The insurance industry can be competitive and demanding from time to time, so insurance professionals should ensure that they have what it takes to face every challenge that comes their way. With more than 15 years in the industry, GIBA senior broker Tanya Kliese shared with Insurance Business how she stays on top of her game.
Kliese (pictured) has more than a decade of insurance experience across underwriting and account management roles for established Australian and global organisations, giving her the chance to acquire knowledge on how to succeed in the industry.
Speaking about her first step to climbing the career ladder, Kliese said: “It was my mentor at QBE who interviewed me and inspired me to take my first role in the insurance industry. He [told me that this industry] is all about people and providing the right solutions to them. I realised I had a chance to connect with people and solve problems, so I took the job!”
As a senior broker at GIBA, she currently manages and provides tailored insurance solutions to clients and collaborates closely with other insurance professionals to widen her industry knowledge.
“We share ideas and industry knowledge. Collectively, we have 150 years of experience in the industry, so there are plenty of insights to share,” Kliese explained.
With a combination of years-long experience and tips from peers, Kliese was able to see the problems in the industry and how she can excel in her role.
“Many of my clients do not fit in any box, which is where the challenge lies in finding the right insurance partner. Fortunately, we have a large network of insurance providers we work with, and being part of the Steadfast Group provides us with access to niche and specialist underwriting agencies,” the seasoned broker explained.
“I also need to stay on top of industry trends, market changes, and our broking technology to ensure that I remain current and on top of my game. The best way I deal with this is to embrace learning, and to know there is always more I can learn.”
Kliese also emphasised the importance of building relationships in the industry and using competition to motivate her instead of letting it pull her down.
“This is a relationship business. I recommend you value your relationship with your clients and insurance industry partners,” she advised. “I have also learned that there will always be competition in this industry. However, you can learn from your competition, and it can also give you the motivation to grow and evolve as a professional.
“I also value having a mentor. There is always someone that has more experience than you do, who can offer great advice when you need it most. Look for a person that you respect within the industry. Someone that would be willing to give you a little of their time to share their insights and own experience and learnings. I would consider this to be priceless for career growth.”
She offered assurances that there’s nothing wrong with asking questions, so feel free to do so in order to grow.
“Never be afraid to ask – whether for a new project, promotion, or an industry course that could benefit your career. Seize opportunities to move within the business for a chance to grow and progress,” she said.
“Surround yourself with like-minded people. I spent time volunteering for the Young Insurance Professionals Group (YIPS), Victorian Committee. It gave me a chance to work with driven, perceptive, and extremely talented young professionals – inspiring me to keep working hard and chase after those opportunities,” Kliese concluded.