring manager, and then the director and other managers. There were around ten candidates interviewing with me, so it was very competitive. I think what set me apart from other candidates is sincerity and the setting of realistic short-term and long-term goals for myself in this career.
The highs and lows
Touching the lives of people is one of the perks in this career. You meet people and talk to them about their finances and lifestyles, assisting them to maintain their lifestyles in time of difficulties such as illnesses and accidents. However, it can be challenging due to the stereotype of an insurance agent. Rejection can affect our morales in this career. So I often tell myself that even in the corporate world, your proposal can be rejected by the management, so just pick yourself up and carry on.
My most heartfelt moment so far, is when I assisted a family to tide through financial difficulties when their sole breadwinner met with an accident and had to be jobless for a period of time. I brought the insurance claims to them, ensured that his three children are able to continue their enrichment classes, and allowed them to maintain their lifestyle without worries while the sole breadwinner can recuperate in peace.
Skills and knowledge
Knowing what you are selling is utmost important in this career. Being well-versed in product knowledge, knowing the market well and having offhand knowledge of competitors’ products are beneficial. There are also many professional qualifications like the CFP and ChFC, which we can take to improve ourselves and provide better advice and services to our clients.
Unlike in the corporate world, we do not work in the 9-6 cycle. Self-discipline is very important. My work consists of working four days on weekdays and one day on the weekend – meeting clients over lunch or dinner. Other days are spent with my family and friends. As we are very active on Corporate Social Responsibility at Manulife, this definitely helps in generating positive vibes at work.
Know what you want out of this career. Your advice can affect each and every one of your clients. It is not going to be easy, but by being sincere and professional, you can find success in this line.