Careers In Finance: Insurance vs. Corporate

It has been eight years since my friends and I graduated from business school, eight long years since we studied all about the law of supply and demand and dreamed about our future careers in the exciting and rewarding field of finance.

There are six of us in our group and we have all managed to stay in touch with each other despite our hectic schedules. Who am I kidding? One big reason why we have stayed in touch with each other is because we help each other with contacts and networking. There’s nothing like a little school spirit to make the wheels of business spin a little faster. That is especially so since most of us have landed in different spheres of the financial industry. Different, yes, but I must also stress that these spheres are inter-connected. It really is a fascinating industry.

One day over drinks at the club, we decided to compare notes about our respective jobs. Much of the discussion revolved around the topic of who had the best job among us. Two of the guys, who were making a splash in insurance, strongly endorsed their field. They said that the insurance industry has annual revenues that surpass the trillion-dollar mark, which makes it a secure and financially-rewarding place to spend one’s career. The guys said that there are over 2.5 million people currently working in insurance now holding jobs as an underwriter, sales representative, customer service rep, asset manager or an actuary. As the guys said, the name of the game now is knowing how to manage risk and anticipate problem areas.

Gregory, the most scholastically gifted among us back in school, had a different opinion. He worked as a financial planner in a major corporation. Gregory argued that it is not the size of the industry that should determine who has the best job, but rather how important that job contributes to his company or clients. As a financial planner, Gregory said his position made him vital to the future of his company because he was the one who planned all the future spending of the company. Nothing would move without my approval, he said.

Actually, both of them had a point, but I had to ponder a little bit before I could response.

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