Making a career change could be overwhelming as it doesn’t always work out – sometimes you have to jump from one role to another to find out what career path is right for you. Despite the huge risk, seasoned Bridges Insurance broker Derek Maggs took a leap of faith – and now has more than 30 years of experience in the industry.
Maggs (pictured) entered the industry by accident just like a lot of insurance professionals. He and his flatmate had their names down for a job with the State Services Commission. When it contacted him for a role at State Insurance, he took a leap of faith and hasn’t looked back since.
“When they rang, my mate had just scored a private sector job and, as I hated the current job I was in, I got to go in his place,” he explained. “The role was with State Insurance back in the day when it was a government department. I got the job and haven’t looked back since. I met my wife there – bonus!”
“When accepting the role, [I] didn’t have any guaranteed clients or business so [it] was a leap of faith that it would work. A lot of the clients I had previously looked after followed me. [I] am now quite busy,” he continued.
Speaking about his current role at Bridges Insurance, he said: “I am a contract broker, so [I] don’t work for, but rather with. [It] hasn’t always been like this in my time in the industry but where I am at currently in life’s cycle suits me great. My role involves new business, servicing existing [clients], and [being a] first point of contact for claims and troubleshooting problems.”
When asked about what he liked about insurance that made him stay in the industry despite the challenges, Maggs explained: “It’s never the same thing year by year; something is always changing – whether it’s policy cover or insurers, especially in recent times. [It] keeps you on your toes and the brain active. [It] has its down sides too, but I like to look for the silver lining.”
With decades of experience in insurance, it’s no wonder that the seasoned broker is full of words of wisdom that could help aspiring professionals succeed in the industry.
“I’ve always worked on the philosophy [that] the harder I work (substitute train in sport) the luckier I get. From my sport of Judo, a saying is ‘Fall seven times, stand up eight.’ This relates back to work as well. Never give up,” he advised.
“If you like to help people and can [handle] battling with insurers at times then give broking a go. It might just suit your temperament. But first you need to do an apprenticeship of sorts. The best place for that is in a claims team where you need to be able to read and understand the policy contracts and how, in general terms, things work.”