When you hear the word “insurance” what comes to mind?
Protection? Uncertainty? Managing Risk? A payment?
These adjectives define insurance in its most basic form but when you think of insurance as something you buy and pay for you are limited. Yes, property, health, auto, life, accident, critical illness, disability, and liability insurance all fall within the realm of this definition; you make a payment(s) to manage the risk of the uncertain.
What about personal insurance?
Think of uncertainties in life. As a millennial, the uncertainties that atop the “concern list”, include maintaining employment and developing my career. Maintaining employment is not, however, something within one’s control; economic factors can effect a company’s success and longevity. Layoffs and company closures are not something an employee can control. Nevertheless, there will be a financial and emotional impact.
So what can I do to protect myself from uncertain risk? Personal insurance!
You rarely, however, hear about personal insurance. This is not something you can get through your credit union or an insurance agent. Personal insurance is an investment you make in yourself to protect your future!
In November of 2008, I was working full-time for a small engraving company. I had been there about 6 months when the owner unexpectedly passed away. The company closed almost overnight and I found myself without a full-time job. I still had bills to pay and loan payments to make, so I knew I had to find a job soon!
The day after I found myself without a full-time job, I went to the store manager at a retail store I had worked at in college, and asked to be put on the schedule to secure a paycheck while searching for a new job. At home, I updated my resume and portfolio and started applying for jobs.
Fast forward three months. I had been applying to job after job with no response. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. I had my skills listed and submitted samples with every application. But still, I didn’t hear back. Unfortunately, the phone company didn’t care that I was applying to jobs every day; they just wanted to get paid. I knew it was time I made a change.
When I looked for jobs, I was only looking for positions for which I already had the skill set. If I didn’t know how to do something on the list, I didn’t apply and quickly moved on. I realized that instead of automatically disqualifying those jobs, I could try to learn those skills. This is where my personal insurance journey began.
To help pay the bills, I worked from 6 am – 5 pm every day and did graphic design, in the evenings. I knew that keeping my skills up-to-date and fresh was important. One common skill listed in job descriptions was HTML and CSS knowledge. I had very little experience, and never felt qualified to list it as a skill. I decided that it was time to delve into the world of web design.
I looked online for free tutorials. These were incredibly helpful! I could do them at my own pace, and immediately use the knowledge I gained to design my own site. After about 6 months, I had a very basic site with examples of my graphic design work. I revamped my resume to match, and I realized that I had developed a brand for myself!
I continued to learn more and more about web design, and updated my website with my newly acquired skills. In March of 2010, I finally was offered a full-time position in a marketing department. All of my hard work had paid off!
Having been through that experience, I knew I never wanted to be in that position again. Even though I had reached my goal of getting a full-time job in my field, I continued to develop my skills, both on the job and off by learning new skills and fine-tuning the ones I already had.
Sarah’s journey to developing personal insurance is unique to her; we each travel along our own paths. Take the time to create your own personal insurance. You insure your home, car, health and your life, why not your future?
Written by: Sarah Way & Amanda Finn