A young insurance broker who has already claimed two prestigious industry awards at the age of just 25 has praised her professional mentors, saying they’ve helped put her on the path to success.
“I’ve found throughout my career, having a mentor or a coach, finding someone who inspires you, really is so important,” says Taela Bloemers (pictured), an account manager with Regional Insurance Brokers.
“It doesn’t necessarily have to be someone in the industry – it could be an author who has positive affirmations, or anyone that just gives you that kick to get you going.”
Bloemers is certainly going places – last year, she was selected to participate in Zurich’s 1872 NextGen Leadership Academy, which sent eight elite brokers to Switzerland with the aim of enhancing their industry knowledge, leadership skills, and strategic thinking.
“My mentors have been previous bosses, as well as my current boss, and I’ve always got a mentor through the Zurich NextGen Academy,” said Bloemers. “That enables me to have someone with a different viewpoint on things as well.”
Gaining access to professionals with a different viewpoint, Bloemers says, is one of the most important and beneficial aspects of having a mentor.
“It’s good when you do have those different opinions so that you can debate the various sides of things, and not have someone who will just automatically agree with you,” she says.
Of course, brokers are by no means limited to one mentor and Bloemers says she has different figures in her life who fill different roles.
“It’s great to have a colleague you can bounce things off internally, just to get a second opinion or a second pair of eyes on things, but you also need that person who will push you out of your comfort zone and get you thinking outside of the box,” she says.
“I guess it depends on your personality but sometimes you do need that person who will give you a push to get you where you want to go.”
While Switzerland wasn’t in the cards this year, Bloemers still entered exciting new territory when she became the first woman to claim the title of Australian Young Gun of the Year at the Insurance Business Awards.
“It’s nice to have people who are genuinely excited for your career progression and are genuinely happy for you when you move forward,” she said.
“Over the years, I’ve learned that not everyone will want you to succeed and some people are just out for themselves, so it’s really important to find people who want to support you and encourage you.”