By Shelley A. Gable
Every state requires insurance continuing education. Your attitude toward that education requirement determines how much you benefit from it. Do you view it as an opportunity? Or just another item on your growing to do list?
The reality is that you (or your employer) is paying for it regardless of your attitude. And in any case, you’re the one spending the time to complete the class. So why not make the most of it? Viewing it as an opportunity allows insurance ce to be a rich source of professional development.
What are your professional goals?
First think long term…maybe ten years out. Do you want to be a sales manager? What skills and knowledge do you need to acquire to be eligible for that position? Maybe you need to meet certain licensing requirements or build strengths in specific skills.
Think short term as well…maybe one year out. Is there an additional type of product you’d like to be licensed in, so you can become more valuable to your organization and increase your income potential? Is there a new law that you know will impact your work?
Here’s another angle to consider: What are you an expert in?
If you’re part of an agency with a dozen agents, what makes you special? Are you the go-to person for anything? If not, you may want to consider selecting an area of your work that interests you and gaining the knowledge needed to establish yourself as an expert. Being the one others defer to on a topic can do wonders for your credibility overall and may help advance your career.
Write down your goals.
Almost any book or article that offers advice for setting goals recommends that you write them down.
Why do you need to write them down?
- To remember what they are
- To look back to them for inspiration
- To build a sense of commitment
Another advantage of writing down your goals is that it makes it easier to map out a plan. Though it can be helpful to create a detailed plan for your professional development, just capturing some of the basic elements of a plan initially can help move you in the right direction. At a minimum, start by thinking about:
- What are your goals (short and long term)?
- What specific types of skills and knowledge must you develop to achieve those goals?
- What specific actions must you take to develop those skills and knowledge?
How can insurance continuing education help you achieve these goals?
Now that you’ve identified the skills and knowledge you need in order to meet your short and long term goals, select insurance continuing education courses that help bring you closer to those goals. When it comes to insurance ce offerings, you have options. And with online training, you aren’t limited to options that are compatible with your schedule.
When perusing a course catalog, take a few extra minutes to view all your options. Read through the course descriptions and select courses that best align with your goals and interests. Taking advantage of online insurance ce courses to further your professional development will not only help you achieve your goals, but it should also help motivate you when completing the course.
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Shelley A. Gable is an instructional designer and freelance writer. She has developed training for functions such as financial services, call centers, and engineering education. Shelley writes articles on topics related to training and management for print and online publications. Visit Shelley’s website at http://shelleygable.wordpress.com.