Who Needs a Network?

Everyone needs a network. A network is defined as a “group or system of interconnected people or things”. Very rarely are people completely alone with no one in their life. A family is a network. Co-workers make up a network. Friends can be a network. And members of IAIP are certainly a network. We all need a network.

Networks help us accomplish our goals, aid in our growth and development, and are great sounding boards. Networks can have your back, walk beside you, or lead your charge when you just cannot do it yourself. Never underestimate the value of your network.

My network has helped me in so many ways over the years. The first time I really remember tugging on my network was getting my first job in the insurance industry. I had been looking for over a year with no luck. I ran into a friend at a Cub Scout event and asked if her office was hiring. She had just been promoted to office manager and her first responsibility was to find a new back-up receptionist. A few weeks later, I had a job as a back-up receptionist at her insurance agency.

Fast forward 12 years, I decided to leave the agency for more challenge and money. The job turned out to be a disaster of epic proportion. After the first month, the honeymoon phase was over. My new manager made sure to tell me how horrible I was; how useless I was; how she could not understand why she ever hired me. Finally, after she threatened to slap me in the face, I quit. No notice, nothing. I had never done that before. I was immediately on the phone to my IAIP network. Telling them what happened. Asking them to keep an ear open for any openings. Just to let me vent and try to get my self-esteem back. She broke me very badly.

My next job came from my IAIP network. I was home polishing my resume and filling out online applications when I got the call. An IAIP member (and friend) told their manager I was available, hoping they would hire me. They did not feel that was in their best interest, but they did recommend me for a commercial lines opening at the agency I now own.

Obviously, I got the job, and it has been a whirlwind of changes. From starting at the agency in 2015 to purchasing it in 2020, my IAIP network and all my networks have stood behind me, walked beside me or led the charge when I just could not do it any longer.

Most recently, my IAIP network helped me procure insurance for my son and daughter-in-law in California. Insurance is challenging everywhere right now, but California is a special challenge. After speaking to several IAIP members that are agents in California, I realized I could do them as much good as anyone else. Since the laws in California allow Progressive to charge more if the purchaser goes through an agent, he quoted himself online and forwarded the quotes to me for review. After a few tweaks, he has a policy I can accept for a bit less. Hopefully, by the time they are ready to purchase a house, things will have eased up some and I will find him an actual agent to assist him. That is a future test for my network.

Networks help us in so many ways. What has your network done for you? Think about it.

Lori J Meagher, MBA, CIC, CISR

Share This