Many millennials and Gen Z agents may wonder about the importance of professional organizations. But membership organizations remain a significant way for people to connect, learn, and network. Joining a group designed specifically for agents and brokers is a smart investment in your career. Read on to learn why.
Millennial and Gen Z Agents Should Join a Professional Organization
As a new independent insurance agent, joining a professional organization is one of the first things you should do. While professional organizations have existed for a long time in many industries, they continue to offer value, especially to new agents just starting their careers. These groups are for more than just seasoned professionals. They may even provide more benefits to young agents, such as these:
Build your network.
Joining a professional organization is a quick way to start building your network. Insurance is still largely a referral business, and meeting people helps spread awareness of you and your agency. Finding the right people to network with is easier when you belong to a group of your colleagues. Take advantage of your membership to meet people through virtual discussions or at live events the group organizes.
Access industry education.
Another critical component of your insurance career is continuing education. You need to take classes to maintain your license and keep your knowledge current. Many professional organizations offer their members discounts on CE courses. Some even host an annual conference that includes sessions with CE credit.
Broaden your industry knowledge.
When you became an agent, you had to pass a licensing exam and may have taken other industry courses along the way. And deepening your knowledge of your niche area is important, but it is also helpful to broaden your understanding of the industry as a whole. Learning how different states and regions handle challenges could help you in your area. A baseline understanding of coverages you don’t sell can help you refer your policyholders to colleagues. Exposure to other areas of insurance as a new agent helps you serve your clients more thoroughly since you can speak to various insurance needs.
How to Find the Right Professional Organization to Join
With many different membership organizations aimed at insurance professionals, how should millennial and Gen Z agents decide which to join? Think about these considerations when shopping for a professional organization:
1.) What type of professional joins the organization?
As an independent agent or broker, consider becoming a member of an organization designed for your needs. Many groups cater to all kinds of insurance professionals, but independent agents and brokers have specific needs. Look for groups created for your needs.
2.) What value will you see from your membership?
Think about what you want to get back from being a member. Some people value networking the most, while others want to take advantage of discounts offered through group membership. Weigh your options to determine which organizations will deliver the most value for you.
3.) Can you see yourself as a member of the organization?
Finding a place where you fit in and feel valued is essential — and when you work independently, it can be even more critical to fill this need creatively. That’s where membership in a professional organization can step in. But you have to make sure it is the right fit for you. Research whether the group hosts events you want to attend and check out their membership to get an idea of who you will be networking with — a pro tip is to follow their socials to learn how the organization interacts and what it values.
You will find the most value from your membership by aligning yourself with a professional organization with similar values, outstanding education, and the best networking opportunities.
Join the American Agents Alliance Today
When you are ready to join a professional organization, consider becoming a member of the American Agents Alliance. We’ve been empowering independent agents and brokers to thrive since 1962, and we’re ready to help you, too!
Enjoy valuable member discounts and networking opportunities designed to help you succeed. Become a member today.