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Avoiding Career Transition Pitfalls

Two veterans turned Allstaters share their job transition stories

by Janet Farley, Contributing Editor

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Article Sponsored by: MilitaryResumes.com

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The facts are crystal clear. Service members making a military-to-civilian career transition understand how complicated, competitive and confusing a job search can be.

It is why it’s important to explore all options and even some of the programs available to assist in that transition.

One program you may want to consider learning more about is the Allstate Military Veterans Associate Agent Insurance Training Program.

It just might be the path you seek if you like the idea of continuing to take care of others in your post-uniform life.

Military-experienced candidates who have been honorably dis-charged may qualify for a virtual insurance sales training program with the opportunity to begin a career in an Allstate agency.

First Step: The Screening Process

Interested candidates are first vetted through the recruitment process where they learn more about what an associate agent does in an agency. They also have the opportunity to speak with a member of the Allstate family to get a better feel for the program itself.

As a part of the pre-screening process, candidates will complete an application and take an online personality assessment; however, the outcome of that assessment will not affect the candidate’s ability to participate in the program.

Next Phases

The program will give the candidates the necessary tools to prepare for their state Property and Casualty licensing exam. Upon completion of the exam, candidates will be eligible for a completion bonus in recognition of their accomplishment.

Candidates will then begin a virtual training around Allstate specific education. Included are educational elements around resume building and interview tips specifically tailored towards veterans looking to take the associate agent position.

Completing the Program

Individuals who successfully complete the program are then given the opportunity to interview to be a member of an Allstate agency as an associate agent.

Participation in the program does not guarantee that you will receive a job offer from an Allstate exclusive agency owner, however, there will be no obligation or contract stating the candidate must work for an Allstate agency or pay back their completion bonus. The program is designed to equip interested and qualified veterans with the tools they need to become an associate agent.

As Luck Would Eventually Have It

The Allstate Veterans Associate Agent Training Program is an excellent opportunity for service members who may be interested in a career in the insurance industry.

“When it was time for me to get out of the Army, my wife wanted me to work for the Border Patrol. I didn’t want to work in a job where I could get shot at again, however,” said Emcie Martinez.

Martinez now works as an Allstate associate agent for a San Antonio, Texas agency owner.

“The Allstate Veterans Program just fell into my lap,” he admitted.  “I wasn’t actively looking for a new job but it just appeared,” said Martinez, who transitioned out of the Army in 2010 after serving eight years.

It didn’t just fall into his lap right after he separated from service, however. It took a little bit of time, a couple interim jobs and some soul searching. After leaving the military, Martinez initially returned to Puerto Rico where he worked for a medical supply company in sales. It was then he realized how good he was at sales and how much he enjoyed it.

“I can be very persuasive and confident,” said Martinez adding that those are all-important skills to have in sales. Still, he felt like something was missing.

“I had the skills and experience to work in sales, but I felt like I lacked the education to excel in it,” he said.

Later, he and his family relocated to Texas and while working in the insurance industry, Martinez learned about the Allstate Veterans Associate Agent Insurance Training Program.

“I had the required licenses already at that point, but I really liked what I heard about the program and I wanted to do it,” said Martinez. “I knew 100% that once I entered that program, I was going to be the best at it,” he said.

He gave his then employer a two-week notice and started the training program. After successfully completing it, Martinez had the lucky predicament of having to decide between seven different offers to work at an Allstate agency.

He ultimately chose to work with a team in San Antonio where he continues to hone his skills and serve his customers to this day. It’s not the final job destination for Martinez, however.

“I want to eventually have my own office one day. It will happen, I’m certain of it,” he said.

Keeping It in the Family

Damion Anglin, a veteran and Allstate exclusive agency owner in San Diego, knows what it’s like to own your own insurance business. He didn’t start in the Associate Agent Insurance Training Program, but does know what it’s like to transition from military to civilian life with Allstate.

“It’s not easy [making the transition],” said Anglin. “You have to be willing to put in a lot of hard work.” But the work ethic required to succeed as an owner of your own business is one reason Allstate targets veterans for both opportunities – the associate agent position and an Allstate agency owner.

After obtaining his credentials, Anglin opened up his own Allstate Agency in 2007. He hired his wife and his three daughters in the process, making it a family-run business.

Hard work doesn’t appear to be an issue for Anglin. “I spent 10 glorious years in the Marine Corps and I wouldn’t change that for anything,” he said.

When it was time to transition out, a close family friend who worked in the insurance industry told him that he would be a good fit for it, too.

“I didn’t want to just jump at the first thing, though. I wanted to see who had the best options to offer. I checked out every insurance company thoroughly,” he said. “Hands down, Allstate impressed me the most.

“What I liked most about Allstate was that I could own my own business from day one,” Anglin said. “And of course, Allstate has its own trusted brand name recognition. It is a premier company that takes care of its people and its customers.”

According to Anglin, one way you can take care of others is to teach them. “I do that with my daughters on the job and I do that with our customers,” he said. “We’re in the business of educating our customers versus selling products to them. We want our customers to understand their coverages so they can make the best decisions possible for themselves,” he said. “For us, our clients are a part of our family.”

Military Experience Helped

“Your military skills can translate into business ownership. Don’t be afraid to make that happen,” said Anglin. “I worked a lot in administration in the military. Those important organization skills and problem-solving abilities are vital to my current business.” Martinez agrees.

“Mental preparation, physical readiness and the ability to effectively plan operations and be accountable for them are also important,” he said. “In Afghanistan, we trained all the time without ever knowing if we would need to use those skills. When the time came that we had to, all that training paid off and instincts kicked in.”

“Just like in the military, in your civilian job, you have to be able to effectively assess a situation and take the appropriate action,” said Anglin. “For example, say you have a customer who is upset. Something happened and they are emotionally involved. You have to remain calm, listen and really hear what they are saying so you can help them promptly resolve the situation.

“Attention to detail is also very important. You have to check and double check the facts,” said Anglin. Anglin further observed that the common practices in the military of not making assumptions, communicating clearly and concisely and being ten minutes early to appointments fit well in the civilian workplace, too.

And of course, taking care of people is essential.

If you are interested in exploring opportunities such as these with Allstate, contact Jessica Doll at jdoll@civilianjobs.com.

Janet Farley is a workplace and careers strategist and the author of several job search books, including Quick Military Transition Guide: Seven Steps to Landing a Civilian Job (Jist/EMC, 2013). Follow her on Twitter @mil2civguide for news you can use in your own transition.


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